For Newman coach Nelson Stewart and Lusher coach Louis Landrum Jr., Friday night’s 33-0 Greenies rout in the Newman Jamboree was the result neither expected.
Though just a jamboree, it gave an indication of where each team was.
“We’ve got work to do,” Landrum said.
For half of the first quarter, the teams appeared evenly matched. But as the Newman defense continued to clamp down, led by senior Jack Reynolds, the offense caught up — quickly.
“For us, that’s a really good win against, I think, a really good opponent,” Stewart said.
On the Greenies’ third series, quarterback Miles Lapeyre led Newman on a five-play scoring drive consummated by a Lapeyre 1-yard run. Lapeyre hooked up with wideout Elbert Thomas twice on the drive for 47 yards. It was a connection that proved consistent.
On the ensuing drive, Reynolds struck his first blow with a fumble recovery after Lions quarterback Eli Poche was roughed up by Kobe Poche. Eight plays later, Lapeyre hit a wide-open Thomas in the end zone for a 9-yard score to give the Greenies a 14-0 lead.
Reynolds admitted his performance — he tallied a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an athletic interception at the line of scrimmage — was the game of his career.
“I would have to say, right now, yes,” he said with a grin. “It’s a game I’ll remember for a long time.”
Lapeyre went 7-of-13 in the first half with 81 yards and a touchdown. Thomas caught seven of those for 78 yards.
Newman’s first two drives of the second half resulted in scores, the first a 5-yard scamper from James Poche, and the second a 21-yard touchdown pass from Lapeyre to Christopher Lane. A blocked extra point after — the first of two on the night — gave the Greenies a comfortable 27-0 lead.
Lapeyre finished 12 of 19 for 126 yards and three touchdowns.
For all the offense’s exploits, it was the defense that earned the most rave reviews from Stewart and company. The Lions only entered the red zone once, late in the game. It ended with a forced fumble at the goal line.
“I thought we played physically up front; our linebackers played well. Things we talked about all summer. We thought we had to rely on our defense and just how physically they play,” Stewart said.
“We really flew to the ball,” Reynolds said. “We were working hard. We were firing on all cylinders. I really think as a whole, the defense has improved a lot.”
For Landrum, he saw flashes of competency in his team’s performance, though he was quick to downplay any praise.
“We got to finish. I don’t want to pat them on the back because they had a couple good drives,” he said. “Quarterback didn’t have a good night like we know he can have. ... It was just a night that just happened for us.”
In the early game of the jamboree, St. Martin’s defeated Cohen 13-0.