TAMPA — Tampa Bay Tech brought the hip and the hype. Newsome was hungry … like a Wolf.
Newsome shook off five lost fumbles in the first half and stunned Tampa Bay Tech 23-12 Friday night in the season opener for both teams. The Wolves scored on their first four series after halftime , Austin Cobb was perfect on three field-goal attempts (38, 33 and 34 yards) and the defense forced three turnovers, including Ramsey Bennett’s interception near midfield with 3:50 remaining. The Titans never had the ball after that.
“This is huge for our program,” Newsome coach Ken Hiscock said. “Any time you get a W, it makes people do the right things. We’ve got to work on ball security and executing the game plan a little bit better. But that’s as close as you can get to good football right there.”
Newsome had its preseason game last week with Spoto canceled while Tampa Bay Tech drilled Blake 56-0. The Wolves’ inactivity showed in the first half when they lost fumbles on four consecutive series and five overall.
Tampa Bay Tech led only 6-3 at halftime , and Newsome’s defense came up with the play of the game with 13 seconds left in the second quarter. Facing fourth and goal at the 1, Titan quarterback Deon Cain was stuffed for no gain on a run up the middle.
“We just really wanted to be solid and be the anchor for the offense,” Newsome junior defensive tackle Ranger Roberts said. “In the first half, we had to get a feel (for Tampa Bay Tech). Once we did, we capitalized on their mistakes and really locked them down and opened the way for our offense. (Entering the game), I thought they didn’t beat us 56-0 and we’re going to win this thing.”
Quarterback Spencer Preston gave Newsome the lead for good in his first varsity start on a 2-yard run with 3:32 left in the third quarter, capping a 62-yard, nine-play drive.
“We had a lot of opportunities in the first half, but the second half we still came in with the lead,” Tampa Bay Tech coach Jayson Roberts said. “We just got outplayed tonight — no two ways about it. Sometimes having the kind of game we had last week, winning 56-0, gives the team a little sense of overconfidence.
“This might show us the little things that we may not have been able to see last week.”