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Newtown High School’s football team never trailed but had to fend off a competitive Stratford squad all night long, holding on for a 28-20 win at Blue & Gold Stadium, on October 27.
Stratford’s stubborn defense forced Newtown to convert a trio of third down conversions on its first scoring drive, capped by a Matt Dubios two yard scoring run on third and goal.
The Red Devils trailed 7-0 after one quarter of play but evened the score, against Newtown’s also hard-working defense, on the first play of the second quarter. Quarterback Jack Ryan connected with Jasen Docteur on a 14 yard passing play on fourth and five.
Newtown marched down the Stratford five yard line, but the Red Devil defenders dug their heels in and made a stand, forcing a turnover on downs as Shea Talbot went up high and got his hands on a pass from quarterback Ryan Kost, but couldn’t haul in the touchdown despite a valiant effort in the back right corner of the end zone.
Back-to-back quarterback sacks helped the Hawks force a punt. James Knox had the first tackle of the QB in the backfield, and Ryan Williams followed with a quarterback sack of his own, aided by the pressure of Jared Dunn and Joe Zeller.
The Stratford kick was a short one and took a series of backspin bounces, making for a net punt of nine yards, and giving Kost and company a short field with which to work, starting at the Newtown 43, with 2:49 left in the half.
The Hawks again moved to the ball to the Stratford five but, this time, cashed in on third and goal with Jack Miller weaving his way into the end zone, making it a 14-7 game with 25 seconds remaining in the half. Kost threw to Miller down the left sideline for a 34-yard passing play to set up the go-ahead score.
In the third, the Nighthawks went up two touchdowns on Kost’s quarterback keeper.
Stratford answered early in the fourth, only to see the Hawks score the next TD, on another five-yard Miller run, for a 28-14 lead.
The Red Devils cut the deficit to eight with three minutes to play; Newtown’s Riley Ward blocked the extra point attempt.
Stratford attempted an onside kick, but the Hawks recovered and sealed the win.
Newtown’s Griffin Cross had several solid carries to help move the chains.
The Hawks are home again next Friday, November 3, when New Milford visits at 7 pm.