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Local

Comets get back on track against the Tigers

After what coach Mike
Papoccia deemed a farce in a 21-9 season-opening loss to Rockridge, the Comets showed Princeton what Newman football was really about.

The Comets scored six times in the first half and thrice more in the second en route to a resounding 61-7 victory over the hosting Tigers at Bryant Field.

The Comets racked up 328 yard rushing, including 134 yards on 10 carries by Jake Snow. Newman did not commit a single penalty, and was so dominant on offense that it had no need to punt.

Papoccia addressed his team at midfield and told them if they were satisfied with the win Friday, it would be all over.

“As soon as you’re satisfied, you’re done for,” said Papoccia,
a veteran of 34 football seasons with four state championships at Newman. “We’ve got to continue to improve. We’ve got some really good teams yet to play. Of course, we’ve got to pay better.

“We played pretty well tonight, but we’ve got to play better. But for now, the improvement from last week to this week is night and day. We’re happy, but we’re not satisfied.”

Snow was all over Bryant Field for touchdowns on Newman’s opening three possessions of the game on carries of 2, 2 and 14 to give the Comets a 21-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Elliot Jensen tacked on two scores of his own, and Shayne Allen caught a 15-yard TD from A.J. Sharp with 19 seconds left in the half to give the Comets a 40-7 hafltime bulge.

“We played with more
passion, a lot more passion,” Papoccia said. “Every block and tackle last week was a farce, I would say. The kids are the ones to commend here. They came out and didn’t hesitate. They could have said, ‘Oh gosh, we’re going to play like last week,’ or second thoughts like that, but they didn’t. They came out and played very hard. I’m proud of them.”

Mike Ely’s 7-yard run with 10:32 to play in the third quarter put the running clock into effect for the rest of the second half.

Senior J.J. Vaccaro, who did not play as a junior, was a bright spot on offense for the Tigers. He snagged a 38-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Jake Reinhardt, setting up his own 2-yard score two plays later at the 1:47 mark of the second quarter.

“He’s a good kid. Works hard, very athletic. Played really well for us tonight,” Princeton coach Jesse Snyder said.

While the Tigers’ rushing attack was limited to 37 yards on 24 attempts, Snyder saw some positives with their passing game. Reinhardt drew the starting assignment at quarterback Friday, completing 11 of 25 attempts for 89 yards.

“We threw the ball well,” he said. “We’ve got to make adjustments up front with our protection. Got to make sure we’re calling out our blocking assignments.”

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