Newbury Park football deliver full game atop St. Joseph – Daily News
Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now.
NEWBURY PARK – The Newbury Park football team faced their toughest test of the season on Friday night – an unbeaten opponent, an early deficit and yes, a wet and slippery pitch.
The Panthers may not have passed the test, but they still did, beating St. Joseph 31-21 to move to 4-0 on the season.
“You don’t know how good you are until you play against a great team and they’re a great team,” Newbury Park head coach Joe Smigiel said. “We took up the challenge and we did it as a group, that’s the main thing.”
The offense, led by quarterback Brady Smigiel and receivers Charlie Simmons and Shane Rosenthal, was powerful and efficient.
The defense, led by a pass rush, rocked St. Joseph quarterback Darian Mensah all game.
Linebackers kept Mensah in check whenever he decided to take off, and defensive backs gave the Knights receivers little room to operate.
“We’re finally getting the respect we deserve,” defensive end Beau Purvis said. “Our coaching staff has taken us to the next level. We’ve been good, but they’re really trying to squeeze everything out of us, down to the smallest detail. They push us to be great.
The Panthers’ resilience was tested after falling 7-0 early, giving up a 53-yard touchdown run to Aaron Fierro. They tied up after that initial score, holding the Knights the remainder of the first half.
The offense began to cook, with Smigiel finding two different receivers for touchdowns. Simmons finished with nine catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Rosenthal added eight receptions for 53 yards. Cade Falsken also caught a touchdown.
Smigiel completed 27 passes on 38 attempts for 310 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and he also scored on a 5-yard run.
“I think we really came together as a team. We overcame the conditions, came together and got the win,” Simmons said. “The defense got stronger, everyone got together, we punched them in the mouth and just stood there.”
Newbury Park will be looking to remain unbeaten against Royal next week with the start of the Marmonte League completion.