Football: Clearwater Central Catholic 25, Tampa Catholic 0
CLEARWATER – Jerzahn Newton is a workhorse back, a guy with the strength and indefatigability to lower his head while gorging on yards.
Jerjuan Newton is more Houdini than halfback. Whenever this electrifying runner is trapped by a cluster of defenders, he invariably can wriggle out of reach, leaving a trail of disbelieving players and fans.
Together, the brothers ran through and around Tampa Catholic in a convincing 25-0 victory in the only rivalry game played this week.
Jerzahn, a sophomore, ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Jerjuan, a junior, added 66 yards and a score.
Together, they not only helped CCC (3-0) exact revenge for last year’s loss to its fiercest rival but also fill a glaring void in the backfield.
Playing running back is something the Newtons are adept at.
Older brother Jervon rushed for 1,252 yards and 18 touchdowns. He graduated and is now playing at Marist, along with twin Jerquan.
The role of featured back was handed down to the siblings.
“We didn’t have to groom Jerzahn and Jerjaun,” Marauders coach Chris Harvey said. “They groom themselves. The thing with a Newton in general is they don’t lack in confidence and they work their tails off.
“You’re talking about a Division I defensive lineman in Jerzahn who has molded himself into a running back and a good one, too. You’re talking about a Division I athlete in his brother, Jerjuan, who can play any position on the field. They have become studs. But we have a lot them right now.”
Jerzahn’s most memorable run came in the second quarter when he charged down the field with multiple defenders clinging to his back on a 10-yard run for a touchdown.
No jukes. No spins. Just straight locomotion.
“I like the contact,” Jerzahn said.
On the Marauders’ next possession, Jerjuan sped around the edge on an 8-yard run for a score. After a blocked extra point, CCC led 13-0.
“We like this role because we’re splitting the carries and that keeps us fresh,” Jerjuan said.
Jerzahn put his head down and moved the pile again on a 10-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that put the Marauders ahead 19-0.
Others got the ball, too.
Deandre Fitzheley rounded out the scoring with a 9-yard run late in the third quarter.
In all, CCC rushed for 334 yards.
The Marauders defense was just as dominant. They held the Crusaders (1-1) to 163 yards of offense and posted their second straight shutout.
It has been a great start for CCC, which raillied to beat defending Class 3A state semifinalist Berkeley Prep in the opener.
“Two big wins, but we have to keep working,” Harvey said. “Our chaplain spoke to us before the game about respect. I think we gained some of that. We might have been overlooked before, but I don’t think that will happen anymore.”