GIBSONTON — Newsome's road to its first postseason berth in the school's six-year history nearly hit a roadblock Friday at East Bay. But in the end, the Wolves could thank the feet of running backs Conner and Keller Powers, and some sloppy play from East Bay, for the win.
The Powers brothers, just a sophomore and freshman, respectively, combined for 290 rushing yards to help Newsome to a 17-12 win over East Bay. The victory — the Wolves' fifth straight — also put Newsome (7-2, 3-0) in the driver's seat for its first district title heading into next week's decisive matchup against Bloomingdale.
"This is a big step for us," Newsome coach Kenneth Hiscock said. "Things went our way today. They could have gone south for us."
East Bay (3-5, 1-3) didn't go easily, but the Indians were killed by four lost fumbles, including three inside their opponent's 25. The most detrimental came with 2:20 to go, just 8 yards from what could have been the winning score.
Newsome relied on its running game, taking a 14-0 first-quarter lead on a pair of touchdown runs by Conner Powers, who led the Wolves with 208 yards on 25 carries. The Wolves' first touchdown came three plays after quarterback Kyle Copack turned a botched field-goal attempt into a 14-yard pass play to Andy Suslavich to put Newsome at the East Bay 4.
East Bay senior running back Chaz Burroughs rushed for 139 of his team-high 154 yards the second half, including a 66-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter that cut the Newsome lead to 17-12.
The Indians were fueled by an emotional night, retiring the number of former quarterback Rex Ballenger Jr., who died in a car crash last spring.