Monday, October 29, 2012

Big Game for Dwight, But Hyde Falls to New Hampton

The New Hampton School football team defended its home turf on Saturday by defeating Hyde School 41-19 at Kennedy Field. Hyde completed a 25 yard touchdown pass to go up 19-8 with 38.6 seconds left in the 1st half. But from that point on it was all Huskies, who outscored Hyde 33-0 in the 2nd half.

QB Milan Murray (Winchester, MA) and RB's Todd Collier (Salem, MA) and Matt Dean (Gilford, NH) all had touchdown runs during the Huskies' 2nd half explosion. In addition to Dean, other NH players who contributed to the win for New Hampton were junior WR/DB Ken Miyachi (Laconia, NH) and sophomore FB/LB Carter Dillon (Bow, NH).

However even though his team lost, the star of the game as far as local talent goes was clearly Steven Dwight (Manchester, NH). Dwight, who is doing a post-grad year after graduating from Manchester Memorial this past spring, was a force on both sides of the football. He had 162 total yards and 1 TD on offense and 6 tackles on defense - and that was only in the first three quarters.

Hyde was all about 2 guys - Dwight and fellow RB Terry Norris (Springfield, MA). Both are big, bruising backs (both 220 lbs. or more) with good speed. But New Hampton was just a deeper team, with more skill guys and less guys playing both sides of the ball. And over the course of the game that was the difference.

There's no question that Hyde was the better team in the 1st half, led by the combination of Dwight and Norris. You simply cannot take either of them down with just one defender.

But the 3rd quarter is when the momentum changed. Hyde had the ball first in the 3rd quarter and was forced to punt. Then Collier took the hand-off and ran 69 yards for the touchdown. New Hampton was now re-energized and now trailed just 19-14 before three minutes had even gone off the clock in the 2nd half.

The Huskies kept the momentum going, and with 1:53 left in the 3rd quarter Murray ran in a 10 yard TD on a QB keeper. That gave New Hampton their first lead of the game, at 20-19.

Hyde was determined to not let this one slip away, though. The Phoenix reached into their bag of tricks, and in a rare occurrence Dwight checked in as a receiver and ran down field for a pass. He was open for a short screen pass initially, but QB Evander Lenardson (Bath, ME) was getting rushed and couldn't get a throw off. He was then able to scramble away from the pass rush, and as he did this Dwight adjusted his route and ran further down field. Dwight was still open, and Lenardson hit him for about a 25 yard completion. But like I said before you need more than one kid to bring Dwight down! So after making the catch he kept on running and breaking tackles, showing some elusive moves and unreal agility for a kid his size (245 lbs.). It ended up being a 51 yard reception for Dwight.

After that play it looked like the momentum was back on the Hyde sideline. They were now inside the New Hampton 30 yard line and were threatening to re-take the lead. But the New Hampton defense stepped up their game, which stalled the drive. After a sack by the Huskies for an 8 yard loss it was now 4th and 18 for Hyde on the New Hampton 30 yard line. This was a huge play, with Hyde still down by just 1 point. But Lenardson's pass fell incomplete, resulting in a turnover on downs.

New Hampton got the ball back, and now that the momentum was back on their side they marched all the way down the field, behind more strong running from Collier (236 yards rushing on the game) and blocking by Dean. Then it was Dean's turn to run the ball, and on his first carry of the game he broke right through the middle of the Hyde defense for a 25 yard touchdown. It was now 27-19 New Hampton with 10:09 left in the 4th quarter.

The Huskies would then add two more TDs in the 4th quarter for the 41-19 final. There's no question this game was a tale of two halves. New Hampton came out flat in the beginning and the combo of Dwight and Norris made them pay. But as the game went on the New Hampton play makers, most notably Collier but also Dean, Murray and WR Anthony Pate (Oakville, ON) made their presence felt.

Pate made a couple of big time catches in the 2nd quarter. One went for 50 yards and the other was a TD grab on the same drive from 10 yards out. After the TD catch he did a slam dunk with the football up over the goal post and was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty.

I know that this is against the rules but it is a silly rule. It's not like the kid was getting in a Hyde player's face and taunting them. He didn't do some elaborate touchdown celebration that went on forever. He dunked the ball over the goal post, it was done in three seconds and then he ran back to his sideline. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with a little emotion after a big play.

Okay, so back to Dwight, who also made a number of big plays in the 1st half. On back-to-back plays late in the 1st quarter he made a 17 yard reception followed by a 19 yard run. On both plays he overpowered defenders and made nice spin moves to get break tackles. He also did a nice job of blocking when it was Norris' turn to carry the rock.

Dwight also made his presence felt on defense. On back-to-back plays early in the 2nd quarter he batted down a pass and then delivered a hard hit to a ball carrier which forced a fumble. The fumble was recovered by Hyde, and on the ensuing Phoenix possession Dwight ran for a 42 yard touchdown. That put Hyde up 13-0 with 8:11 left in the 2nd quarter.

Another kid from NH who starts on both sides of the ball for Hyde is junior OL/LB Jack Howarth. Howarth is a physical, hard nosed player. He's undersized for a kid battling in the trenches (only 5'11" and 180 lbs.) but he makes up for it with toughness. He also played on special teams, so Howarth pretty much never comes off the field.

New Hampton meanwhile improves to 5-1 on the season. That's pretty good for a team that just graduated a kid who is now playing at Penn State (yeah, that Penn State) in Jake Kiley (Plymouth, NH).

For the Huskies, Miyachi had one of the biggest hits of the game for the Huskies. t came late in the 1st half on a kickoff return when he absolutely leveled a Hyde player. He's a tough cover corner who also had a couple of catches on offense.

In addition to football, Dwight is also one of the region's top recruits in wrestling. Whether he ends up doing football or wrestling in college, the chances are pretty good that he will be going to college for free on an athletic scholarship.

1 comment:

  1. NCAA only has 9.9 scholarships for wrestling but 10 weight classes. If he gets offers for wrestling it will be partial. Great 2 sport athlete nonetheless.