Eagles fend off Mustangs, 21-7

Published 11:46 pm Friday, September 14, 2018

WEST ORANGE — In a clash of tradition-rich football titans, it was the defending Class 3A Division II state champion Newton Eagles that left Hooks Stadium with a 21-7 victory over the West Orange-Stark Mustangs Friday night.

The Eagles (3-0), who entered the game outscoring their first two opponents by a combined 127-14 found it tough going at times against a solid WO-S (1-2) defense, but came up with enough big plays at times to pull away.

Meanwhile, the Newton defense held the WO-S offense to 223 total yards, most of it coming late in the fourth quarter with the Eagles up 21-0.

Newton finished with 325 total yards.

Standout Eagle running back Darwin Barlow had 152 yards on 20 carries, including a 95-yard touchdown run.

Newton quarterback Josh Foster completed 10-of-21 passes for 101 yards and a pair of scores Receiver Tamauzia Brown hauled in six passes for 92 yards and two TDs.

Senior tailback Kavyn Cooper paced the WO-S offense with 103 yards on 19 carries.

Mustang starting quarterback Jerren Terrell completed 1-of-13 passes for six yards. Fellow quarterback Tyrone Wilson was 5-of-11 for 91 yards, 66 of them coming in the fourth quarter.

Taking advantage of a short field early in the third quarter, the Eagles went up 14-0. Starting at the Mustang 39, the Eagles scored in four plays as Foster connected with Brown on their second scoring toss of the night. Foster hit Brown along the left side, Brown shed one Mustang tackler and zipped to the end zone for the 30-yard score with 6:46 in the third.

The Mustangs put together a 13-play drive that ate up 68 yards with Cooper rushing for 43 yards on five carries on the march but the Eagles stuffed Terrell on a fourth-and-2 run on the last play of third quarter.

After holding Newton on downs, the Mustangs took over at the Eagle 27 but the Newton defense held and Mustang quarterback Tyrone Wilson was picked off in the end zone by Brown with 8:41 remaining.

Barlow then made the Mustangs pay as he ripped off a 95-yard touchdown gallop down the right sideline to make it 21-0 with 8:25 left.

Wilson engineered a nice five-play, 74-yard scoring drive for the Mustangs late in the game, completing three passes for 62 yards. Jay’zn Robinson hauled in two of them for 45 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown toss from Wilson with 2:24 remaining.

The Eagles went up 7-0 early in the second quarter, thanks to a big fluke play.

On first down from the Eagle 17, Foster hit receiver Brown for a 14-yard gain. As Brown tried to run with it, the ball flew out of his hands and Eagle back Kevin Watson was in the right spot as he caught the fumble in mid-air and zipped with it all the way down to the Mustang 30 for a 53-yard gain.

Facing a third-and-15 from the 20, Foster connected with Brown, this time along the right side. Brown broke free from a pair of Mustang tackles and zipped in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Kicker Caleb Colon booted the extra-point to give the Eagles a 7-0 edge with 9:17 left in the half.

Terrell was sacked and fumbled the ball to Newton’s Michael Clark at the Mustang 33 with 6:46 but the Eagles came away empty-handed.

Foster hit receiver Dominique Seastrunk for a 14-yard gain on a fourth-and-7 that got to the Mustang 7. The Mustang defense, however, held firm and Colon missed a 27-yard field goal attempt with 1:58 in the half.

Justin Sibley had a 29-yard punt return to the Eagle 40 with 10:56 in the first quarter but the Eagles held the Mustangs as a Terrell pass fell incomplete on fourth-and-9.

Barlow ripped off a 38-yard run late in the first quarter to the Mustang 25. The Eagles managed to get to the Mustang 11 before bogging down. The Eagles attempted a 28-yard field goal but there was a bad snap.

The Eagles outgained the Mustangs 172-51 in the first half. Foster completed 7-of-12 passes for 57 yards with Brown hauling in three for 48 yards. Barlow had 61 yards on 12 totes.

Cooper had 59 yards on 11 carries for the Mustangs while Terrell was 1-for-5 for six yards.

The Mustangs will have another stout test next week when they visit the Crosby Cougars. Crosby (2-0) had a bye this week after knocking off highly-touted Class 5A unit Manvel 49-47 on Sept. 7. The Eagles have a bye next week and will welcome 4A power Gilmer on Sept. 28.