The mark of a good team is the ability to go on the road and still win football games. Well the Newfound Bears have just finished the longest road trip in the history of football, 11 years!
"We have been the road warriors" head coach Greg Dalzell said after the game.
Newfound has had a varsity and club football program for 11 years but in that entire time they haven't had a home field to play on! So every fall Saturday afternoon they have loaded the bus with players and equipment and made the trip to play Division 6 opponents on the opposing teams home field.
After the hard work of many Newfound football supporters, some corporate sponsorship, a grant from the New England Patriot Alumini, and the generosity of John Morrison Construction Company they have built a new natural grass football field for the Bears to call their home. The total cost to the tax payers was zero. In these economic times for a local community to band together and pull of such a venture for the good of kids and the high school says a lot about the supporters of Newfound football. Rightfully so the new name of the home of the Newfound Bears will be Morrison Field. John Morrison Construction and his family built the field and was the major contributor.
Now that the Bears have a new home field they can start enjoying the home cooking and the advantages of playing in front of their family and friends.If Saturday's game against the Winnisquam Bears is and indication on how the season will go the Newfound Bears can not only have their first home game but come November maybe looking at the first home playoff game.
Both teams came in with wins in week one. Winnisquam beating Raymond and Newfound winning a wild one against Bishop Brady. Two teams with contrasting styles as Winnisquam runs Wing T ground and pound versus Newfound who runs a spread and has no fear of filling the air with passes.
Winnisquam started their first possession at the 35 and after one first down was forced to punt the ball away. Newfound runs their offense on the field starting on the 21. They begin their first of many long drives of the day going 79 yards on 11 plays with #39 Tyler Maviki taking it in from 1 yard out and after a 2pt conversion Newfound jumps out to an early lead 8-0. What was most impressive about how Newfound executed their offense was they run a true college style spread not afraid of throwing the ball. They executed five touchdown drives on the day and 4 of them were 10 plays and longer.
The offense is lead by a young sophomore #7 Jared Dearborn. What is totally surprising Coach Dalzell told me that this is the first time this young man has played quarterback. He played wide receiver as a freshman and has stepped right into the starting job showing a tremendous amount of poise running a complicated offense. On top of that he calls a lot of his plays right on the line scrimmage was allows the offense to keep constant pressure on opposing defenses. Jared had a big day going 14 for 26 221 yards 2 touchdowns while throwing just 1 interception.
As well as Jared played the heart and soul of Newfound is their running back and linebacker Tyler Maviki. Tyler has a throwback stile of running the football. It is lunch pale no nonsense North/South I am coming right at you what are you going to do about it approach to carrying the football. This young man is a coach's delight. Wearing the #39 he reminded me of Larry Czonka. I asked him about the number and the comparison after the game. He said he had no idea who Larry Czonka was and the reason he wears 39 is that was the number they gave him when he was a freshman. Tyler you made me feel like the old man that I am but I really love the way you play the game! Tyler scored 3 times on the day had 32 carries for 206 yards and he is only a junior!
When Dearborn goes to throw the ball he has some guys who can catch the ball. His main targets are #5 Devin Fields 5 catches 68 yards and a touchdown. #11 Jake Dearborn 3 catches 48yards and a touchdown. #27 Doug Payne 4 catches for 40 yards. What makes this trio of receivers really hard to cover is they have no fear of coming into the middle in traffic and catching balls. They force the safeties to come up and when they do that sets up the big throws over the top.
Winnisquam found themselves down 20-0 before the got the offense going. They are definitely and ground and pound team. They use quit a few backs to carry the load, #40 Jacob Gove, #11 Austin Hunt, #26 Christian Serrano, # 37 Justin Serrano, and Quarterback #35 Parker Normand but their go to running back is #20 Hunter Karwocki.Hunter isn't a very big kid but he is as tough as they come. He had over 100 yards rushing and scored one of Winnisquam 3 touchdowns on the day. Their other 2 touchdowns were scored by the quarterback Parker Normand. Parker is another kid on the small side but he is quick and is tough when he makes the corner on bootlegs. Winnisquam definitely has a few pieces but what will probably keep them in the middle of the pack of division 6 is they just don't throw the football very well. Normand plays with a lot of passion but he is a running back playing the quarterback position.
Newfound with their five long touchdown drives had a very successful first home game winning 42-19. A packed crown in lawn chairs that lined the entire field were treated to the first of many home wins to come. After 2 weeks it's still early but Division 6 is starting to take shape. There are 3 teams at 2-0, Newfound, Campbell, and the surprise team of the year so far Mascoma.
I asked coach Dalzell after the game who are the teams to watch in the division and the wise coach that he is said "I don't know everybody" but he did go on to say all of the above teams including Newport are going to be tough. Newfound is on the road next week to play a very interesting Farmington-Nute team that gave Campbell a good game this week. We will know lot more about both teams after next week's game. Newfound has another big home game on the 6th of October versus Newport.
Congratulations to Newfound and their community on a job well done. Nothing brings people out on a fall Saturday afternoon to watch the local team play like high school football!