1. Sports
  2. /
  3. HomeTeam

Clearwater Central Catholic gets revenge in three-overtime thriller

Johnny Newton scores all three Marauders’ touchdowns in extra time as CCC dispatches Berkeley Prep.
High school football teams around Tampa Bay competed in the second round of the playoffs Friday night. [Times]
High school football teams around Tampa Bay competed in the second round of the playoffs Friday night. [Times]
Published Nov. 16

TAMPA — The Class 3A region semifinal between Clearwater Central Catholic and Berkeley Prep was a defensive battle throughout regulation Friday night. But when overtime began, the teams tied at 14, the Bucs’ and Marauders’ offenses immediately made up for lost time.

Both CCC and Berkeley Prep scored on their very first possessions in overtime, so the game kept going. The third time around, CCC made a stop. All the Marauders had to do then was score on their third overtime possession to win.

CCC coach Chris Harvey knew exactly whose hands he needed to put the ball into, even if it was a little predictable.

So on second and 5 from the 5-yard line, Johnny Newton took the snap, scoring his third overtime touchdown to deliver a 34-28 three-overtime victory. The Marauders will advance to next week’s region final a Fort Myers Bishop Verot.

"He's a senior. He's been here for four years. We've been riding his back for four years," Harvey said about Newton. "Why would tonight be any different?"

In the first half, Newton didn't make much noise, nor did any other Marauder on offense.

Berkeley Prep took an early lead when Gavin Rupp hit RJ Garcia on an 11-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, and the Bucs blanked CCC (9-3) in the first half.

Both teams went into the locker room at halftime with fewer than 100 yards of offense. But after the break, senior running back Jordan Niles knew it was do-or-die.

"It was definitely frustrating in the first half, but once we got out of that locker room, we knew we had to step it up," Niles said. "It was our season. Our season was on the line."

And on CCC's first drive of the third quarter, Niles took that sentiment to heart, finding a hole and breaking away for a 60-yard touchdown run, doubling his team's offensive production with just one play.

Berkeley Prep (8-2) took the lead right back early in the fourth with a 21-yard touchdown run from Travis Bates. The Bucs recovered an onside kick immediately following Bates' score and tried to extend its lead with a field goal, but the kick came up short.

After Niles tied the score again with a 38-yard touchdown run later in the fourth quarter, Berkeley Prep lined up for another big kick with 2.7 seconds left, this time to win the game. It, too, came up short, sending the teams to overtime.

And in the extra minutes, it was all about Newton.

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Maryland commit scored first on a 10-yard touchdown run. He'd get the ball twice in double overtime, eventually cashing in on a 2-yard touchdown run.

So when CCC got the ball back in third overtime with a chance to win the game, Newton didn't mind asking for a chance to finish what he started.

“Right when we stopped them, I told coach, ‘just give me the ball.’ Whatever helps my team win the game, I’m down for it,” Newton said. “I just wanted it real bad, and I scored.”

Region finals

All games 7:30 p.m. next Friday.

Class 2A, Region 3

• No. 4 Admiral Farragut at No. 3 Seffner Christian

Class 3A, Region 3

• No. 5 Clearwater Central Catholic at No. 2 Fort Myers Bishop Verot

Class 4A, Region 3

• No. 3 Tampa Catholic at No. 1 Lakewood

Class 5A, Region 3

• No. 4 Jesuit at No. 2 Lake Wales

Class 6A, Region 2

• No. 3 Lake Minneola at No. 1 Gaither

Class 7A, Region 2

• No. 2 Lakeland at No. 1 Armwood

Class 8A, Region 2

• No. 4 Steinbrenner at No. 3 Kissimmee Osceola


  1. Senior football players in Pinellas County took to the gridiron for their final prep game Wednesday night. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Of the past 15 meetings, the South has been on the losing end 13 times.
  2. In this file photo, Lakewood High School defensive lineman Tre'von Riggins (98) takes a moment during a spring football practice last April. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
    Measures to prevent heatstroke deaths were among the key items in a bill that unanimously passed its first committee on Wednesday.
  3. A little more than a month into the season, Nature Coast Tech sophomore Kennedy Weissman leads the state in scoring with 41 goals and 92 points, almost double the totals of the next closest player. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    The sophomore has a whopping 41 goals so far this season, easily tops of any player in Florida.
  4. Largo's Julia Violante (6), center, gets a hug from teammate Sarai Faulkner (17), right, while joining Asti Luff (23), left, and McKenzie Emery (14) at midfield moments after scoring her second goal of the night (2-0) against St. Petersburg on Monday. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
    The University of Florida commit is having a banner season on the pitch, but is missing her biggest fan.
  5. Hezekiah B. Walters, 14, was a member of Men of Vision, a local non-profit for teens. He collapsed while participating in football conditioning drills at Middleton High School during the summer. [MEN OF VISION  |  Special to the Times]
    The death of Middleton High’s Hezekiah B. Walters during summer conditioning helps spark a bill that seeks better protection for players at practices and games.
  6. East Lake and rival St. Petersburg squared off Tuesday night, this time as non-district foes. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The Eagles’ 67-30 victory over the Green Devils is their fourth straight in the series since late last season.
  7. Springstead guard Unique Torain makes a nifty assist during a victory at Nature Coast on Tuesday night. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    The Eagles are led by Unique Torain’s 18 points and unselfish play.
  8. Clearwater wide receiver Keedrik Murray (5) catches the ball for a touchdown during the first quarter at Gaither High on Nov. 15. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    The 25th edition of the game will be held at Clearwater High.
  9. Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott talks with receivers Mike Williams (7) and Artavis Scott (3) during a 2016 game at FSU. Scott was named USF's coach Monday. [DAVID GROOMS/CAL SPORT MEDIA  |]
    Though not the bay area’s primary recruiter for Clemson, Scott’s fingerprints are all over the region.
  10. Tampa Catholic's Alijah Harrison attempts to block the ball from Andrew Jackson's Logan West during last year's state semifinals in Lakeland. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
    Tampa Catholic holds on to the top spot after an impressive opening week.