PLANT CITY — In the Class 5A, District 8 final Friday, Newsome took care of business, earning a 2-1 victory over top-seeded Plant City.
"It's so great to see these guys fight like this," Newsome coach Neal Rickmers said. "We didn't play well at the onset, but eventually we started clicking.
"This is the first time we have gone this far, and it's really exciting."
Plant City started strong, dominating the first 20 minutes. But the Wolves (15-4-3) began to find their stride late in the first half, hitting the crossbar with shots twice before halftime.
Early in the second half, Newsome's Steven Gonzalez blasted a shot into the lower corner after receiving a pass at the corner of the box in the game's 50th minute.
The Raiders fought back and scored in the 77th minute when Alan Black tipped in a throw-in that had glanced off the goalkeeper's hands.
"After the goal I told the players to play like there's no tomorrow and do what we do, put the ball in the net," Rickmers said.
Just when the game seemed to be heading to overtime, Newsome's Mark Calhoun headed in a throw-in from Joseph Perfetto during extra time.
"I was disappointed and felt I had to get something back after my man had scored earlier," Calhoun said. "We've worked on throw-ins all year; it is a key part of our offense.
"We worked hard for this. I'm so proud of my team."