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Thursday, Apr 25, 2019
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Newsome fullback credits blockers

LITHIA - Offensive linemen have one of most unglamorous jobs on a football team. They do the grunt work and receive none of the glory - unless they have grateful teammates. Luckily for Newsome's offensive linemen, they do. To celebrate surpassing the 1,000-yard rushing mark this season, Newsome senior fullback Conner Powers recently treated his blockers - all 16 of them - to a steak dinner at his house. "We had New York strip steaks," Powers said.
Powers is a back who gets it. The stats may belong to him, but his main blockers, senior tackle Johnathan Newman, junior center Keith Weeks, senior guard/linebacker Fletcher Comer, senior tackle Josh Adams and senior tight end/linebacker Joe Worth deserve praise for their part in helping him compile the staggering numbers. He knows he didn't rush for 1,560 yards and 23 touchdowns by himself. He knows he didn't claim the Hillsborough County regular-season rushing title this season by himself. And he knows the Wolves would not have averaged 311.4 rushing yards per game without a physical front line. "They're amazing," Powers said. "We're a unit. I don't run the ball every play, and when the other running backs are in, they block for them, too. "That's just how our offense is." Newsome is in the business of running the ball, and business was good this season. The Wolves ran their way to a third-consecutive district championship. The way Powers sees it, he was merely upholding a Newsome tradition. "That is our thing," Powers said. "We've done it since the school opened. We run the ball. It's just what we've always done." Even after the line lost starting guard Josh White to a torn ACL early on, the Wolves continued to rack up the rushing yards. Keller Powers, Conner's younger brother and the team's second-leading rusher, said it's a simple formula that works. After his brother graduates, Keller will assume his duties as the primary ball carrier for Newsome. He knows that comes with great expectations. "He's set such a good example, and I want to be just like him next year," Keller said. "He gives the O-line a lot of credit, which is important." That's why after the Wolves clinched their third-straight district title with a 38-28 victory against Durant, a game in which Powers rushed for five touchdowns. Amid the celebrating, Powers remembered the guys who got him there. "If you're a good running back, you always give credit to your (offensive) line," Powers said. "You're only as good as the front men up there blocking for you." [email protected] (813) 259-7860
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