Friend dominates as Newman scores 49-31 win over Many

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NEW ORLEANS – In its first big Class 2A matchup of the post Arch Manning era, Newman junior quarterback Eli Friend proved himself to be more than a capable keeper of the Greenies’ passing legacy.

Friend accounted six touchdowns (four passing and two rushing) to lead No. 3 Newman to a 49-31 victory Friday night against No. 7 Many at Michael Lupin Field.

“Eli Friend was fantastic,” Newman coach Nelson Stewart said. “He extended plays. He ran the ball. He threw the ball.”

However, Friend didn’t get off to a good start on Friday.

Many (2-2) recovered a fumble by Friend at the Greenies’ 26-yard line on the third play of the game to set up the first score. Tigers running back Tylen Singleton, an LSU commitment, scooted around right end for a 6-yard touchdown run three plays later to make the score 7-0.

Many increased their lead to 10-0 in the first quarter when Deacon LaFollette hit a 26-yard field goal.

Then Friend got the Newman offense going in the second quarter and the Greenies dominated the game, scoring 42 unanswered points after trailing 17-7.

Friend was flushed out of the pocket, scrambled right and threw a 26-yard touchdown to receiver George Loop to make the score 10-7 with 10:25 left in the first half.

Many increased its lead to 17-7 when Singleton outjumped a Newman defender to catch a pass from quarterback Hayden Evans and sprinted the remaining 55 yards to finish an 85-yard touchdown reception.

“There is a reason he is going to LSU,” Stewart said. “He’s a great player.”

But Friend went back to taking control and leading Newman to 42 unanswered points. He threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Peter Loop to cut Many’s lead to 17-14 with 7:10 left.

Friend ran around left end for a 23-yard touchdown to give Newman (4-0) a 21-17 lead with 4:07 remaining. He finished the first-half scoring when he threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Peter Loop in the left corner of the end zone to give the Greenies a 28-17 lead with 58 seconds left.

In the first half, Friend accounted for four touchdowns (three passing and one rushing).

Newman increased its lead to 35-17 in the third quarter when Friend threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to receiver Anthony Jones.

Friend scrambled up the middle and raced past the Many defense for a 42-yard touchdown to make the score 42-17 with 11:26 left in the game. Jake Randle ran 36 yards for a score to account for the final Newman score.

Friend finished 12 of 17 for 223 yards passing and rushed four times for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Randle rushed 13 times for 82 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 20 yards. Loop had five catches for 98 yards and two scores.

“Eli has been everything we expected him to be and then some,” Stewart said. “He is just been outstanding and we fully expect that will continue to be the case.”

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Pierce W. Huff

CCS Columnist

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Pierce W. Huff has worked as a journalist for more than 25 years, winning national and state-wide awards while displaying an ability to cover a variety of subjects from sports to news. He has covered multiple Louisiana High School Athletic Association state championship games, Super Bowls, a World Series game and a WNBA Finals. He covered preps, minor league baseball…

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