Saturday, October 23, 2010
Stout Leads Newport to Big Win Over Franklin
It was certainly a team effort this afternoon for the Newport Tigers, but senior quarterback Josh Stout (pictured left) came up particularly big. Stout had a total of 4 touchdowns (3 rushing and 1 passing) and he also intercepted a pass on defense to lead Newport to a crucial Division VI victory over Franklin 30-18 on a great day for football at Maryn Field in Newport.
This was the Division VI game of the week. Here's my complete recap, along with a coach with some harsh words for the NHIAA and also my observations of some clever restaurant names in the area.
First Things First
What a great day for football! It was a little cold and just a tad windy, but you really couldn't ask for a much better day for a football game to be played. Newport has a nice field (especially for D-VI) and they had a a very enthusiastic, rowdy fan section. You had two good teams going at it hard for all 4 quarters. It all made for a great afternoon.
"This is a football atmosphere" remarked Newport coach Larry Carle. "This is good stuff."
Stout With Big Game for Tigers
Stout accounted for all 4 of the Newport touchdowns in this game. He didn't waste any time making his mark, scoring a 50 yard touchdown on the game's opening drive. It was poor tackling by Franklin, but also a great run by Stout. He was nearly down for a loss on the play, but bounced off a pair of tackles and ran it in. He then completed a pass for the 2 point conversion to put the Tigers up 8-0 just 2 minutes into the contest.
That was the only Newport score of the first half, as they trailed 12-8 after 2 quarters. But Stout picked things back up in the 2nd half. On Newport's first possession of the 3rd quarter he ran for his 2nd TD of the game, this time from 1 yard out. The drive was aided by yet another encroachment penalty on Franklin (their 3rd of the game). After Franklin's Mike Stone made a nice hit for a loss of yardage (he was big on defense all game) it was 4th down and goal on the 1 yard line. Considering it was the 2nd half of the game, between two of the top teams in the division and Newport was down 12-8 at the time I would say it's a safe bet this was a big play. But just like he did a couple other times in this game when it was 3rd or 4th and short, Stout called his own number for the QB sneak. He found the end zone, and put the Tigers ahead. The extra point was good, and it was 15-12 Newport with 4:33 left in the 3rd quarter.
That's how it stayed until early on in the 4th quarter, which is when Stout once again made a big play on 4th down. Newport was able to start this drive on the Franklin 8 yard line. This occurred because the Golden Tornadoes had to punt deep in their own end, Stout picked the ball up on the Franklin 45 yard line and ran it 27 yards to the 18. Franklin was then called for a late hit on the play which put the ball on the 8. Newport was only able to gain 3 yards in 3 plays though, setting up 4th down and goal from the 5. That's when Stout rolled to his left, looked to pass, and found Cody Merrow in the back of the end zone for a 5 yard TD pass. The Tigers went for two, and this time Stout completed the pass to Nick Sullivan for the 2 point conversion. After trailing at the half, Newport now led by 2 scores in the 4th quarter.
Stout added the icing on the Tiger's victory cake with 1:34 left to play in regulation. Franklin had scored to make it a 1 possession game once again. It was 23-18 Newport, and the Tigers had just recovered the onside kick which was BIG. All they had to do now was run the clock out and not let the Golden Tornadoes get the ball back. It was 3rd down and 4 for Newport on the Franklin 48. That's when Stout ran for his 3rd TD of the game, and finished with 116 yards rushing. Stout faked the hand off, kept the ball himself, bounced it to the outside and he was home free. He went virtually untouched for the 48 yard score. The extra point was good and it was 30-18 Tigers.
"He kept the ball when he saw the middle was jammed" explained a satisfied Coach Carle afterward.
As if Stout hadn't done enough for his team already, he intercepted a pass from Franklin quarterback Conner Smith on his own 41 yard line and ran it back 19 yards to the Franklin 40. He then took a knee and the game was over.
Matchup of 2 Best QB's in D-VI?
Ok, I just said plenty right there about Stout. And as good as he was in this game, it should be noted that Smith from Franklin is a darn good QB as well. Smith had 97 yards passing and a touchdown to go with 44 yards rushing. His numbers would have been even better but the Golden Tornadoes had a number of dropped passes.
"We had to many dropped passes" explained Franklin Coach Greg Husband. "We probably had 7 dropped passes in the 2nd half alone."
What's most impressive about Smith is that he is only a sophomore! For a kid that young, and playing in Division VI he is very good. Smith, who is a lefty, has excellent arm strength which he showed on a number of deep passes. One of those deep passes was the touchdown he threw, which made it a 1 possession game late. Smith threw a nice pass to the corner of the end zone, and receiver Mark Pichowicz was there to snag it for the 17 yard score.
I have now seen the top 6 teams in Division VI over the last 3 weeks. Stout and Smith are the 2 best QB's I've seen in this division.
Foote is a Tough Kid
Both of these teams used multiple running backs. Having 2 or more backs splitting carries is a common theme across the state, and it was once again prevalent here. You have to give credit though to Franklin running back Cody Foote. He is a very tough kid. Foote is only about 5'0" tall, one of the smaller varsity players you will see. But he runs hard every time he gets the ball, and when he gets tackled hard he gets right back up. Foote rushed for 23 yards and 2 touchdowns, with both TD's coming in the 1st half.
What was most impressive to me though came in the 2nd half. Foote got tackled hard on the far sideline by 3 Newport defenders, all of whom were at least twice his size. But IMMEDIATELY after Foote got tackled and hit the ground hard he got right back up, as if he felt nothing from the hit. I'm sure he's the kind of kid who has always had people telling him he was too small to play. Well yesterday in Newport Foote proved those people wrong.
Others Who Played Well
Newport - Harrison Wade, who ran for 80 yards and also played solid defense. Brendan Hogan ran the ball hard up the middle, and also made a number of big plays defensively. Devin Burnham was also exceptional on defense for the Tigers. One of the Tiger's biggest defensive plays was in the 2nd half when Hogan had a big hit and forced fumble. Burnham then recovered it to give Newport the ball back. Hogan, Wade and Greg Beaulieu were all strong in coverage for Newport, making it difficult for Smith to find open receivers. Franklin may have had a lot of drops, but a few of them were VERY close to being catches until a Newport defensive back hit the Franklin receiver hard to pop the ball out. Senior Sam Nelson also did a nice job on both sides of the ball. He's about 6'4", and used his size, strength and speed to make plays consistently. Also, junior lineman Logan Merritt made a big play in the 4th quarter by batting down a pass from Smith on 4th down resulting in a Franklin turnover.
Franklin - Nick Russo had 63 yards rushing and 45 yards receiving for 108 total yards (not counting yardage gained on kickoff and punt returns). Defensively, John Adams made a number of nice tackles for the Golden Tornadoes. Adams and Mike Stone both were excellent on defense, particularly Stone who was the best defensive player I saw in this game on either team. Stone was all over the field making plays, hard hit after hard hit. Senior Doug Woodhams also made some nice tackles for Franklin, Jacob Ford had a nice hit and fellow senior Nick Rousseau made plays in the defensive secondary. Wideout Steven Terry had a pass thrown his way in the 3rd quarter. He caught it, but was out of bounds. Still, he showed some great effort on the play just to get to the ball and grab it.
Carle Takes Issue With Change
A lot has been made of the NHIAA switching things up in the middle of the season and getting rid of the new standings system they had put in place over the summer. This change has already been covered on other sites, but now (at least for football) teams will be seeded based strictly on wins and losses within their division and nothing else. Teams will no longer be receiving an extra point for winning away games.
"This is ridiculous" said Coach Carle, who has been coaching at Newport since 1977. "We were going to be in the playoffs no matter what. Then in the middle of the week they go and change the whole system around and now we have to win more games in order to get in."
Well, Newport won so now it's moot point. Still, Coach Carle isn't happy with the NHIAA and I doubt he's the only one.
Clever Restaurant Names
On a lighter note, I am finding that on my drive to the various games I attend I am becoming increasingly amused by silly things. One of them is the witty names that some restaurants have. Allow me to share two of my favorites. The first is one that I have passed a few times now. I pass by almost every time I go to Salem High School, either for a football or basketball game. It is simple, yet clever at the same time. It is called "The Grill Next Door" and it's located on route 97 in Haverhill, right near the Salem border. Simple yet clever. Taking the common phrase, "The Girl Next Door" and making a pun. This must have extra meaning for the folks who actually live next door to this establishment!
Next on the list is one that I just drove by for the first time on Saturday, while on my way to Newport High. I took back roads, to avoid the tolls on routes 93 and 89. I was driving through Bow when I saw a shop that had yet another name was simple yet clever, and put a smile on my face. It was called, "Bow Knows Subs." See here not only are they making a play on words with the old Nike ad campaign of, "Bo Knows" but they also spell it B-O-W, for the town that the restaurant is located in. Good stuff.
I'm not sure how the food is at either place, but I they both make my list of most clever restaurant names in the area. Feel free to comment on any other witty names you know of, and oh yeah comment on the Newport/Franklin game too!