Slow start doesn’t faze Maize
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MAIZE Maize opened the 2013 season by taking a quick punch to the gut. The way the Eagles responded made the difference in a 42-22 win over visiting Newton.
After handing the ball off on the first two plays of the game, Newton quarterback Braedon Morrison kept the ball on the next snap and scrambled 59 yards for an 8-0 lead just 62 seconds into the game.
But Maize recovered quickly and answered with a balanced offensive attack, scoring three different ways on its next three possessions to take the game over.
“I was very pleased with the way they responded,” Maize head coach Gary Guzman said of his team. “Obviously when you get down 8-0 right away it makes you a little nervous. We had to settle down a little bit and just figure out what they were doing offensively to us and make the adjustments.”
Once the Eagles gained possession they quickly made up for the slow start. Senior tailback Chase White topped 100 yards rushing in the first half on his ninth carry and — despite only one rush in the second half — finished the night with 183 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries.
“He’s very good. He’s a great leader, a great captain,” Maize’s Kendall Stewart said. “He’s always encouraging people and making sure we’re doing our job and helping out the team any way he can.”
Stewart scored twice on the two longest touchdowns of the night. He hauled in a 79-yard pass in the first half and returned a kickoff 88 yards in the second half.
“I think after this our expectations (for the rest of the season) went up just a little bit,” Stewart said.
Though the Maize defense surrendered the early touchdown, it shutout Newton the rest of the first half. Senior linebacker Garrett Thompson twice broke through the line for key fourth-down stops that kept the momentum with the home team.
Newton drove inside the 10 late in the first quarter, but Thompson stuffed running back Seth Hill for a two-yard loss on fourth-and-goal.
Maize's offense took advantage immediately when Stewart snuck behind the Maize secondary on the next play and turned a pass from quarterback Connor Lungwitz into a 79-yard score.
Thompson again came through with a big defensive stand late in the second quarter. Newton’s attempt at a conversion on fourth-and-2 fell apart when quarterback Jack Kingsley was sacked by Thompson for a five-yard loss.
“Our defense also responded after that first score,” Guzman said. “We had several players on the defensive side that I thought came up big for us, and Garrett Thompson was definitely one of them.”
Maize put the game out of reach for good when White rushed 65 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the third quarter. Newton manufactured a 10-play, 62-yard scoring drive on the next possession, but the 20-point deficit was too much to overcome for a new-look offense under first-year coach Nate Wollenberg.
“This is new to us. We’re learning, the players are learning,” Wollenberg said. “This is an offense that has some nuances to it that we running our (starters) against our (backups), it isn’t going to be the same as the speed that Maize had.”
Maize 42, Newton 22
N – Braedon Morrison 59 run (Seth Hill 3 run), 10:58
M – Chase White 5 run (Connor Lungwitz incomplete), 10:00
M – Ezekiel Welch 78 punt return (Alan Sanchez kick), 7:54
M – Kendall Stewart 79 pass from Lungwitz (Sanchez kick), 2:20
M – White 3 run (Sanchez kick), 5:51
M – White 65 run (Kaven Jobe 3 pass from Lungwitz), 11:46
N – Jack Kingsley 1 run (Kendall Gaeddert kick), 5:49
M – Stewart 88 kick return (Sanchez kick), 5:35
N – Kingsley 3 run (Gaeddert kick), 4:13
Rushing — Newton, Seth Hill 22-70, Braedon Morrison 14-121-1, Jack Kingsley 13-38-2, Jared Langley 1-12, Bradley Million 7-56. Maize, Chase White 12-183-3, Aaron Chansombath 7-32, Kyler Helm 1-(-5), Connor Lungwitz 2-(-4).
Passing — Newton, Braedon Morrison 5-12 73, Jack Kingsley 1-1 7. Maize, Connor Lungwitz 8-15-1 106.
Receiving — Newton, Matthew Willis 1-45, Cory Martens 1-14, Jared Langley 1-11, Zachary Gaede 1-0, Austin Gronau 2-10. Maize, Kendall Stewart 4-94-1, Kaven Jobe 2-11, Tevin Davis 1-5.