The Newport Knights football team didn’t do anything fancy against the Interlake Saints in the season opener for both squads.
Newport had six rushing touchdowns en route to a convincing 42-7 victory against Interlake on Aug. 31 at Newport High School in Factoria. Knights senior running back Roman Morrison had two rushing touchdowns in the win. Morrison scored on a 3-yard touchdown scamper with 8:09 left in the second quarter, extending Newport’s lead to 28-7. Morrison busted loose for a 47-yard touchdown run with 10:15 left in the third quarter, giving Newport a 35-7 lead.
Morrison credited the offensive line for perfect blocking on the run.
“It was one of those plays where you are following the pulling tackle (Jackson Slater) so I just kept my hand on his back. I saw two guys (Interlake defenders) coming and I knew he could take them both. I just let him do it and I ran for the touchdown. It was amazing,” Morrison said.
Newport sophomore Nirun Turner displayed his skills in the season opener as well. Turner had a 12-yard touchdown run with 3:53 left in the first quarter. Turner scored the Knights final touchdown of the night on a 33-yard touchdown run with 7:51 left in the third quarter, building Newport’s lead to 42-7.
Morrison marveled at Turner’s performance following the game.
“He is a sophomore and he is starting on both sides of the ball. He has been a really helpful addition to the team and is a great player. He is going to do great throughout his high school years,” Morrison said.
Newport running back Aiden Pickering (49-yard touchdown run) and Nate Chang (4-yard touchdown run) scored in the first quarter as well. Newport head coach Drew Oliver was glad to see his team control the line of scrimmage in the home opener.
“That was the plan and that is what we do. It was good to see us be able to execute that,” Oliver said.
Interlake’s lone touchdown of the night occurred early in the second quarter. Saints’ quarterback Charlie Galanti hit Luke Hirsch on a 31-yard touchdown strike on a fade route down the left sideline. Galanti’s pass was perfectly placed where only Hirsch could catch it. The touchdown cut Newport’s lead to 21-7 with 11:23 left in the second quarter. The Knights defense didn’t allow a rushing touchdown throughout the duration of the contest. Interlake’s offense didn’t cross midfield until the second quarter.
“We were hungry. We were tired of playing against each other and were tired of all those practices,” Oliver said of his team’s defense.
The Knights will face the Bellevue Wolverines in a nonleague contest at 7 p.m. on Sept. 7 at Bellevue High School.
Morrison said the victory against Interlake gave his team a surge of momentum heading into the showdown against the always formidable Wolverines.
“I think it just really brought our team together and gave us a lot of confidence for next week (Bellevue). We are going to keep working hard and we are going to do our best,” Morrison said.
Oliver was glad to have the Interlake game as a barometer.
“We learned about ourselves tonight. We have a lot to clean up and a lot to learn from. That is definitely what it is all about,” Oliver said.