De La Salle came out on top against Newman, 22-19, Friday night at Michael Lupin Field after an eventful 15-minute period in the second half that saw all six touchdowns.
The play to cap the flurry of scores came with 38 seconds left to go. Cavaliers quarterback Victor Gaines took the snap around the 35-yard line and launched a bomb to Quincy Cage, who broke free of his defender at the last second to snag it and win the game.
After a scoreless first half, De La Salle initiated the points-fest. Starting the third drive of the half on its opponent’s 43 yard line, Gaines found Jamal White wide open in the left flat. A couple of good blocks and missed tackles later, White spun around to find nothing in front of him to the end zone.
Newman followed that up on the next drive. On third-and-long, quarterback Jay Tyler, who had been sacked then hurried into a completion on two plays prior, threw a screen pass to Kendall Bussey, who found the end zone. The extra point was blocked.
Alex Abramson tripped up Gaines on the first play of the next drive, causing a fumble recovered by Newman. On the first play from the 26 yard line, Tyler tossed it over the middle for Addison, who shed a couple of tacklers and walked into the end zone. Tyler’s pass for the two-point conversion failed.
After the Greenies got the ball back on a strip, Raekwon Thomas picked off Tyler on a cross-field deep ball. Gaines then found Eddie Minor for a 71-yard catch-and-run, his first touch of the game. A two-point conversion made it a three-point game.
Tyler and Bussey again showed off the chemistry they’ve developed over several years of playing together to go back up. From the 39-yard line, Tyler found Bussey in the flat, and Bussey broke two tackles along the right sideline to score. They couldn’t recreate it after Cage’s nail in the coffin, though.
The first half was the polar opposite of the second, ending scoreless. Both defenses bent on their first drives, teasing an offensive showdown, but ultimately didn’t break.
Newman received the kickoff and marched down the field to the red zone, highlighted by a 17-yard catch by Addison. Bussey was stonewalled when they got to the red zone and a delay of game penalty put the Greenies back, then Danquan Edwards chased Tyler around the backfield, forcing a throwaway. Tyler threw it over Bussey’s head on third down and the Greenies missed the field goal.
De La Salle made its way down the field just as easily, but shot itself in the foot. Just outside of the red zone, freshman Nick Guthrie had several bad snaps, the last of which was on fourth-and-2 to Cage, who failed to convert.
It looked as if De La Salle was going to score on the last drive of the first half. After a touchback, Gaines hit Cage for 18 yards, then Christian Booker for 28 and 13 yards to put the ball just outside the red zone.
Then, Gaines tossed it up again for the 6-foot-4-inch Booker and Greenie defensive back Davis Charbonnet leaped to knock it down with one second remaining. The Cavaliers passed up the field goal, and defensive lineman Drew Drouilhet pulled Gaines down as time expired.
De La Salle opens the regular season against Grace King on Thursday. Newman hosts McMain the next day.
The Cavaliers’ victory was preceded by Lusher’s defensive shutout, 33-2, of Pope John Paul II.