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Newport scores three touchdowns in fourth quarter to get past Lloyd, 19-13, in Class 2A district game

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

It took a while for the offense to start clicking, but Newport scored three times in the fourth quarter to get past Lloyd, 19-13, in a Class 2A district game on Friday in Erlanger.

The Wildcats scored the winning touchdown on a fourth-down pass play with less than a minute left on the clock. Senior wide receiver Simon Keating made a leaping catch over a Lloyd defender and trotted into the end zone on the 48-yard strike.

Newport wide receiver Simon Keating makes a leaping catch over Lloyd defender Jacob Davidson on the game-winning touchdown play. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

Lloyd wasn’t able to get a first down on its last possession and Newport ran out the remaining seconds on the clock to post a victory in the first district game of the season for both teams.

It was the second straight win for the Wildcats (3-2) and the first loss of the season for the Juggernauts (2-1), who got off to a late start due to pandemic precautions.

In the fourth quarter, Newport picked up 102 of its 203 total yards with the winning touchdown pass from junior quarterback Ethan Jefferson to Keating accounting for nearly half of it.

MyKell King scored the Wildcats’ first two touchdowns on a 60-yard punt return and 3-yard cutback run into the end zone during the first five minutes of the fourth quarter.

Lloyd tied the score, 13-13, on a 7-yard touchdown run by junior running back Ethan Spaulding with 3:15 remaining, but the extra-point kick was blocked.  

The Juggernauts finished with 247 total yards (201 rushing, 46 passing), but they turned the ball over three times. Spaulding picked up 116 yards on 17 carries and scored both of his team’s touchdowns.

Jefferson accounted for most of Newport’s offense by completing 12 of 17 passes for 187 yards. Keating had six catches for 129 yards. Jefferson also intercepted a pass on defense and returned it 32 yards. King had the team’s other pass interception.

Newport quarterback Ethan Jefferson passed for 187 of his team’s 203 total yards. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

After a scoreless first quarter, Lloyd took a 7-0 lead on a 7-yard rushing touchdown by Spaulding and extra-point kick by freshman Elijah Westwood with a little over seven minutes left in the second quarter.

The score remained 7-0 at the end of first half. At that point, Lloyd had a 124-62 advantage in net yardage. The Juggernauts had 95 yards passing and 28 rushing while the Wildcats had just 45 yards rushing and 17 passing.

After neither team scored in the third quarter, Newport outgained Lloyd, 102-86, in the final quarter to come away with the victory over its district rival.

Last year, Lloyd won the regular-season game between the two teams, 26-7, and Newport came out on top, 28-16, in the opening round of the post-season playoffs.

Both teams will face district opponents once again next Friday when Newport hosts Holy Cross and Lloyd goes to Beechwood, the defending district champion that made it to the semifinal round in last year’s Class 2A state playoffs.

Last week, Beechwood (3-2) was ranked No. 5 in Class 2A in the Associated Press statewide poll. None of the other local teams in that class received enough votes to make the top 10 list.

Lloyd running back Ethan Spaulding tries to break a tackle on one of his 17 carries. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

NEWPORT   0  0   0  19 – 19
LLOYD          0  7   0   6 – 13
L – Spaulding 7 run (Westwood kick)
N – King 60 punt return (Maxwell kick)
N – King 3 run (kick failed)
L – Spaulding 7 run (kick blocked)
N – Keating 48 pass from Jefferson (kick blocked)
Records: Newport 3-2, Lloyd 1-2. 

Newport Central Catholic 59, Ludlow 21
Beechwood 48, Holy Cross 6
Dayton 22, Bellevue 13
Holmes 26, Boyd County 15
Conner 27, Cooper 20
Highlands 43, Boone County 0
Walton-Verona 47, Owen County 8
Ryle 21, Campbell County 7
West Jessamine 62, Scott 23
Brossart 34, Bracken County 6

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