NEWPORT — What began way back in 1897, continued on Saturday in the annual “Chamber Cup” game between these two rival schools as playoffs quickly approach.
“I’ve been looking forward to this game for such a long time. As a senior all I thought about was beating Stevens, I have some really good friends across the field but I just wanted to win today,” said Newport’s Josh Orlowski.
With both teams heading into today’s game with big wins from last week int their pockets, this was a statement game and the Tigers left no doubt that they are a force to reckon with in Division 4. Having manhandled previously undefeated Division 3 Monadnock last week and dropping a 7-6 game to Division 2 Lebanon earlier in the year, today’s game against Division 3 Stevens was the last tune-up before playoffs for Division 4 Newport.
Stevens stuffed the Tigers on a fourth down play early but that was one of the few highlights for the visiting Cardinals as Newport scored every way possible with speed and the size to play with anyone. The Cardinals couldn’t seem to do anything right and with every adjustments they made, there was an answer waiting for them from Newport. Tiger quarterback Marius Edwards trotted in from two yards out that capped a 68-yard drive that featured the running game of Jagger Lovely (18 yards), Josh Sharron (25 yards), Ryder Lovely (15 yards), and Edwards (8 yards) without a pass play for an 8-0 Tiger lead after the first quarter.
As the skies darkened and a cold north wind blew onto the field, the game changed quickly as Stevens was on the ropes. Jay Conroy picked off a Cardinal pass and nine plays later the Tigers led 16-0 after Edwards second TD run of the day. On the very next Stevens possession, a punt went terrible wrong as Sharron blocked the kick and the pigskin ended up in the hands of Chase Hamilton for a score and suddenly it was 24-0.
The bad news didn’t stop there for Stevens as Bryce Willey brought the crowd to its feet with a pick six on the next Cardinals possession.
“I have been watching film all week for this game and I actually had a dream I would score but to have an interception and run it in for a touchdown is just unreal,” said Willey after the game.
Not only was Newport clicking on both sides of the ball but the crazy extra point formation that places seven players wide left just kept paying dividends as the lead was 32-0 at the half.
Any thoughts the Cardinals had about climbing back into the game was answered quickly by Newport as they exploded into the end zone on only two plays to start the second half. J. Lovely ran for 33 yards and Edwards danced into the end zone for the third time with a 21-yard gallop after R. Lovely’s 27 yard kickoff return.
Luke Forrest would get the Cardinals on the scoreboard with Zack Bundy under center late in the second half and Newport’s Tyler Gordon would rumble 59 yards to close out the scoring on the day as the Tigers hoisted the Chamber Cup after a hand off from WCNL’s Steve Smith at midfield.
“This is the game we looked forward to all year, Stevens is our biggest rival and to walk off the field with a win just feels amazing,” Hamilton said.
As the Tigers huddled with their head coach, John Proper at midfield after the game, the talk about not being done and three more games was the chant before heading off the field.
“This was an all around great game, we played the best four quarters we have all year today and we’re looking to keep this momentum going forward,” Proper said.
“Nothing feel better,” said Hamilton after the game as he held the Chamber Cup, “nothing.”
Newport has outscored their opponents 199-37 on the season and stand at 4-1, (2-0 in D4).
Stevens drops to 1-3.