Though the Durant Cougars played well in the first half of Friday night’s game, they couldn’t solve Newsome’s puzzle in the second half as the Wolves solved theirs.
The visiting Wolves scored 21 unanswered points in the second half of the 2018 Alafia River Rivalry game and finished with a 28-14 win at Durant.
Newsome quarterback Dylan King threw a three-yard touchdown pass on fourth and goal with 3:18 left in the first quarter to open up the scoring, and the Wolves went into the second quarter with a 7-0 lead. But the Cougars answered quickly thanks to a pair of touchdowns by running back Tyrhon Brooks.
Brooks broke off several tacklers to score his first of the night with 8:31 left in the half, capitalizing on a big Kylan Forte run that put Durant at Newsome’s 15-yard line. Durant was able to force and recover a fumble on the ensuing Newsome drive and, despite stalling out a few times with holding calls, got to the Wolves’ 25-yard line on a defensive pass interference call. Brooks made his way into the end zone with consecutive rushes and punched in the go-ahead touchdown with 3:04 left in the half. Newsome nearly tied the game at 14-14 with under a minute left to go but their pass attempt was wiped out by offensive holding.
The second half was when Jason Albritton was even more crucial to Newsome’s ability to move downfield. The freshman running back helped the Wolves drive into Durant’s red zone early in the second half, which set up King’s game-tying touchdown pass to Kyle Sellers. On Durant’s next drive, it was Newsome’s turn to scoop up a fumble in Cougar territory and set Albritton up to score the go-ahead touchdown on a short run.
Durant kept trying to break through Newsome’s defensive front with runs by Brooks, Forte and quarterback Sean Williams, but they were unable to repeat the successes they had in the first half.
The Cougars and Wolves traded drives with no success until there was 3:46 left in the fourth quarter. Durant defensive back C.J. Barnes made a great effort to save a touchdown by catching a Newsome running back in full stride and stripping the ball with help from Audea Thames, but the stop came in Durant territory. Newsome was able to score in just over a minute and a half, this time on Jack Arnone’s 33-yard run. The 28-14 score stood for the rest of the game.
Friday’s contest was also Military Appreciation Night at Durant, which featured a pregame ceremony, recruitment stations and thanks given to all Durant Cougars who have served.