Newark Catholic used a balanced offense led by quarterback Chayce Crouch and a sturdy defense to defeat visiting Watkins Memorial 34-14 in an LCL crossover game Sept. 27 at White Field.
Crouch, an Illinois recruit who finished with 92 yards rushing on 14 carries, made all the big plays in the contest for the Green Wave, who improved to 4-1 overall while Watkins Memorial fell to 3-2.
After the Warriors had scored 14 consecutive points to pull within 20-14, Newark Catholic faced a third-and-10 from its own 36-yard line late in the third quarter. Crouch dropped back and couldn’t find a receiver but scrambled for a 22-yard gain. He broke two tackles and stayed on his feet near the sideline to extend the play.
Two plays later, Anthony Wing skirted around left end for a 29-yard touchdown run.
“That was the play of the game without a doubt,” Newark Catholic coach Bill Franks said. “Chayce is a third-year starter who shows poise and isn’t rattled by much. He’s a big kid who’s tough to bring down once he gets going. He didn’t find anyone open and took it upon himself to get the first down.”
The quick offensive response was followed by a three-and-out by the Warriors, and Newark Catholic sealed the victory when Wes Jurden capped a seven-play, 57-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown run up the middle.
Jurden ran for 90 yards on 11 carries, many coming when Crouch called an audible at the line of scrimmage.
“They give me the freedom to check into any play I want this year,” Crouch said. “The offensive line was doing great and it was just a matter of reading the defense to see what it was giving us. Wes Jurden is a sophomore who really came into his own tonight. He ran hard and knew where to be when I called audibles.”
The Green Wave led 20-0 at halftime, scoring 13 points in a 23-second span. Crouch’s 1-yard run made it 14-0, but Hunter Holton busted loose on the kickoff return. Crouch made a saving tackle and also forced a fumble that the Green Wave recovered.
Receiver Hunter Nance faked a reverse and threw a 45-yard scoring pass to Aaron Jurden on the next play to make it 20-0.
Wing had 75 yards on 17 carries for Newark Catholic.
NC – Wing 5 run (Bell kick)
NC – Crouch 1 run (Bell kick)
NC – A. Jurden 45 pass from Nance (kick failed)
WM – Hall 1 run (Lyon kick)
WM – Holton 6 pass from Shroyer (Lyon kick)
NC – Wing 29 run (Bell kick)
NC – W. Jurden 9 run (Bell kick)