Not every win goes according to plan. But even the ugliest ones count the same.
After an inauspicious start, Newman scored five unanswered touchdowns starting late in the first quarter on en route to a 35-7 victory against Vandebilt Catholic in a nondistrict game Friday night at Michael Lupin Field.
Junior quarterback Miles Lapeyre threw for three touchdowns, including two to junior Brandon McGowan, and the Greenies (4-0) played stout defense for the final 41 minutes to move to 4-0 for the third consecutive year.
In a season in which new players were counted on to play big roles, the results have been the same.
“We lost some unbelievable football players, but we’ve got some really good ones back,” Newman coach Nelson Stewart said. “A lot of people didn’t think we’d be 4-0, but hats off to our kids. We need to play these tough games. We were calm, under control and weren’t nervous.”
Facing a 7-0 deficit, Newman’s offense found its stride late in the first quarter as Lapeyre found Elbert Thomas on back-to-back completions, including a 17-yard touchdown strike to cut its deficit to 1.
Thomas’ 43-yard punt return late in the second quarter set up the Greenies with prime position to close out the half. Lapeyre orchestrated a six-play drive, completing three passes, the last a 15-yarder to Brandon McGowan to grab a 14-7 advantage at halftime.
“That was huge,” Lapeyre said of Thomas’ return. “Elbert’s a guy you can go to like Kendall (Bussey) and Jay (Tyler). He’s explosive, and you can count on when you need him on and off the field.”
The offensive onslaught continued into the third quarter. Jack Reynolds snuffed out Vandebilt’s onside kick attempt to start the second half, and Newman seized the opportunity as James Poche rushed 3 yards for the touchdown.
Lapeyre hit McGowan for the duo’s second touchdown late in the quarter, and Poche added his second score on a 1-yard burst in the fourth quarter.
Lapeyre completed 16-of-25 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns and added 100 yards rushing on nine carries. Thomas finished with six receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown, and Poche had 87 yards and two scores on 19 carries.
After stumbling out of the gate, the Greenies racked up 379 yards.
“We went with what was working,” Lapeyre said. “The first couple of drives we struggled, but saw what worked. We respected this program, so to get this 35-7 win — we wanted to play better and it wasn’t as clean as we wanted – but it’s big.
The Terriers (1-4) struck first. David Yancey connected with Gabe Guzman on a 29-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-29, capping a 15-play drive that drained 4:14 off the clock.
Newman blanked Vandebilt the remainder of the game and held the visitors from Houma to 191 yards of offense.
“We couldn’t panic,” senior linebacker Jack Miller said. “We stayed calm, did our jobs and executed.”