Pancho, Newport Grizzlies maul Spartans 29-8 in Priest River’s home opener

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  • (Photo by JUDD WILSON) The Spartan defense prepared for the Newport attack Sept. 1. Pictured, l to r, Derrick Melton, Kody Salesky, Dausen O’Brien, Cole Thompson, Caleb Blancher.

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    (Photo by JUDD WILSON) Keegan Hegel scored Priest River’s lone touchdown in a 29-8 loss to Newport Sept. 1.

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    (Photo by JUDD WILSON) Priest River could not stop Newport quarterback Koa Pancho, who scored by land and by air in a 29-8 Newport victory Sept. 1.

  • (Photo by JUDD WILSON) The Spartan defense prepared for the Newport attack Sept. 1. Pictured, l to r, Derrick Melton, Kody Salesky, Dausen O’Brien, Cole Thompson, Caleb Blancher.

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    (Photo by JUDD WILSON) Keegan Hegel scored Priest River’s lone touchdown in a 29-8 loss to Newport Sept. 1.

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    (Photo by JUDD WILSON) Priest River could not stop Newport quarterback Koa Pancho, who scored by land and by air in a 29-8 Newport victory Sept. 1.

PRIEST RIVER — Priest River experienced an unpleasant welcome home Sept. 1 after its road win last week in Montana. The Spartans bent early in the first half and held the visiting Newport Grizzlies to a field goal after several first quarter miscues, but Newport quarterback Koa Pancho broke the Spartans in the second quarter en route to a 29-8 shellacking of their local rivals. Newport seemed overzealous to not let this game slip through its grasp. After the Grizzlies took a 23-0 lead in the third quarter, they successfully executed an onside kick, which they followed up with a touchdown to take a 29-0 lead. The Grizzlies’ domination of Idahoan Sparta was complete until the waning minutes of the game, when quarterback Riley DeMent connected with Keegan Hegel for a 32-yard touchdown.

Make no mistake, said Priest River head coach Brad Martin. The game was a clear-cut case of better preparation and better execution -- and Martin is keen on not repeating the performance when Priest River hosts Medical Lake this Friday at 7 p.m.

“Newport played well and we did not. They have some good players who made plays, but we made too many mistakes and made them look even better.” He added, “Thanks to all the fans who came out. We’re working hard for a better showing this week at home against Medical Lake. We will bounce back.”

Pancho earned 200 yards and two touchdowns on 13-17 passing, plus 53 yards and one touchdown on 16 rushing attempts. DeMent threw 6-16 for 106 yards and one touchdown. Robbie Anselmo earned 38 yards rushing on 16 carries.

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