Tigers play lights out football, literally
Forty-five minutes after the originally scheduled kickoff between Newberg and Summit, the prospects of playing a football game looked grim. The power was out all over parts of eastern Newberg, including at Newberg High School and Loran Douglas Field.
Then, moments before the game was about to be cancelled by school administrators, the lights flickered on. Cheers rained down from a restless crowd of students — all dressed for the neon theme — and late night football beckoned.
The Tigers (2-1) took advantage of six turnovers by the opposition to beat Summit 41-0. With the loss, the Storm rides back on the bus to Bend at 0-3 on the season.
After junior safety Armen Tarakhchyan intercepted Summit quarterback Hank Tobias on the opening drive, Newberg marched down the field and opened the scoring midway through the first quarter. Senior running back Justin Holtan ran it in from eight yards out to make it 6-0 Newberg before a failed two-point conversion.
Tobias fumbled the ball on the opening play of Summit's next drive and it was recovered by Newberg. A few plays later, Holtan was in the end zone again — this time on a six-yard run. The Tigers tacked on a two-pointer to make it 14-0 Newberg through one quarter — the end of the frame coming after an interception by Tiger senior Dwayne Buck.
Summit's offensive woes continued in the second quarter. After a litany of defensive penalties by Newberg brought Summit inside the Tiger 30, the Storm backed themselves up behind midfield with penalties and botched runs. In the process, Newberg lost senior Jared LaPointe to a targeting ejection, but it won the defensive battle.
Late in the second frame, Newberg scored on a 19-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Levi Durrell to junior wideout Owen Hawley, who was uncovered in the corner of the end zone. It was 21-0 Tigers at the half.
Newberg reached paydirt again midway through the third quarter. A six-yard run by sophomore Price Pothier made it 27-0 Tigers before a blocked extra point.
One elapsed minute later, Summit had itself backed up near its own end zone and fumbled the ball on a handoff. It was recovered by Newberg senior Harrison Hess for a touchdown to bring the score to 34-0 Tigers through three quarters.
Maybe the most exciting play of the night came early in the fourth quarter when Newberg senior Johnathan McGraw ran back an interception roughly 50 yards for a touchdown, electrifying the remaining students in the stands and his teammates on the sidelines. His would be the final score of the game as Newberg rolled to 41-0, but he wasn't done yet.
McGraw got another interception with about a minute left for the Newberg defense's sixth takeaway of the game. That set up the final drive, where the Tigers mercifully ran out the clock on a long night.
Next up for Newberg is a road game at Canby (0-3), which is coming off a 51-27 loss to Tigard. The Tigers' next home game is Oct. 4 against Reynolds.
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