It was hard to find much wrong with Newman’s performance in Friday’s 44-0 rout of Riverdale at home. Especially because the Greenies did all their scoring before halftime.
“When you go into the half with a 44-0 lead, it’s a pretty good night,” Newman coach Nelson Stewart said.
Newman kept the Rebels offense in check from the get-go, unlike they did to McMain’s offense last week in a 46-36 shootout win. This week had much less drama, though Stewart cautioned that his team still has improvements to make.
“We need to be critical of ourselves. I like the adjustments we made. It was our best effort, but I still think there are some things to clean up,” Stewart said. “Hats off to the offensive line. Miles Lapeyre was great. Jack Miller, we say it every week, won the field-position battle with the way the defense played.”
The first few minutes of Friday’s contest led onlookers to the believe the game would be a wild one. Lapeyre, a senior quarterback, led the Greenies on an eight-play scoring drive to open the game, finished off by an 11-yard touchdown pass to Brian McGowan. Two plays later, Newman stuffed Riverdale (0-2) running back Joseph Antonio in the end zone to give the Greenies a 9-0 lead.
With a chance to go up two scores in just six minutes, Lapeyre threw his only interception of the night on the ensuing drive, setting up the Rebels with great field position and a chance to slow the Greenies’ momentum.
A missed field goal stifled those ambitions, and Newman never looked back.
The Greenies (2-0) scored on five of their next six possessions to close out the half in a flurry, giving them the final 44-0 margin before the half ended.
Lapeyre hit on 20 of 24 passes, including a 33-yard strike to McGowan on fourth-and-inches early in the contest, for 288 yards and three touchdowns. The fourth-down gamble was a “calculated risk,” Stewart said, and it set the the tone for the rest of the game.
“It was awesome,” Lapeyre said.
Playmaking wideout Elbert Thomas led all receivers with six catches for 91 yards and a touchdown, while McGowan tallied five grabs for 67 yards and a score. A different player scored each of Newman’s touchdowns. Miller, who primarily plays defense, scored on a 5-yard scamper.
The only negatives Newman could point to were penalties — six flags for 40 yards — and a few careless throws that didn’t end up hurting them. With the win, they remain undefeated on the season.
“We worked hard this week,” Stewart said. “Don’t look at last week and shrug your shoulders. Be critical of yourselves. We made the adjustments we needed to.”