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There’s more to Newsome than just a ground game

The Wolves’ offensive balance is on display in a near-shutout of Robinson.
High school football teams from around Tampa Bay were in action Friday night. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
High school football teams from around Tampa Bay were in action Friday night. [SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]
Published Oct. 5, 2019

TAMPA — With an offense that entered Friday night’s game with a rushing average of 7.2 yards per carry, it was no surprise when Landon White bolted for a 49-yard touchdown run on Newsome’s opening drive to get things going against host Robinson.

But for an offense whose success has so relied on its running game this season, it was junior quarterback Nick Felice who impressed with three touchdown passes in the Wolves’ 41-7 victory. With Robinson’s defense squarely focused on White and Jason Albritton, the team’s leading rusher, Felice’s two first-half touchdown passes gave the Wolves a 20-0 lead in the second quarter.

“The running game really opens things up for our passing game,” Felice said. “Newsome has had the run the last 15 years and it’s something we can depend on but we also have dependable receivers.”

Felice’s first touchdown pass, a 31-yarder, was caught deep in the end zone by Deandre Perez. After Albritton gained 20 yards on a fourth-down run, Felice completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Kamarii Austin to give Newsome a 20-0 lead.

After Robinson’s Destin Gainer snagged an interception in the final minute of the first half, quarterback Rickeem Parks threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to L.J. McAfee for the Knights’ lone touchdown.

Newsome's defense kept the Knights off balance most of the night with a great pass rush and interceptions by Amir Austin and Devan Belcher.

Ahead 20-7 at halftime, the Wolves went back to their rushing game as Albritton and White helped put the game away in the third quarter. The duo gained 54 yards to set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Austin. Then White’s 21-yard touchdown run gave Newsome a 34-7 lead on a drive keyed by Albritton’s 52-yard run.

"We were just on all cylinders tonight," White said. "A lot of credit to the defense but it doesn't get better than that."

White totaled 153 rushing yards and Albritton, the team’s leading rusher, finished with 142. With the Knights’ defense showing fatigue in the fourth quarter, Felice closed out scoring with his second touchdown pass to Perez, a 73-yarder.

Newsome improved to 6-1 and hosts Haines City next week. Robinson dropped to 3-3 and hosts Jesuit next.


  1. Elaine Jeffers, left, and mom Jennifer are all smiles in their pirate and parrot costumes after finishing the 15K and 5K races Saturday morning. Today, both Elaine, 33, and Jennifer, 60, will run their 61st half-marathon.
  2. Joe Conrad, at the mere age of 90 in the orange hat, crosses the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 5K finish line with 30 of his relatives: kids, grandkids and so on. Conrad, who has set several age-group records at races the past few decades, finished in 59 minutes, 28 seconds, but he did, of course, benefit from all the pacers around him.
  3. Cambridge Christian runner Reed Legg finishes first (15:29) during Saturday's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 5K.
  4. Tampa Bay Tech, still missing star sophomore Janiah Barker, falters in the region final Friday, but if healthy should make another deep playoff run next season.
  5. After its 3-1 victory over Westminster Academy of Fort Lauderdale on Friday, the Shorecrest girls soccer team  will be playing in the program's first state final next week in Deland.
  6. Land O' Lakes may have fallen one game short of a state final, but, as coach Jen Craven says: “We have some good kids coming from the local middle school. Looking forward, I don’t see any reason why you won’t see us in the show next year."
  7. Carrollwood Day's Weeyah McGill, seen here during last year's state tournament, was dominant Friday against Seffner Christian.
  8. Plant senior Honor Culpepper, seen here earlier this season, scores a game-high 20 points in Friday's Class 7A region final victory.
  9. Coach Karrmayne King hugs Keswick Christian player Marissa McCauley after the Crusaders soundly defeat Hernando Christian to advance to state.
  10. Tampa Catholic senior Tony Watson, right, provided a huge spark during a 3-0 victory over Windermere Prep in a Class 3A region final Wednesday night.
  11. After a standout sophomore season, expectations are even higher for Osceloa pitcher Corey Braun.
  12. Admiral Farragut pitcher Bre Benefield fires an early pitch during a Class 3A state semifinal against University Christian last season.