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Newsome prevails against Lennard in a battle of big plays

The Wolves get a big kickoff return in the second half, then the defense finds its footing to lock down the Longhorns.
Newsome and Lennard spend the first half trading big plays, but the Wolves prevail 37-20.
Newsome and Lennard spend the first half trading big plays, but the Wolves prevail 37-20. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Aug. 28

RUSKIN — In 2020, Newsome had one of its best seasons, culminating with an appearance in the Class 8A region finals. The Wolves started 2021 off on the right foot, using a pair of second half-touchdowns to pull away from Lennard, 37-20, on Friday night.

Newsome opened scoring when senior workhorse back Jason Albritton (22 carries, 114 yards, two touchdowns) plunged in from 3 yards out for a 6-0 first-quarter lead.

After senior Ryan Eckley booted a 47-yard field goal at the beginning of the second quarter, Lennard responded in a big way. Senior Gavin Henley connected with junior speedster Eelijah Singleton for an 80-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage to cut the lead to 9-6. It was the first of several big plays by the lefty signal caller, who finished 16-of-26 for 322 yards and three touchdowns.

Big plays were the story of the rest of the quarter.

Newsome answered with a burner of its own, J.C. Roque. The junior broke away for a 65-yard touchdown to give the Wolves the 10-point advantage. Henley had the answer once again, this time connecting with senior Ha’Keem Monroe (five receptions, 98 yards) on a slant for a 5-yard score.

The wild quarter continued when junior Christian Bishop connected with a wide-open Roque on a 27-yard score. The junior finished with 174 all-purpose yards on just 11 touches.

“J.C. came on last year as a sophomore about halfway through the season. He was having a great year and ended up breaking his ankle on a Wednesday practice before out playoff game with Steinbrenner,” said Newsome coach Christian Yockey. “He’s had a huge offseason and has come back so much stronger.”

It looked like the Wolves would take a 23-13 lead into halftime, but Henley had other ideas, finding Singleton (two receptions, 140 yards) as time expired to cut the lead to three.

Newsome needed a big play early in the second half to seize momentum. Junior Matthew Connally returned the opening kickoff 62 yards and the Wolves were back in business.

Albritton capped the scoring in the fourth quarter as the Wolves defense stiffened up.

“Our word this year and our mentality is ‘fight.’ I made the mistake calling a timeout, which allowed them to score at the end of the first half.” said Yockey. “It didn’t matter because we were going to continue to fight. We have each other’s back. Matthew Connally is a great kid and his play took all of their momentum away. I’m really proud of our kids.”