On a night quarterbacks lit up the scoreboard for 82 points, it was the hands of a lineman and defensive back that enabled Newman to survive with a 46-36 nondistrict win over McMain on Friday night at Michael Lupin Field.
The game matched two top-five teams (Newman No. 3, McMain No. 5) in the New Orleans Advocate Small School Super 10 and two of the city’s most prolific offenses. It did not disappoint.
But it took a heads-up play by Newman defensive lineman Mitchell Moore to preserve the win. Moore recovered a fumble with 8:34 remaining in the game to set up the touchdown that stretched Newman’s lead from a precarious 38-36 to 46-36.
Moore wrapped around quarterback Darnell Williams’ fumble at the Mustangs 28 among a pile of players.
Quarterback Miles Lapeyre, who threw for 258 yards and three touchdowns, marched the Greenies from there for the winning score in the opener for both teams.
“It wasn’t fun in there,” Moore said of the pileup. “There was a lot of clawing, grabbing and scratching. But I knew I had a lot of my teammates in there with me ... covering my back.”
McMain’s Williams accounted for 468 yards total offense on the night, 288 in the first half. He threw for three touchdowns and ran for the other two.
“Williams is a dynamic player,” Newman coach Nelson Stewart said. “McMain is a fantastic football team.”
Williams’ last-ditch drive was snuffed by an interception Newman’s defensive back Storey Charbonnet.
“We have a lot to clean up from tonight, especially in the kicking game,” Stewart said. “Our defense made some good plays late against a very dynamic team.
Newman missed four extra points and was penalized 10 times for 89 yards.
Newman jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the game’s first four minutes, but had to withstand the Williams’ onslaught. By halftime, the senior quarterback had accounted for three touchdowns, including a 68-yard pass to Kevin Edgerson.
Still, Newman led 26-22 at halftime.
The Greenies were able to stretch the lead to 32-22 on a 2-yard run by Lapeyre.
Williams countered with a 36-yard touchdown to Edgerson that made it 38-36 setting the stage for Moore’s heroics.
Newman’s James Poche ran for 124 yards on 29 carries, including 49 rushing yards in six carries on the 69-yard touchdown drive that gave the Greenies a 38-36 lead.
Williams passed for 323 yards on 15 completions in 28 attempts. He ran for another 145 yards.