Carter, St. Mary's Take Down Newman to Stay Undefeated
Asante Carter and the St. Mary's Rams faced the Cardinal Newman Cardinals on Friday and beat the Cardinals 32-18 with Carter putting up 105 all purpose yards and 3 TDs. Newman had problems on special teams early, missing field goals and PATs and snapping the ball badly on punts which led to 2 safeties. St. Mary's established their offense early, scoring on their first possession with Carter running 61 yards of the 77 yard drive and completing the drive with a 1 yard rushing TD. After a bad snap on a punt attempt, St. Mary's led Newman 9-0 and marched down the field behind Carter, QB Samson Hunkin and WR Cayden Ward, scoring a TD on a Cayden Ward 6 yard TD reception. Ward finished the game with 4 catches for 60 yards and a TD. Carter ran up the middle for the 2 point conversion and made it 17-0 St. Mary's early in the 2nd Quarter. Newman had another bad snap and it trickeled to the back of the endzone where Patrick Gardener was taken down for a safety to make it 19-0 St. Mary's. Newman's defense held up for this drive and forced a missed 32 yard field goal from Matthew Kain who had seemed on point in warm-ups. Newman took advantage of this and QB Matthew Hilden put together a great drive that ended in a Zach Kelly 29 yard TD reception to put Newman on the board. Patrick Gardener came out and the snap and hold were good, but the PAT was blocked to hold Newman to only 6. Newman's defense held St. Mary's, strip sacking Samson Hunkin to end the half with St. Mary's up 19-6.
Newman's defense held Carter, Hunkin and the Rams offense to a punt on the opening drive in the 3rd Quarter and the Newman offense took advantage of this. RB Kaize Steverson led the Newman offense down the field, rushing for a 64 yard gain and catching a 6 yard pass from Hilden for a TD to put Newman back in the game, down 19-12. The Newman offense stayed on for a 2 point conversion, but the pass rush got to Hilden and he was sacked while trying to escape the pocket to keep Newman from getting the 2 point conversion. The Rams responded fast with a 73 yard completion from Hunkin to ATH Naseri Danielson who has 5 Division 1 offers and had 2 catches for 85 yards in the game. Asante Carter then took it in a play later to put St. Mary's up 26-12 after the PAT was made by Kain. Newman was held to a 3 and out and had another bad snap that rolled into the end zone which Gardener tried to punt but he was hit on the punt, causing flags to fly and giving Newman the first down. Newman took advantage and drove the field with Hilden hitting Kelly for 19 yards, but Hilden was sacked twice, forcing Newman to punt. Samson Hunkin took over and led the Rams down the field to the Newman 15 yard line where Asante Carter ran in a 15 yard TD to put St. Mary's up 32-12 and silence the once loud Newman student section. Kain missed the PAT and Hilden led Newman's offense out with the objective to score fast. He put together a 16 play, 73 yard drive that ended in an 11 yard TD reception by Zach Homan to bring Newman within 14. Newman kept the offense out on the field but Hilden's pass was incomplete keeping Newman down 32-18. Newman's defense made another stop when Jasper Kemp picked off Hunkin on the Newman 26 and the Newman offense took over. Hilden linked up with Zach Kelly and Jonah Bertoli to take Newman down to the Rams 28 yard line, but an illegal formation penalty pushed Newman back and after an incomplete pass, Newman was on 4th and 21. Hilden passed the ball to Nicholas Ayre who shook a few defenders but was eventually taken down by St. Mary's defenders. Hunkin fired a 12 yard dart to Carter and kneeled the game out to win 32-18.
Asante Carter had 3 TDs and led the Rams along with Hunkin who was 10 for 15 for 200 yards, a TD and a pick. Hunkin also had 7 carries for 40 yards, but it wasn't just the Rams offense. The Rams defense brought consistent pressure on the Newman offense, sacking Hilden 6 times and generating 8 TFL which held back the Newman run game. The sacks went for a combined 40 yard loss. Omari Gayles led the defense with 11 tackles (9 solo) and Lucas Healy led the defense in TFL with 9 tackles and 3 TFL. The Rams will face Lodi away on Friday, and then go onto face De La Salle at home on October 7th. Here is what Asante Carter had to say about how he felt heading into league:
"I feel great. We've been practicing, we've been becoming more together as a team. Next week will definitely be a challenge, you know Lodi is not a joke, but this is my first week back, I've been off with an injury. I'm feeling great this week, looking forward to keep playing."
The Cardinals were led by Matt Hilden who was 22 for 39 for 246 yards and 3 TDs. Zach Kelly had 7 catches for 143 yards and a TD, Zach Homan had 4 receptions for 34 yards and a TD and Kaize Steverson had 5 catches for 30 yards and a TD. Steverson also had 17 carries for 97 yards and led the defense with 5 tackles. Jimmy McKenzie also led the defense with 5 tackles. The Rams offensive line was strong, but Newman had one sack which was the strip sack by Logan Rodriguez. Even though Newman had problems with snap on special teams, Patrick Gardener performed very well on kickoffs with 6 kickoffs for 249 yards, an average of 41.5 yards a kickoff. The Cardinals are the first team this year to hold St. Mary's to under 35 points and to finish the game at a 2 score deficit. The Cardinals look a lot better in this loss than a lot of other teams that have faced the Rams. They will face Montgomery in their homecoming game on October 7th.
Matt Hilden on what Newman will do to prepare for Monty:
"We're just gonna work on what we need to get better on and watch film. We just got to work on our protection and just got to finish games"
Kaize Steverson on his performance:
"I think I did pretty good. I think I could've done better to help the team win"
Steverson on the what Newman needs to do heading into Monty:
Zach Kelly on Newman's overall team performance:
"I didn't think we played up to our potential. We went into this week's practice flat, soft, not ready to win and we're going to fix that up and step it up the next couple weeks."