Champagne’s 5 TDs carry Masuk to victory over rival Newtown

Masuk running back Jason Champagne stiff arms a Newtown tackler while leading the Panthers to a 42-20 win.

NEWTOWN, CT — In a battle of South-West Conference football foes looking to bolster their state playoff seedings, the visiting Masuk High Panthers defeated Newtown 42-20 on Thanksgiving Eve.

Jason Champagne did most of the damage, scoring five of Masuk’s six touchdowns. Both teams conclude the regular season with 8-2 records.

The squads await the outcome of Thanksgiving Day contests, which will determine their state playoff fate. Each school stood in fourth place in their respective state divisions — Newtown in Class L and Masuk in MM.

Shane Walker had a 36-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Robert Klein to open the scoring and Jason Champagne followed with a 65-yard TD run. It was 14-7 Panthers after one quarter.

Masuk went up two scores on Champagne’s three-yard TD rush on the opening play of the second quarter.

Newtown pulled to within eight at 21-13, which was the score heading into halftime.

In the third, Champagne’s four-yard TD rush extended the lead. The teams traded scores as Champagne’s 20-yard TD rush answered Newtown’s final score for a 35-20 lead heading to the fourth. The score was set up by a 47-yard reception by Walker, which brought the ball to the Newtown 20.

In the fourth, Masuk stopped Newtown with a fumble recovery inside the one yard line to deny a score that would have again made it a one-possession contest.

The Panthers proceeded to thwart the Hawks with turnovers on two more possession as Colin Hope and Walker picked off passes.

Champagne capped his TD barrage of a night with a 45-yard burst up the middle and all the way to the end zone.

Strong runs by Champagne and Gavin Walker helped the Panthers eat up clock and extend several drives during the game.

The state playoffs are scheduled to begin Tuesday (opponent and site to be determined).

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