Miscues make the difference in Huskies’ loss to Newport

Sean McLean

For The New Era

A first-half offensive show became a defensive battle for Sweet Home Friday night against Newport as the Cubs’ running game wore down the Huskies in the final minutes, scoring twice to win 33-20 in the first conference match of the season for both schools.

“It was a tough loss because we just gave them too many opportunities,” coach Rob Younger said. “When you the turn the ball over and give good teams that many opportunities, it’s hard to overcome it.”

Cole Skriver scored three touchdowns for Newport, two on pass plays and one on a run, to pace the Cubs to the win.

Points came fast and often for both teams in the first quarter. After recovering a Newport fumble at the Cubs 25-yard line, the Huskies’ run game quickly moved down field yards in seven plays with Amos Parmenter trotting into the end zone from five yards out.

The momentum that Sweet Home began to establish quickly faded as Newport’s Travis Iverson took the kickoff and returned it 75 yards down the sideline to give the Cubs an early 7-6 lead. It was Iverson’s first kick-off return of the season, and he would also return the next two kicks for Newport.

Sweet Home, however, quickly responded by marching 62 yards on 12 plays, highlighted by a 23-yard run by running back Nick Pitts. Teammate Marcus DeLong scored from one yard out on the next play to give the Huskies a 12-7 lead late in the first quarter. The drive was also helped by two costly penalties by Newport, giving Sweet Home better field position.

The Huskies looked to be in control when cornerback Brock Cota intercepted a Newport pass on the Cubs drive, giving Sweet Home the ball at their own 45-yard line. More penalty calls against Newport put the Sweet Home at the Cubs’ 35-yard line, but a costly fumble took away the Huskies’ chances of going up by two scores. A Newport player picked up the fumble and returned it all the way to the Husky 15. Two plays later Skriver scampered in from 14 yards out to put the Cubs back on top, 14-12.

“I thought we executed pretty well in the first quarter and we had to earn everything we got,” Younger said. “We gave them two cheap ones and that was really a big difference, and turnovers really hurt us not only in the first quarter but the entire game.”

The battle continued into the second quarter with Sweet Home slowing down the game with a long drive that lasted over six minutes. Taking advantage of their balanced run attack, the Huskies worked their way down the field into Newport territory. On a third-and-seven, quarterback Ryan Graville went to the outside on an option play and kept the ball, running into the end zone from eight yards out to give the Huskies a 20-14 lead.

It would be the last lead of the game for Sweet Home, as Newport responded on their next possession.

The Cubs stuck to the run through most of the quarter moved down the field despite repeated penalties called against them. From the Sweet Home 30-yard line, Newport went back to the air and 6-5 junior quarterback Mark Moore found Skriver in the back of the end zone with a 1:11 left in the first half. A successful extra point would give the Cubs a slim 21-20 lead at the break.

“I think overall we just need to be more consistent out there,” said Cota. “They had two really good running backs and are fast. We just didn’t get the stops that we needed to on third and fourth downs like we needed to.”

As adventurous as the first half was, the second half would see both teams struggling to find any offensive rhythm. Both teams were held scoreless in the third quarter as the game turned into a defensive battle. The Huskies’ best opportunity stopped on a fourth-and-three play at the Newport 22.

“We just didn’t capitalize on some third- and fourth-down opportunities,” Younger said. “I think in the second half we really did give a straight effort, but we just didn’t capitalize when we needed to.”

The Cubs moved deep into Sweet Home territory early in the fourth quarter, but another Cota interception in the end zone on a fourth-and-goal play kept the Huskies within striking distance, down a single point with five minutes to play. Their offense, however, was stopped again on fourth down – on a spot by the officials that Younger protested loudly – and the Cubs finally capitalized late in the game.

Wearing down the Sweet Home defense with the run, Newport rumbled down to the Husky five-yard line, setting up another touchdown pass from Moore to Skriver, from five yards out, giving the Cubs a 27-20 lead with under three minutes left.

Ditching the run with no timeouts left, Sweet Home’s Graville was unable to complete a pass under defensive pressure and with tense receivers. A turnover on downs gave Newport the ball with just over a minute left and the Cubs capitalized as sophomore tailback Tristan Metcalf scored on a five-yard run with a minute left and the game out of reach for the Huskies.

Backup quarterback Greg Sipe took over and went to the air, completing three of seven passes – two of them to Sam Macklin for 32 yards – to drive the Huskies 41 yards down the field as time ran out.

Parmenter led all rushers with 95 yards on 22 carries. Metcalf was close behind as Newport’s leading carrier, with 93 yards on 21 carries.

Parmenter also led the Huskies in tackles, with 11.

“I was really happy with the effort all-around on this team,” said Sipe, who spent most of the game at cornerback. “We just fell short at the end, but there were some good things on both offense and defense.”

With the tough loss, Sweet Home goes to 3-3 on the season and 0-1 in conference. The Huskies will look to get back on track on Thursday as they travel to Lincoln City to face Taft in another conference game.

“I told them after the game that the mistakes we made, we can correct,” Younger said. “We have a great big game next week, so we will just head back to the practice field and get after that.”

Game Summary

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final

Newport 14 7 0 12 33

Sweet Home 12 8 0 0 20

1st Quarter

SHHS: Amos Parmenter 6 yd. run (kick failed)

New: Iverson 75 yd. kickoff return (Cole Skriver kick)SHHS: Marcus Delong 1 yd. run (pass failed)

New: Skriver 14 yd. run (Skriver kick)

2nd Quarter

SHHS: Ryan Graville 8 yd. run (Graville pass to Delong)

New: Skriver 30 yd. pass from Mark Moore (Skriver kick)

4th Quarter

New: Skriver 5 yd. pass from Moore (kick failed)

New: Tristan Metcalf 5 yd. run (kick failed)

Team Stats

Rushing: SHHS 46-205; Newport 46-227

Passing: SHHS 4-15, 55; Newport 4-9-2, 45

Total Yards: SHHS 242; Newport 272

First Downs: SHHS 14, Newport 13

3rd/4th Down Conversion: SHHS 7-21; Newport 6-12

Penalties: SHHS 3-15; Newport 11-110

Sacks: SHHS 0; Newport 3-18

Individual Stats

Rushing

SHHS: Parmenter 22-95; Pitts 12-58; Byers 5-29; Graville 3-16; Delong 4-7

Newport: Metcalf 21-93; Bellanger 14-81; Skriver 6-38

Passing

SHHS: Graville 1-8, 14; Sipe 3-7, 41

Newport: Moore 4-8-2, 45; Skriver 0-1

Receiving

SHHS: Macklin 2-32; Riggs 1-14; Delong 1-9 Newport: Skriver 2-35

Punting

SHHS: Delong 1-37, 37 Net

Newport: Skriver 2-43, 21 Net

Kickoffs

SHHS: Gutierrez: 3-108, Net 4; Callagan 1-28, Net 28; Newport: 6-222, Net 26

Kickoff Returns

SHHS: Pitts 3-36; Puentes 1-18; Callagan 1-9; Parmenter 1-3; Newport 3-96

Fumble Recovery: SHHS: Brewer (Pitts forced); Newport 1

Interception: SHHS: Cota 2; Newport 0

Tackles: SHHS: Parmenter 11, Pitts and Horn 8

Total
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