LITHIA — Perhaps Newsome coach Ken Hiscock summed it up best.
"That was a defensive struggle," he said. "An all-out battle."
The Wolves won their fifth straight and inched closer to a district title with an 18-6 victory against Riverview on Friday.
"We had to come up big," linebacker Paul Zaner said. "We had to get up on the horse."
Missing several key players on both sides of the ball, the Wolves (5-2) defense forced five turnovers and the offense did just enough. A victory next week against Durant would lock up a district title and playoff spot.
"This was an important game, especially with the players we're missing," Zaner said. "But we had to clean the slate and get it done."
Leading 5-0 after a safety and 23-yard Tony Zaccario field goal, Zaner picked off a pass and took it back to the Riverview 21. Four plays later, Niko Anthony bulled up the middle to give the Wolves a 12-0 lead they carried into halftime. Zaccario connected on field goals of 27 and 20 yards in the second half to put the Wolves comfortably ahead 18-0 in the fourth.
"We wanted the shutout bad," Zaner said.
And were it not for an odd play, the Wolves may have gotten it. With just over five minutes to play, Sharks quarterback Jerid Heffers heaved a deep floater toward the end zone. Two Wolves jumped to deflect the pass, but it caromed into the waiting arms of James Saunders, who took it into the end zone for Riverview (2-6).
Newsome fullback Vince Pennington carried the load, rushing 26 times for 95 yards.