KISSIMMEE — There was hardly a dry eye in the postgame huddle Friday night as the season came to an end for Newsome in a Class 7A region final.
The Wolves (8-5) were unable to overcome an 11-point deficit in the second half, falling 21-18.
“Osceola made more plays than we did,” Newsome coach Ken Hiscock said. “It was a well-fought game, a physical battle like we knew it was going to be, and in the end we ended up minus three points.”
Newsome started the second half with a 10-7 lead but could not keep the Kowboys (13-0) from scoring on consecutive drives. The most damaging put the Wolves in a 21-10 hole with eight minutes to play when Osceola’s Davante Small burst though the middle of the defense for a 69-yard touchdown run.
The biggest play of the night proved too much to overcome.
“When you get the momentum swing like that, that’s what high school ball is all about,” Hiscock said. “There’s an emotional high and there’s an emotional low, and once they broke that big play we were on a low.”
Newsome quickly reclaimed momentum though as it responded with a six-play drive anchored by senior quarterback Will Worth just two minutes later.
Worth connected on three passes on the drive and set up his 1-yard scoring run with a hard-earned 12-yard pickup one play earlier.
He then connected with senior Clint Carnell on the two-point conversion to make it a one-possession game.
Newsome’s defense held up from there as it forced a turnover on downs at midfield on the Kowboys’ next drive when they fell a yard short of moving the chains on a fake punt with three minutes, 37 seconds to go.
An illegal procedure call and incomplete pass on third down brought up fourth and 9 for Newsome at Osceola’s 32. Worth had no chance on his final play as Peter Bailey and Jaqwaun Dockery converged to sack him.
Newsome was held to 247 yards of total offense, 153 yards of it on the ground.
Worth led the team with 109 yards on 19 carries and finished 11-of-23 passing for 95 yards with a touchdown and interception.
Worth’s 28-yard pass to Aaron Wade gave Newsome the lead at halftime.
“Coaches kept preaching to us that we needed to smack them in the mouth and not wait for the fight to come to us,” Carnell said. “It’s sad that our season has to be over and we came this close, but I’m happy for the experience and the memories that I have leading up to this.”