Kendall Bussey scored five touchdowns and Newman, ranked No.2 in The New Orleans Advocate’s small school rankings, pulled away to defeat Riverdale 56-33 at Lupin Field Friday night.
“Bussey is one of the best I’ve ever seen,” Riverdale coach Brett Bonnaffons said after his Class 4A Rebels lost to the 2A Greenies. “(Quarterback) Jay (Tyler) is awesome.”
After gaining only 4 yards rushing on three carries in the first half, Bussey scored on runs of 73, 9 and 41 yards. Newman led 28-21 at halftime and Riverdale trailed only 42-33 until the final 4 minutes of play.
Bussey’s 41-yard run around the left side gave Newman a 49-33 lead with 3:28 remaining. Riverdale (1-1) was forced to punt with 3:28 left, and Newman had to work out from its own 12-yard line. On second down at the 16, Tyler cut inside on a lead option and raced 84 yards to put the game out of reach.
“Give credit to Kendall Bussey,” Newman coach Nelson Stewart said. “He ran with power; he ran with speed.
“And, goodness gracious, the job our quarterback did ... game management, throwing the ball down the field and you saw what he did at the end of the game. ‘They are both so special, and our kids feed off them.”
Tyler, who was ejected from last week’s win against McMain, was held out of the game for the first 10 minutes.
“Just a coach’s decision,” Stewart said. “I loved the way he handled everything. You could see the way (he entered the game) and was so supportive of me.”
Tyler entered with a little more than two minutes remaining in the first quarter and the game tied 7-7. He completed his first five passes, including touchdown throws of 30 and 20 yards.
Tyler finished with 148 yards rushing and 130 passing. He ran for touchdowns of 42 and 84 yards. Bussey gained 135 yards on 10 carries. He scored Newman’s first touchdown on a 73-yard kickoff return and also caught the 30-yard TD pass from Tyler.
Riverdale workhorse running back Darius Bovie carried the ball 29 times for 145 yards. All-purpose back Donte Jackson had 73 yards rushing, including touchdown runs of 46 and 15 yards. He also caught a 54 yard touchdown from quarterback Christian Smith.
“I was fortunate enough to coach (former Newman and LSU star and first-round pick of the New York Giants) Odell Beckham, and Jackson is that kind of player,” Stewart said. “He’s just going to get touchdowns.”