The Reds improved to 4-0 with the win.
The Newark Reds rolled over the Midlakes Screaming Eagles Friday night, 33-6, as senior wide receiver Micah Wright ruined Midlakes' homecoming with two touchdown catches from senior quarterback Phil Tack and an electrifying 82-yard kickoff return that broke a second-quarter tie.
Newark (4-0) didn't wait long to get on the board after recovering a Midlakes (0-4) fumble early in the game, going to work and unleashing a three-play, 64-yard scoring drive that culminated in a touchdown pass by Tack to Wright with about 5:57 left in the first quarter.
It appeared that Newark would soon score again as the first quarter neared it's end, but a shocking tip-and-catch interception by Midlakes junior Sam Pierce was then returned deep into Newark territory, setting up a quarterback run by junior Jordan Miller as the second quarter began to make it 6-6, although the two-point conversion would fail.
The tied game would not be that way for long, however, as Wright got the ball on the kickoff, avoided two nearby Eagles and then juked and weaved his way to an 82-yard kickoff return touchdown, and then caught Tack's two-point conversion for good measure to make it 14-6.
“I just saw one guy was coming at me when I picked the ball up,” Wright said, “I made him miss, and my blockers took care of the rest.”
It was just the beginning of what would end up being a 27-point quarter for the Reds, as they dominated the Eagles in nearly every aspect of the game. To blink, it seemed, would be to miss a score by Newark: Newark blocked a Midlakes punt at 9:22, and then only 13 minutes later would score as Tack hit senior Nick Ross, followed by an extra-point. At 7:42, Miller was picked off by senior Jaymee Rosser, who brought it back for a touchdown, although the extra-point missed. And by the end of the half, Tack again hit up Wright, this time for 46 yards to make it 33-6 with 2:46 left, a score that would last into the half, and, ultimately, the end of the game.
“We scored offensively, we scored defensively, we scored on special teams with the kickoff return,” said Newark head coach Mike McGavisk, “So, I think some big plays early put us up.”
Perhaps inevitably, the second half of the game was slow by comparison, as both teams tried to establish running games but with neither able to find the end zone, with drives ending on downs or in turnovers on fumbles.
“We're a young team,” said Midlakes coach John Lombardi, “we're still trying to find our way, and unfortunately we didn't put four quarters together.”
“We played a solid second half,” he continued, “but in the first half we made some mistakes and we just couldn't rebound from that.”
“Give credit to Midlakes,” said McGavisk, “because the second half was a 0-0 game. They're tough kids and they played hard, and it was physical battle. I think it was a lot closer than the scoreboard showed today.”
Newark will return home to face East Rochester/Gananda (3-1) next week, while Midlakes will host Palmyra-Macedon (0-4).