LITHIA — Newsome coach Ken Hiscock talked this week about his team's district title showdown with Bloomingdale and insisted special teams would be the key.
He couldn't have hit the nail more on the head.
Keller Powers took a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and Matt Dinneny returned an interception on a fake punt attempt for another score as Newsome won its first 5A-7 district title with a 31-10 victory against Bloomingdale.
"It was so intense out there," Powers said.
Few expected this game to mean so much when the schedules were released. The Wolves (7-3) returned just five starters off last year's 5-5 team and Bloomingdale (6-3) had never had a winning season.
After a 30-yard field goal by the Bulls' Matt Firestone tied it at 3, Powers, a freshman, fielded the ensuing kickoff and gave the Wolves the lead for good.
A Trent Cornwell 4-yard TD run put Newsome ahead 17-7, but the Bulls' Anthony Amos capped a 12-play drive with a 4-yard score of his own to cut the lead to seven with just more than two minutes left in the third quarter.
Then faced with a fourth and 3 at their 27 with just more than five minutes to play, the Bulls tried a fake punt. But the pass was tipped and Dinneny snagged his first interception of the season, taking it back 32 yards.
"I'd dropped a couple (interceptions) this season," Dinneny said. "I wasn't about to drop that one."