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Sarasota Riverview ready for Newsome’s ground attack this year

But the Wolves still have their chances, keep things close in a key district matchup.
Quarterback Addison Fulton hands the ball off to running back Jason Albritton during the first half against Sarasota Riverview. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
Quarterback Addison Fulton hands the ball off to running back Jason Albritton during the first half against Sarasota Riverview. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
Published Oct. 19, 2019

LITHIA — After losing to Bloomingdale in the season opener, Newsome had won seven straight, matching the longest win streak in program history.

The seeds for this recent success were planted a year ago. The Wolves, 1-4 at the time, stunned Sarasota Riverview. That helped turn things around with the Wolves winning three of their final five to close out 2018.

On Friday, Newsome faced the Rams again, this time with a lot more at stake. Both teams were undefeated in Class 8A, District 8. The winner not only would take over sole possession of first place, but take a huge step toward wrapping up the title.

The Wolves’ win streak — and likely their district title hopes — ended with a 20-14 loss in a game that was played in a downpour throughout the second half.

Last season, Newsome jumped out to 31-point first-quarter lead and held on in a wild 51-45 victory over Sarasota Riverview. The Wolves won by sticking to a conservative but effective game plan that grinded out more than 300 yards on the ground.

Newsome did not deviate much from that this season. The Wolves gave a steady diet of carries to their top two backs — Jason Albritton and Landon White.

The difference was that the Rams were ready for it. They stacked the line of scrimmage with defenders, stuffing all those runs up the middle early on.

Newsome's Jack Arnone looks for running room against Sarasota Riverview. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]

And Sarasota Riverview’s offense was not as stagnant. It showed right away.

The Rams (6-2, 4-0) struck first when Tray Hall ran 28 yards up the middle for a touchdown. After a failed extra point, the Rams led 6-0. In the second quarter, Sarasota Riverview added to the lead when Sean White connected with Omari Hayes on a 46-yard touchdown pass. After another failed extra point, the Rams were up 12-0.

Typically, the Wolves’ ball-control offense is not built to rally from large deficits. But Newsome stuck to its roots, gaining yards — and first downs — on an impressive drive just before the half.

It ended with Nick Felice hitting Deandre Perez on an 18-yard touchdown pass with 22 seconds left in the second quarter to cut it to 12-7. The Rams responded on their opening possession of the third quarter. Tray Hall finished the drive with his second touchdown run of the night, this one from 3 yards. Sarasota Riverview was successful on a 2-point conversion to make it 20-7.

The Wolves (7-1, 3-1) refused to go away. They answered with Jack Arnone scoring on a 3-yard run that cut it to 20-14.

On the Rams’ next possession, they converted on third down three times to keep the drive alive. It ended with Newsome’s Ryan Reel pouncing on a fumble in the final three minutes.

That gave the Wolves one more chance to pull ahead. But the drive ended with a turnover on downs.


  1. With Mike Trigg, right, back in the lineup, Seffner Christian has a very real shot at returning to the state tournament. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
  2. East Lake's Brooke Roberts slaps a ball to leftfield, a hit that led to an error, a base-clearing moment and a race home for Roberts during an 11-3 victory over Durant in last year's Lady 'Canes Spring Classic semifinal. [SCOTT PURKS]
  3. Bobby Richardson came out of "retirement" for an opportunity to play for the Vipers. The former CFL defensive tackle previously played under current Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville in 2018. [TAMPA BAY VIPERS/XFL   |  Tampa Bay Vipers/XFL]
  4. Corky Rogers, coach of The Bolles School in Jacksonville, walks across the field as his team celebrates after beating Miami Booker T. Washington in the Class 4A state championship game on Dec. 10, 2011, at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Rogers, who won more state titles than any coach in Florida high school football history, died Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 76. [WILL DICKEY  |  AP]
  5. Tampa Catholic's Xavier Floyd, left, and goalkeeper Charlie Gembarowski are in the foreground as Fort Lauderdale University players celebrate their Class 3A championship at Spec Martin Stadium in Deland. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
  6. Shorecrest Prep senior Asher Rovin, who missed most of the regular season after sustaining a concussion, strikes the ball past Tallahassee Maclay's Broedy Poppell (21) in the first half at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand on Thursday. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
  7. Plant junior Nyla Jean not only averages double digits in scoring, but she has a knack for stealing the ball from opponents. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
  8. Carrollwood Day’s Milahnie Perry scores 14 points to lead the Patriots, who get a balanced effort in the Class 3A state semifinals. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
  9. Shorecrest players hug, cry and console each other after losing to Orange Park St. Johns Country Day in the Class 2A title game at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand. [WILLIE J. ALLEN JR.  |  Special to the Times]
  10. Points were hard to come by in the first half for forward Jakara Akins, left, and Keswick Christian, which trailed Florida A&M 22-16 at the half of a Class 2A state semifinal Wednesday afternoon. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
  11. Caitlin Blankenship, along with older sister Brooke, moves on from Academy at the Lakes, which won consecutive state titles, to River Ridge. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
  12. St. Petersburg boys basketball coach Chris Blackwell, seen here in a game earlier this season, said his team had to utilize freshmen as Tuesday's game at Fort Myers wore on ... and on ... and on for five overtimes. [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]