PENNY HILL – Cameron Wright threw four touchdown passes, and the Mount Pleasant defense came up with some big stops they needed, as the Green Knights defeated Newark, 40-38, in one of the more entertaining high school football games of the weekend. The Green Knights overcame another extraordinary performance by Newark quarterback Makeevis Rogers, who ran for four scores and threw for another.
The weather fluctuated between cloudy and sunny, and likewise, despite the 78 total points, the defenses took turns with the offense in taking the spotlight.
Rogers found the end zone first, scoring on a 7-yard run to the first quarter. The Green Knights took advantage of great field position all afternoon, including on the answer to the Newark drive. Wright finished a scoring drive by hitting Dylan Raske with a short pass, and Raske scampered into the end zone. The Yellow Jackets held an 8-7 lead since they had added a two-point conversion, while Mount Pleasant went with the conventional extra point.
Mount did what it could to contain Rogers on the next drive, but Newark took advantage. The Green Knights were getting through the Yellow Jackets’ line, and on one of those plays, Rogers tossed a screen to Sa’Mier Coleman, who went untouched from 45 yards out to make it 16-7 with 7:09 left in the half. That was the first of five second-quarter touchdowns.
Marquis Bowman-Robinson returned the kickoff to the Jackets’ 19, with Coleman, the kicker, making a touchdown-saving tackle. Three plays later, Naim Dudley carried the ball off left tackle, and Mount cut the deficit to two.
Zm’Mi Kennedy gave the Green Knights the lead with the team’s second score in 29 seconds. He scooped up a fumble in a gaggle of bodies and ran it back about 47 yards.
That started the see-saw going that lasted into the fourth quarter. Rogers put the Yellow Jackets ahead, 24-21, with an 8-yard run with 1:40 left in the half, but Wright connected with Bowman-Robinson with just nine ticks remaining before intermission. Mount had a 28-24 lead at the break.
After a five-touchdown second, Newark had the lone score of the third. The Yellow Jackets took the lead, 30-28, late in the third, with Rogers taking it 21 yards down the left side. The two-point conversion was no good. Newark’s defense held Mount Pleasant off the board throughout the third, but the Knights got back to it offensively after falling behind. Wright capped a long drive with a 9-yard strike to Bowman-Robinson, and after they missed going for two, the Knights led, 34-30.
They added six more to that after their defense, in particular the interior linemen, held Newark on a third and four. On fourth down, a bad snap forced Coleman, the Yellow Jackets’ punter, to scramble, and he was tackled on the Newark 22. Wright capped the drive with a 6-yard strike to Raske, but the key play was a 17-yard catch and run by Stephen Clark on a third down that gave the Green Knights another set of downs. After another missed conversion, the Mount lead was 10.
Rogers’ fourth touchdown run of the afternoon, this one from 42 yards, and a successful two-point add-on, made it 50-38 with 5:19 remaining. But Mount picked up the yards it needed every time on the final possession, and they were able to burn off the rest of the clock.
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