LITHIA — J.C. Roque scored touchdowns on the ground and through the air as Newsome (8-2) knocked off Armwood (4-6) 22-13 on Friday night.
A driving rain persisted for much of the night, as the matchup featured a pair of teams motivated for different reasons.
As news broke earlier in the day that the Hawks would have to forfeit three games, a win over the Wolves would have provided a glimmer of hope in keeping their postseason hopes alive.
For Newsome, the game represented a chance to beat Armwood for the first time and tie for the best record in school history.
The inclement weather favored the Wolves’ physical ground game early on, as Roque darted down the sideline on a sweep for a 33-yard score followed by a 2-point conversion and an 8-0 lead minutes into the game.
The Hawks answered back in the second quarter when James Smiley (14 carried, 125 yards) exploded for a 59-yard score, closing the gap to 8-7 heading to halftime.
The second half started with a key turnover as the Hawks fumbled on the opening kickoff. Newsome took advantage as junior quarterback Christian Bishop hit Roque (102 all purpose yards) over the shoulder for an 11-yard score.
In the fourth quarter, it was senior stalwart Jason Albritton (28 carries, 137 yards) muscling in from the 8-yard line to provide some cushion.
“Jason has been on varsity since his freshman year. This year he has taken the reins and been our vocal leader,” said fourth-year Newsome coach Christian Yockey. “We definitely had to put the ball in his hands.”
Armwood made a run later in the quarter when quarterback Murdolph Jones connected with fellow junior Kaiime Ivey to cut the lead to 22-13, but that was as close as the Hawks would get.
After making a run to the Class 8A region final last season and aiming to do so again this year, Yockey reflected on his time with the Wolves.
“It’s been four years of accumulation,” Yockey said. “The seniors are the group that came in with me when I got the head coaching job. We’ve kept 30-plus seniors, and we built the culture the way we wanted. These kids have given us everything, and it’s great to see it come to fruition.”