Football: Brady falls to top-seeded Newport in D-IV semifinals

Bishop Brady’s Seamus McIntyre goes up for a pass thrown by quarterback Todd Sheppard. McIntyre made the catch for a big gain, but No. 4 Bishop Brady fell on the road to No. 1 Newport, 35-7, in the Division IV football semifinal on Saturday.

Bishop Brady’s Seamus McIntyre goes up for a pass thrown by quarterback Todd Sheppard. McIntyre made the catch for a big gain, but No. 4 Bishop Brady fell on the road to No. 1 Newport, 35-7, in the Division IV football semifinal on Saturday. Courtesy of Meegan Perkins

Bishop Brady quarterback Todd Sheppard (9) looks to get around Newport defender Christian Forsythe (5) during a Division IV football semifinal on the road in Newport. No. 4 Bishop Brady fell on the road to No. 1 Newport, 35-7, on Saturday.

Bishop Brady quarterback Todd Sheppard (9) looks to get around Newport defender Christian Forsythe (5) during a Division IV football semifinal on the road in Newport. No. 4 Bishop Brady fell on the road to No. 1 Newport, 35-7, on Saturday. Courtesy of Meegan Perkins

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 11-05-2023 11:56 AM

The Giants may have qualified for the final spot in the playoffs on the last day of the season, but they gave the top-seeded Tigers a good fight. But ultimately, committing four turnovers and facing Division IV’s top rusher was too much to overcome as No. 4 Bishop Brady fell on the road to No. 1 Newport, 35-7, on Saturday in the D-IV semifinals.

Kyle Ashley (132 yards on 19 carries) scored a pair of touchdowns in the first half and also took snaps at quarterback (2-for-5, 32 passing yards) to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter and 21-7 at halftime.

The Giants played their best in the second quarter when senior Todd Sheppard caught a 13 yard touchdown pass from sophomore Ian Miller to cut Newport’s lead to 14-7 with 8:57 left. Sheppard then intercepted a throw by Aaron Fellows (1-for-2, 15 yard TD pass) on the ensuing possession to give Brady a  chance to tie the game          before halftime.

But the Giants were forced to punt, giving Newport one more chance at the end zone, and Ashley eventually found paydirt just before halftime.

Sheppard split time under center with Miller, passing 9-for-11 with 76 yards. He was also Brady’s leading receiver (65 yards on seven catches), leading rusher (25 yards on six carries) and also had a tackle for loss on defense, in addition to his interception.

Miller threw 5-for-8 with 42 passing yards, the touchdown to Sheppard and an interception, while junior McIntyre – the kicker whose late field goal gave the Giants the postseason-securing victory last week – had three receptions for 44 yards.

Brady had some bright spots defensively as well, with junior Talon Perkins getting a sack, and McIntyre and junior Luke Jackson recovering fumbles, but couldn’t score any points off of those turnovers, whereas Newport scored a pair of touchdowns off of Brady’s three fumbles and interception.

The Tigers also outran the Giants 305 yards to 24.

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Top-seeded Newport (8-0) will play against No. 2 Somersworth (7-1) for the D-IV crown next Saturday at Laconia’s Bank of NH Stadium. This is the Tiger’s second season in a row eliminating Brady in the semifinals (Newport won 35-14 last year) and the second time they’ve bested the Giants this season (also won 35-0 on Oct. 8).

Bishop Brady closes out its first season under new head coach Robert Clauss with a 3-5 record, a second consecutive semifinal appearance, a back-to-back Kaplan Kups.