VALRICO — Bloomingdale took a step closer to its first playoff berth since 2008, beating Newsome in a pivotal Class 8A, District 6 matchup. The Bulls host Wharton next in a game likely to decide the district runnerup.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” Bulls coach John Booth said. “The rest of the way is playoff mode for us. The tough thing is, they know.”
Two interception returns of Zac Slater passes for touchdowns were the difference for the Bulls. Chris Wonsley ran one back 63 yards in the first half and Alan Yearby’s went for 52 yards.
“Those were the game-changers, both Chris and Alan,” Booth said.
Starting for a second straight game in place of Isaiah McIntyre — “a discipline issue,” Booth said — Tommy McLaughlin completed 16 of 26 for 136 yards and a touchdown. His 14-yard TD to Logan Crouse, who had seven catches for 76 yards, gave Bloomingdale a 17-7 halftime lead.
“We’ll continue to go with Tommy,” Booth said.
Trailing 10-0, Newsome got on the scoreboard on Chris Bryant’s 4-yard run in the second quarter. Austin Cobb added a 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Slater had 110 all-purpose yards for the Wolves, rushing for 60 on 21 carries and passing for 50. But he had three turnovers, including a fumble that set up McLaughlin’s touchdown to Crouse.