Newport wins big over 'Cats

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NEWPORT - In a week of personal tragedy felt around the world, it was good for many Valley residents to get back to some normalcy, and that included a Mount Si football game. But last week's game was anything but normal, as the Newport Knights clobbered Mount Si 42-10.

The Wildcats had, the week before, looked defensively sound by holding Sammamish to 19 points. But this week something was different, and it was measured in touchdowns.

Mount Si scored first in the contest, looking impressive as passes to Brett Bergstrom from quarterback Byron Dill and runs by Patrick Carter moved the team deep into Newport territory.

Brandon Dollinter snagged a Dill pass at the 14-yard line for a first down, but the drive stagnated. Two incomplete passes and a quarterback keeper failed to get the 'Cats into the end zone, forcing a field goal by Bergstrom. With 6:55 left in the first quarter, the Wildcats had the lead 3-0.

Newport, running its famed wishbone and doing a good job of hiding the ball on hand-offs, moved into Mount Si territory on its ensuing drive. But at the Wildcat 35-yard line, the ball was knocked loose and Mount Si recovered. The drive stalled after four plays, forcing the 'Cats to punt.

The Knights quickly regained their composure and began moving the ball down the field using the option. The strategy appeared to confuse the Wildcat defense, allowing four and five yards per carry. Finally with 10:05 left in the second quarter, the Knights scored their first touchdown and with the point after went ahead 7-3.

On the following Newport kick, a Wildcat player tried to grab the ball, but it went out of bounds at the 2-yard line of Mount Si. Backed up against the goal line, Curtis Dorr tried to sweep right out of the end zone, but was swarmed by the Knights for the safety. With the two points tacked on, Newport held a 9-3 lead.

Soon the Knights were again knocking at the door on the Mount Si 1-yard line. With 8:32 left in the second quarter, Newport scored another touchdown. On the following two-point conversion, the Knights attempted a dive across the middle but were thwarted by the Wildcat defensive line.

The Wildcats mustered one of their better drives of the first half with only minutes left on the clock. Runs by Carter and passes to Bergstrom moved the ball down to the Newport 1-foot line with 29 seconds left on the clock. But just as it looked as though the Wildcats would score, Dill's pass was intercepted. The Knights let the clock run out and headed to the locker room with a 15-3 lead.

The second half continued with the Knights dominating the game offensively. After receiving a Wildcat kickoff, Newport powered into the end zone with 8:06 left in the third quarter. The point-after made it 22-3.

Mount Si would again move the ball well for several plays with passes to John Paul Likes and runs by Carter. But with 5:03 left in the third, Dill threw another interception, stopping the Wildcat drive. Then with 2:15 left in the third, a fake hand-off and subsequent pass to Nick Reese put the Knights in the end zone again, upping the score to 29-3.

Offensively the Wildcats had to make a change and that change came in the form of a 6-foot-3 sophomore Alex Smart. Smart, stepping in for Dill, helmed the team for the first time. His nervousness was obvious on the first throw as the ball sailed to an area free of Wildcats. But on the next play he connected with Bergstrom on a flat pass that managed a few yards.

The Knights took over on downs with 9:42 left in the game, and Newport scored again on its next possession. With the point after, the score was 36-3.

Even then the Wildcats weren't done, as Jonathan Gordon and Dollinter combined to move the ball into Newport territory, while Smart stayed in as quarterback. With 4:49 left on the clock, he connected with Dollinter in the end zone. The Bergstrom point-after kick was good, making the score 36-10.

But the scoring wasn't over. With 29 seconds left in the game and both teams substituting younger players, the Knights' Brandon Lewis broke a run open for a touchdown. The point-after kick was off-target, but the damage had been done.

The Wildcats will have the home-field advantage this Friday night as they take on the 1-1 Liberty, who last week beat Sammamish. Game time is 7:30 p.m., with the Kiwanis spaghetti feed starting at 5 p.m. in the high school commons.

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