The Newport Knights football team’s never-say-die attitude was on display against the Skyline Spartans.
The Spartans may had registered a convincing 50-21 victory against the Knights on Sept. 21 at Newport High School in Factoria, but Newport battled valiantly for all four quarters. The Knights outscored the Spartans 21-14 in the final two quarters of regulation after falling behind 36-0 at halftime.
Skyline head coach Mat Taylor was impressed with Newport’s grit and resiliency.
“Newport really brings out the best in teams because you have to change what you do (to combat Newport’s ability to run the football) and really check your discipline to make sure you are in tune as a team,” Taylor said.
Newport sophomore quarterback Nirun Turner led his team’s offense for the entire duration of the game. Turner, who didn’t score any touchdowns, had multiple runs of 10 yards or more against Skyline’s defense. Nate Chang (29-yard touchdown run), Aiden Pickering (20-yard touchdown run) and Trey Wikstrom (2-yard touchdown run) each had one rushing score against Skyline.
Newport head coach Drew Oliver was impressed with Turner’s performance under center.
“Nirun was running the offense and doing really well and that was a bright spot for us, for sure. He is understanding and reading things really good,” Oliver said of the sophomore signal caller.
Skyline senior quarterback Joe Green accounted for five Skyline touchdowns (three passing touchdowns and two rushing scores) in the victory. Green connected with Spartans receiver Luke Rohleder on a 6-yard touchdown strike in the first quarter and on a picture perfect 24-yard touchdown pass over the middle of the field with 5:33 left in the first half, extending Skyline’s lead to 29-0 at that juncture of the game. Green scored on a 17-yard touchdown run, making multiple Newport defenders miss in the process, with 1:19 left in the first half and lengthening the lead to 36-0.
“Joe is a great quarterback. He found everyone who was getting open,” Rohleder said following the game.
Newport (1-3 overall) will face the Issaquah Eagles at 7 p.m. on Sept. 28 at Gary Moore Stadium in Issaquah.
“We were making some big gains between the 20s (20-yard line to 20-yard line) but we got to learn how to be able to finish drives. Yards aren’t what we are playing for, we are playing for points,” Oliver said of his team’s struggles against Skyline. “We got to clean ourselves up and get better ourselves. If we do that, the rest will take care of itself.”