MOROCCO — The North Newton Spartans welcomed the North Judson Blue Jays to Dick Gilbert Field on Friday Sept. 6. Coming off a loss against the Rensselaer Bombers, the team was ready to put the coach’s plans into action.
“Last week we struggled with penalties made through mistakes, with practice this week we concentrated on making better choices,” stated North Newton head coach Scott Rouch.
A turnover setup the opening score for the Spartans as Trevor Kolodziej would recover a fumble ,which helped ignite the North Newton offense.
The Spartans would finish off the drive as Austin Goddard faked a pass and ran the ball 5-yards for a touchdown. Elijah Duranleau booted the PAT to give North Newton a 7-0 lead with 26 seconds to go in the first quarter.
Another turnover would set up North Newton’s next score as a Bryce Shedrow interception was the key defensive play. Goddard connected with Vince Taylor on a 28-yard touchdown pass. North Newton made good on the PAT and went up 14-0 with 5:21 to go in the second quarter.
North Judson would soon march back down the field only to have Dylan Taylor intercept the ball and run for 8 yards just shy of the end zone. Senior Colin Wagner ran the ball in 1 yard for another Spartan touchdown with 2:39 to go in the second quarter giving the Spartans a 21-0 lead over the Blue Jays.
North Judson answered with a 76-yard kick return for a touchdown to get on the scoreboard.
Looking to add to their lead before halftime, North Newton’s Dylan Taylor made an incredible 24-yard catch mid-air, while avoiding Blue Jay defenders waiting to pick off the pass. The quarter wound down with a Blue Jay interception thrown by the Spartans. The first half ended with North Newton up 21-7.
The Spartans came out strong in the 3rd quarter with a 19 yard run back by Goddard. A 20-yard pass to Taylor, followed by a 23 yard run by Wagner resulted in multiple first downs. With 8:30 left in the 3rd quarter, Wagner ran the ball in 9-yards for a Spartan touchdown.
The Blue Jays scored a touchdown with 52.2 seconds to go in the quarter; however, the 2-point attempt was unsuccessful. The Blue Jays kicked off only to have it caught and returned all the way, 85 yards for the score by Goddard. At the end of the quarter, North Newton was up 35-13.
The last quarter of the night moved fairly quickly for both teams. The night would come with another touchdown by Wagner with 6:59 left to go in game. North Newton sent the PAT wide left of the goal post. The Spartan defense allowed a 3-yard touchdown that would bring the Blue Jays within 21 points late in the game. North Judson continued to attempt to put more points on the board; however, an attempted onside kick back fired. Senior Vince Taylor was on the receiving end of the North Judson onside kick. Quick thinking and strong hands allowed him to grab, secure the ball and run 60 yards for a Spartan touchdown with 1:52 left to go in the fourth quarter for the final score of North Newton 48, North Judson 20.
“We still need to gel a little better as a team; however, these guys played well. It took a little time to adjust the line but once we settled into the game, you could see the tempo change” stated Coach Rouch.
Last week the Spartans had 14 penalties for 100 yards and this week the Spartans only had 4 with a total cost of 25 yards.
“Our defense played hard all night long. Including getting multiple team tackles back-to-back, which sometimes resulted in getting or causing their offense to turn over the ball” stated Rouch. “I have to give North Judson credit. They never gave up, and fought hard all night, which in turn, caused our boys to play just as hard.”
The Spartans travel to KV on September 13.