In a game everyone knew was going to be affected by the weather, the Newport Greyhounds, under second-year head coach Jeromy Poole, struck as quickly as the eventual rains in building a 14-0 first quarter lead on their way to a 28-14 weather shortened contest.
Newport scored on each of its first two offensive plays to build the early lead and played the Bulldogs even the rest of the first half before the game was stopped with just under two minutes remaining in the second quarter.
The Greyhounds had just recovered a Bald Knob fumble at the Newport 43-yard line when lightning, high winds and heavy rains made their to Greyhound Field.
As officials were ushering players toward shelter, the lights on the visitor’s side went out shortly before the home side stands were left dark as electricity went out throughout the area.
After waiting out a portion of the storm, representatives from both schools weighed their options before deciding to end the contest.
Newport improves to 2-0 on the season as they prepare for their final non-conference tune-up, a road game at Sylvan Hills this week.
The Greyhounds had taken the lead early in the first quarter as a Ramiro Macias sack on the first Bald Knob possession of the game killed momentum and stopped a Bulldog drive.
Following a touchback, quarterback Gunnar Bullard raced 80 yards untouched for a 6-0 lead on their first play from scrimmage. It marked the second consecutive week, the Hounds had scored on their first play of the game.
The two-point conversion was unsuccessful.
After the defense stopped Bald Knob on fourth down at the Newport 29-yard line, Bullard connected with Garrett Smith on a screen pass, which Smith turned into a 71-yard touchdown. Bullard added the two-point conversion for a 14-0 advantage.
Bald Knob recovered late in the first quarter as the Bulldogs engineered a nine-play, 58-yard drive culminating with a 2-yard touchdown run. A successful two-point conversion trimmed the lead to 14-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Following a Newport punt, junior Kristen Crite wrestled the momentum away from the Bulldogs with an interception at the Newport 43-yard line.
Bullard capped off a seven-play, 59-yard scoring drive when he connected with Marcus Neal for a 9-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was again no-good as Newport pushed their advantage to 20-8 with 7:35 to go in the first half.
Newport had a 57-yard touchdown run by Demetrius Nelson wiped out on the first play of that possession by a Greyhound penalty, although the offense overcame the mishap.
The Bulldogs answered the Newport score with a 26-yard touchdown run with 4:27 remaining to cut the lead to 20-14 after the unsuccessful two-point attempt.
Freshman running back Carl Turner added the game’s final score as he raced 60-yards for a score on the ensuing possession. Crite added the two-point conversion.
For Newport, who racked up 324 yards of total offense, Bullard led the way on the ground with 86 yards on three carries and a score. Turner added 70 yards and a touchdown on four carries. Crite had 32 yards on six totes while Shufon Alcorn had one carry for 21 yards.
Bullard was 3-6 passing for 115 yards and two scores with Smith leading the way with 71 yards and a touchdown. Crite had a 35-yard reception and Neal had one catch for 9 yards and a score.
Defensively, the Hounds limited Bald Knob to 226 yards as Stephen Neal once again led the way.
The senior linebacker had seven tackles and a sack followed by senior defensive end Divante Armstrong and sophomore linebacker Khiran Stafford with five tackles each. Stafford also had a sack for the Hounds.
Reid Johnson had four stops while Alcorn, Crite, Deondre Elston and Macias had three stops each. Macias also had a sack and recovered a fumble for the Hounds. McCabe Cordell had two stops and Tim Brown, Chris Grady, and Maurice Killingsworth had one tackle each.