MILLTOWN — Saint Mark’s football team scored 89 seconds into its game on Sept. 24 against Newark, and the Spartans never looked back in a 34-6 win.
The Spartans, coming off a tough loss to Woodbridge last week, received the opening kickoff and went right to work. Facing a second down ant eight from the Yellow Jackets’ 48, quarterback Chase Patalano hit Jack Burns over the middle. By the time he was dragged down, Burns was at the 2. Donovan Artis finished the drive with a short touchdown.
The Jackets started their drive at their own 20, but on third down, Saint Mark’s Wes Millman intercepted a pass and returned it to the Newark 10. Tahj Johnson needed just one play to score, taking a pitch around the left side with 9:12 to go in the first.
Again, the Yellow Jackets began their drive at the 20, but this time, they marched down the field. Three times, quarterback Damian Wright completed passes on third down to keep the drive alive, with the last one getting his team a first down at the Spartans’ 28. From there, Markee Ellerbe ran around the right end and scored. The extra point was no good, and Saint Mark’s held a 14-6 lead with just 1:37 left in the quarter.
The Spartans added to their lead in the middle of the second. After pinning Newark deep in its own territory with a punt, the Spartans’ defense forced a Jackets punt from the back of the end zone. The result was possession at the Newark 37. Artis ran for two yards, and Matt Hanich carried for another 21 on two carries. On second down from the 14, Patalano found Jabri White open in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
The Spartans helped seal the win with a quick strike just before halftime. After forcing the Yellow Jackets to go three and out on their possession, they got the ball back at their own 49 with 40 seconds left. Patalano and Burns connected again, this time on a short pass, with Burns spinning out of a tackle and down the right sideline for a score with just eight seconds to go before intermission.
Artis completed the scoring with a 27-yard run in the third quarter.
Saint Mark’s improved to 3-1 and will host Conrad next Friday at 7 p.m. The Yellow Jackets (1-2) head back home on Oct. 2 to host Delcastle for an 11 a.m. kickoff.