VALRICO — Even two halves of spring football can be competitive ... and confrontational.
Newsome edged Durant 7-6 on Thursday night, and host Bloomingdale scored 26 unanswered points against Brandon before officials stopped the game because of a brawl between the teams.
In the first half, Durant quarterback Sean Williams rushed for a touchdown early in the first quarter, but the Cougars failed to get the extra point.
Newsome bounced back quickly on its second drive of the night, making its way down the field with ease. At Durant’s 9-yard line, quarterback Nick Felice handed off the ball to Deandre Perez for a touchdown. The extra point from kicker Ryan Eckley proved to be the most crucial play of the night for the Wolves, sealing a one-point win over the Cougars.
Both teams went scoreless in the second quarter, but Newsome put its own exclamation mark on the night when Kevin Osborn intercepted a Williams pass on fourth down. Newsome coach Christian Yockey said he was pleased with his team’s performance.
“It was a gritty effort,” Yockey said. “We’ve had some injuries in the spring and we’re just happy to come out with a win.”
In the second half, the Bulls got on the board early. Quarterback Lance Alderson connected with Ollie Manhertz for a 4-yard touchdown.
Alderson also was responsible for the Bulls’ next score, completing a 34-yard pass to Charles Montgomery in the open field. Bloomingdale got its third score when Brandon fumbled in the backfield, allowing Maurice Frost to pick up the ball return it into for a 25-yard touchdown.
Brandon’s last hope for a scoring play ended when the Eagles missed a perfect opportunity to intercept a pass from Alderson and instead, tipped the ball right into Montgomery’s hands for the Bulls’ fourth touchdown.
Emotions hit their breaking point when a fight broke out with a little more than two minutes remaining.
Bloomingdale coach Jake Coulson, the former defensive coordinator who took over when coach Max Warner left after last season, told his team in a huddle that the fault was his to shoulder.
“It is what it is,” he said.