It wasn't an impossible feat, but an improbable one.

The Newark Memorial High football team entered this season with six players sporting varsity experience. The Cougars had no returning starters, but they claimed at least a share of the Mission Valley Athletic League title with a 32-14 win over visiting Washington on Friday night, their first league title since 1985.

"This is crazy," Newark quarterback Riley Pivin said. "I can't even describe it. We talked about winning league during the summer and how bad we wanted it."

Pivin was instrumental. He thew for just 78 yards but had three passing touchdowns. His 7-yard scamper into the end zone capped the scoring with 2:01 left.

The game started out with plenty of offense. Newark (7-2, 4-0 MVAL) scored six minutes into the game, and Washington (5-4, 4-1) countered with a Kyle Malpede 24-yard touchdown pass to Ahmed Ayrobi that gave the Huskies an 8-6 lead after a two-point conversion.

Malpede was 21 of 36 with 211 yards passing and two touchdowns in the game. His top target was Terrance Jones, who caught eight passes for 90 yards.

Less than three minutes later Marty Leggett gave Newark a 12-8 lead with a 10-yard run.

That capped the first-quarter scoring. But Washington took a 14-12 lead with the first play of the second quarter -- a 24-yard touchdown pass from Malpede to Jones.


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Newark responded with 8:59 left on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Pivin to Jon Kapu for an 18-14 lead, a lead the Cougars wouldn't relinquish.

Newark Memorial 32, Washington 14

Washington 8 6 0 0-- 14

Newark 12 6 7 7-- 32

NM -- Morton 16 pass from Pivin (kick failed)

W -- Aryobi 24 pass from Malpede (Ayrobi pass from Malpede)

NM -- Leggett 10 run (pass failed)

W -- Jones 24 pass from Malpede (pass failed)

NM -- Kapu 31 pass from Pivin (pass failed)

NM -- Tidwell 4 pass from Pivin (Jones kick)

NM -- Pivin 7 run (Jones kick)

Rushing: W -- Woudstra 10-44, Malpede 10-21, Adams 8-18. Totals 28-83. NM -- Morton 17-89, Leggett 12-39, Napal 4-32, Ramirez 1-11, Pivin 3-10, Tidwell 2-0. Totals 39-181. Passing: W -- Malpede 21-36-0 211. NM -- Pivin 8-14-1 78. Receiving: W -- Jones 8-90, Aryobi 5-73, Llanos 3-19, Sewell 2-18, Johnson 1-27, Khan 1-4, Woudstra 1-0. Totals 21-211. NM -- Morton 3-40, Tai 2-26, Tidwell 2-19, Clausen-Collins 1-(-9). Totals 8-78. Fumbles/lost: Washington 1/1, Newark Memorial 0/0. Records: Newark Memorial 7-2, 5-0 MVAL; Washington 5-4, 4-1.