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MICAH WRIGHT's brilliant, one-handed interception of a pass intended for Trey Pascazi in the ER/Gananda end zone turned out to be the play of the game Friday night when Newark held back the Bombers, 25-13.


   NEWARK (Sep 9 11) – The Reds were on their heels.
   The game with East Rochester/Gananda was in its second quarter, but Newark coach Mike McGavisk was already worried.
   “It’s just that these are always tight games with ER,” he said. “Last year it went to double overtime and two years ago the difference was one point. These are always tough games.”
CHRIS FOLU-MONTES on a long punt return for ER/G
   Newark’s coaches were devoting their full attention to the issue at hand. The Reds had engineered a long drive to tie the game, 6-6, and had stonewalled the Bombers after the kickoff. Now ERG was punting, and things looked to improve, except that Nelson Betance came up on the punt return a little late and dropped the ball.

   ERG set up shop on the Newark 21-yard line with 2:31 left in the first half. A false-start penalty moved the Bombers back five yards, then quarterback Collin Dotterer sent ace receiver Trey Pascazi down the left sideline and floated a perfect ball to him in the end zone.
   Pascazi made a graceful play for the ball – and the touchdown – but Newark defender Micah Wright made an even better move, doing a half-twist in the air and grabbing the ball out of the humid night sky – with one hand. Wright fell into the end zone with the ball fully tucked away.
   “That interception hurt us. It was a key to the game,” said ER/Gananda coach Dennis Greco.
   In their first drive of the second half, the Bombers once again tried to connect with Pascazi on a long ball. Again, Wright was there, making his second interception of the game. 
   “We wanted to score on our first drive in the second half,” Greco said. “Those interceptions hurt us.”
   ER/Gananda got on the board first, David Raskopf scoring from five yards out, capping a seven-play, 64-yard march that made it look like it would be a long night for the Reds, who were still smarting from the thrashing Wayne delivered in the first game of the season last weekend.
PHIL TACK carries the ball for Newark in the second half against East Rochester/Gananda
   It wasn’t until there was just 3:14 left in the half that Newark was able to answer, sophomore quarterback Phil Tack patiently guiding his squad 61 yards in 11 plays, taking the ball into the end zone himself. That made things 6-6.
   After Micah Wright stopped the first Gananda drive in the second half, he was given the opportunity to do something on offense. With 4:46 left in the third quarter, Tack wanted to throw the ball to the right side. When all his receivers were covered, he scampered left and lofted a pass to Wright, who scored from 13 yards out to give the Reds their first lead, 12-6.
   Three minutes later, Josh Williams, who seemed to own the middle of the field, came down with a 49-yard touchdown pass by outleaping a convention of Bomber defenders, and Newark had an 18-6 lead.
   And three minutes after that, Jake Shear, who to this point had run six times for a total of nine yards, went zooming around left end and motored like the County Sligo banshees were chasing him down the sideline for a pretty, 68-yard touchdown run. He added a little spice to his evening’s work by kicking the extra point, and Newark was up, 25-6.
A host of Bomber tacklers bring Newark's Nelson Betances down
   The Bombers put together one last, long drive, covering 42 yards in eight plays, with Tyler Roessel doing the honors from the half-yard line. Nick Castelli’s kick was the last point of the night, 25-13.
   “We really bogged down,” said Greco, noting that his kids seemed to start quick and then lose their way. “We’ve had a problem with consistency. We wanted to establish the run and we couldn’t do it. Our defense played well and kept us in the game. Newark got a couple of big plays, and that was it.”
   Ian Palmer had a big night for ER/Gananda, catching 10 passes, for 101 yards. Roessel led the rushers with nine carries, good for 23 yards and a touchdown.
   For Newark, the night was a class in Football 101 for sophomore quarterback Phil Tack, who ran 15 times for 76 yards and a touchdown, and threw for 193 yards and two touchdowns.
   “A lot of people stepped up for us tonight,” said McGavisk. “We have a sophomore quarterback, and he stepped up. He had a tall task tonight. Micah Wright had a tall task guarding Pascazi, and he made two big interceptions.
    “We were winning the battle statistically in the first half (153 yards to 65 yards), but the score was still 6-6 at halftime. ER was executive very well down the field, but finally we stopped them when we had to.”
   He said the loss to Wayne, where the Reds were throttled, had the coaching staff concerned about how the team would respond. But the Newark defense stretched...it didn’t break, Williams had a huge night (four catches, 134 yards, a TD), Wright made two picks and caught a touchdown himself, “and Phil Tack did a better job of seeing the field. He’s just starting to come of age. He needs the experience. We’re happy with the win.”
   The Reds (1-1) take on Pal-Mac next week.
Newark Cheerleaders

Newark 25, East Rochester/Gananda 13
ER/Gananda            6            0            0            7            =            13
Newark                    0            6          12            7            =            25

First Quarter
ERG – Raspopf 5 run (Castelli kick wide left) 7:39
Second Quarter
NEW – Tack 1 dive (Shear kick wide right) 3:14
Third Quarter
NEW – Wright 4 pass from Tack (Tack run fails) 4:46
NEW – Williams 49 pass from Tack (Tack run fails) 0:00
Fourth Quarter
NEW – Shear 68 run (Shear kick) 8:73
ERG – Roessel 1 run (Castelli kick) 4:47

                                    ERG                        NEW
First Downs                        12                        13
Rushes-Yds                        19-(-5)                        51-174
Passing Yds                        175                        193
Return Yds                        145                        31
Comp-Att                        18-37-2            10-18-193
Sacked-Yds Lost            2-9                        0-0
Punts/Avg                        3-39                        6-43
Fumbles/Lost                        0-0                        3-2
Penalties/Yds                        5-23                        4-7

Individual Stats
RUSHING – ERG – Tyler Roessel 9-23 TD, David
Raskopf 1-5 TD, Chris Folu-Montes 1-5, Jeff Jackson
3-0, Collin Dotterer – 5-(-38). NEW – Jake Shear
4-80 TD, Phil Tack – 15-76 TD, David Milliman
1-14, Nelson Betances 10-4, Anthony Ross 5-0

PASSING – ERG – Dotterer 18-37-2-180 TD.
NEW – Tack 10-18-193 2TD

RECEIVING – ERG – Ian Palmer 10-101, Trey
Pascazi 4-41, Andrew Fischer 4-38. NEW – Josh
Williams 4-134 TD, Wright 3-35 YD, Shear 1-16,
Ross 2-8.

RETURNS – ERG – Folu-Montes 6-125, Raskopf 2-25
NEW – Shear 2-28, Betances 3-0, Jayce Cruz 1-0.


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