TAMPA — As Ramsey Bennett chugged down the middle of the field for a career-long 50-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, stepfather Carson Baker turned in the Newsome bleachers and finally spotted wife Cathy, who was holding 20-month-old granddaughter Layla and had moved several rows higher to talk with a fan.
"Did you see the run?" Carson yelled. "Sure did," Cathy replied.
There was more to see.
Bennett, a senior, followed with two monumental defensive plays as Newsome (3-1, 1-0) pulled out a 38-26 victory over Alonso (2-2, 0-1) on Friday night in a Class 8A, District 6 opener.
Alonso, playing its second game since Monday (a 35-3 win over East Bay), ran out of gas after halftime when Newsome rushed for 300 of its 440 yards.
"We came out in the second half on offense and really showed up," Newsome coach Ken Hiscock said. "It was tough for (Alonso) to have to play on a Monday night and to have to play on a Friday. (The game) went back and forth like a track meet."
The game featured 905 yards of offense and was a battle between Newsome's ground attack led by Chris Bryant (184 yards on seven carries, two touchdowns) and Bennett (110 yards on nine attempts, two TDs), and the passing of Alonso quarterback Chris Oladokun (16-of-28 for 329 yards, four scores).
After Bennett's long run gave Newsome a 31-19 lead, Alonso marched 74 yards on the following series. With less than seven minutes remaining, Bennett ended the drive single-handedly. He tackled Ish Witter for a 3-yard loss on third and goal at the 2, and stopped Jacob Chalkley just short of the goal on a following pass play.
"I just fly to the ball like Coach tells me to," Bennett said.