This is game defined “Football”. During the Class 7A rematch of the undefeated Durant Cougars and the 8-4 Newsome Wolves, many had the Cougars as the favorite to win in what is considered a heated neighborhood rivalry. Their last meeting during the season, Durant won 38-28.
This meeting had the smell of revenge for Newsome. Winner moving on and the loser going home. Both teams were determined not to make this their last game.
Newsome started off the game strong on offense with the ground game, capping the first scoring drive 4:30 into the game with a John Hendricks touchdown run. The drive was completed along the way with runs from both Will Worth and Clint Carnell, as well as a 29-yard toss to Tyson Mills from Worth. After getting on the board, Newsome’s defense was quick to stop the Durant Cougars’ offense and keep the Cougars off the board. At the end of the first quarter, score remains Newsome 7, Durant 0.
The biggest gain of the game came in the second quarter when Will Worth broke free for 64-yards. With 7:15 left in the first half, Worth completed a touchdown pass to Matt Hines which gave the Wolves a 14-0 lead going into halftime.
Durant Cougars had life in the second half. Trey Vandergrift led the Cougars into some good field position and on a critical 4th down, Durant successfully faked a punt. Jamarlon Hamilton finally got going. Hamilton scores his 18th touchdown of the season to put the Cougars on the scoreboard for the first time tonight 14-7 Newsome. Just like that the momentum of the game shifts in favor of the Cougars as Worth fumbles on the 2-yard line on the next possession. With 5:49 left in the 3rd quarter, Hamilton scores his 19th touchdown of the season, bringing the score to a tie 14-14.
Newsome started the 4th quarter on the 38-yard line and Carnell brings them back into the game by carrying the ball to the 9-yard line. Cougars held the Wolves to a field goal, but a roughing the kicker penalty gives the Wolves new life and chance as Carnell punches it up the middle to put Newsome ahead for the remainder of the game 21-14. On the ensuing possession, Durant fumbles and Bentley Easley comes up with a big play as he topples on the ball possibly to secure the win with less than three minutes left in the game.
Durant would get another chance when Will Worth fumbles and Durant recovers on the 8-yard line, having to go 92 yards to score in less than two minutes. Trey Vandergrift takes the field ready for the challenge and completed some great passes to Paxton Simms and Corey Roberts, as the Cougars march into Wolves territory as the time slowly winds down on the clock. With 0:03 left on the game clock, both sides of the stands on their feet and the Cougars on the 15-yard line, Newsome’s Ricardo Rodriguez comes up with the biggest play for the Wolves as he tips the pass from Vandergrift to Roberts, stopping the Cougars from scoring and sealing the win for the Wolves.
This will be the first time the Wolves have advanced to Round 3 of the FHSAA Playoffs.
– Hanna Yi