September 30, 2013

Late Racers push not enough to topple Tuttle

Jake McGuire
The Express-Star


A late surge was not enough for Newcastle as Tuttle opened district play with a 28-25 win, extending their winning streak to three after an opening day loss.

The game lived up to the rivalry, despite early dominance from the Tigers. The first two Racer drives ended with punts, so the Tuttle offense took advantage and scored on both of their first two drives to make the score 14-0 going into the second quarter.

Newcastle finally got on the board after Tuttle bailed them out with a personal foul on fourth and long.  The drive ended in a field goal for Newcastle. The visiting Racers caught another break when Tuttle senior tight end Montana Clark fumbled on a pass completion from junior quarterback Jett Jobe on the Racer 49 yard line. 

Newcastle put a drive together to score a touchdown with three minutes left before halftime. The Tigers answered with a touchdown of their own on a 10 yard touchdown run by running back Jesse Gregory to extend their lead before the break. Both of Tuttle’s running backs each ended the first half with 10 carries, Gregory ran for 73 yards with two touchdowns and Morgan Neal ran for 74 yards and one touchdown.

The second half started much like the first. Tuttle made Newcastle punt on their first drive and then went on to score a touchdown on a 12 yard run by Neal after senior Tanner Brannon's 32-yard sprint put the Tigers deep in Racer territory. On the ensuing drive Newcastle nearly answered when they made it to the Tigers three yard line only to lose the ball on a devastating fumble. 

Eventually Newcastle did put a touchdown drive together early in the fourth quarter to make the score 28-17. Tuttle barely escaped from a potentially disastrous fumble on the kick-off, but on the subsequent first play they would not be so lucky. A fumble deep in Tiger territory led to a Newcastle touchdown and two-point conversion to make the score a tight one at 28-25. Thanks to a late interception by senior Tanner Brannon, the Tigers notched a clutch win over a district rival.