Lake Taylor RB Malik Newton breaks a Greyhound tackle (Photo: Lance Hinton/recruit757)
Malik Newton carries Lake Taylor with six touchdowns in 57-56 overtime victory against Norcom
by Brandon Mitchell, recruit757
What if I told you a story about a team that was down 34-7 at halftime?
A story in which a program that was bruised at the halfway mark dug as deep as it could to pull off an unprecedented victory that no one saw coming?
A story in which home fans started to leave just as the second quarter was ending and the play-by-play announcer made sure to inform fans that if they left re-entry would not be permitted unless a new ticket was purchased.
This is a story about Hank Sawyer and Lake Taylor.
Just a week ago the Titans suffered not only their worst loss under Coach Sawyer, but it was also the worst loss in the history of its program. However, that’s why you see the likes of a Maury or a Varina on the schedule of Lake Taylor early. These are teams that are going to test the fortitude of every player on the Titans roster. This is designed so that when this time of the year comes around, Lake Taylor will be prepared for anything that comes its way.
Norcom threw everything it had at Lake Taylor in the first half. However, when the Titans realized that the only thing standing in their way of a victory was a matter of three yards, the answer came in the form of two words — Malik Newton.
“We knew we could run the ball and I have five really good (running) backs,” stated Coach Sawyer. I have a stable of backs and the linemen just must get after that thing. I’m just so proud of those kids. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when no one care who gets the credit. It was his call along with the other guys.”
It was all Lake Taylor throughout the first quarter as Malik Newton carried the Titans downfield after a failed first possession. Newton capped off a long drive with an eight-yard touchdown run to put Lake Taylor on the board first.
On the Greyhounds next possession, Jacoby Smith found a streaking Maurice Outten for an 83-yard touchdown pass trimming the lead to 7-6 after failure to connect on the extra point.
This is the part of the story reserved for Norcom’s massive eruption in the second quarter.
Jacoby Smith would lead Norcom downfield yet again on the Greyhounds next possession setting up a touchdown run of 15 yards and extending the Norcom lead to 13-7.
Followed by a Lake Taylor fumble, Jacoby Smith went on to find Daunte Brown streaking downfield for a 28-yard touchdown grab. The Greyhounds found the end zone yet again after a Lake Taylor punt this time Smith finding Shyheim Cannon for a 40-yard touchdown strike extending the lead to 27-7.
After a punt return put Norcom in prime position to score right before halftime, Karon Prunty was on the receiving end of a 38-yard touchdown pass from Smith ballooning the Greyhounds lead to 34-7. This was the largest lead of the night for Norcom.
Then the third quarter happened.
Once the second half jitters disappeared, Malik Newton found the end zone from 10 yards out to cut into the Greyhounds lead bringing the score to 34-14. However, Norcom fired back immediately with an 85-yard kick return to get the lead back up to 40-14.
Lake Taylor starting quarterback Jeff Foster connected with Darius Speight through busted coverage to the tune of a 41-yard touchdown pass bringing the score to 40-28. This was just minutes before Newton found the end zone from 10 yards out. The Titans would fire again after a Norcom punt with Foster scampering for a 10-yard touchdown run bringing the score to 40-35.
The Titans would gain the lead for the first time on the day with Newton finding the end zone this time from 53 yards out giving Lake Taylor a two-point lead with 9:27 left in the fourth quarter.
Norcom received a boost from Karon Prunty on its next possession as the Liberty commit returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for s touchdown giving the Greyhounds a 46-42 lead.
However, it wouldn’t take long for the Titans to regain the lead,
A Dallas Spruill tip put Tyrique Tucker at the right place as he snagged an interception giving the Titans optimal field position. Newton found the end zone for his fifth touchdown on the day on their next drive this time coming from 16 yards out giving Lake Taylor a 49-46 lead. However, the Greyhounds connected on a 29-yard field goal as time expired in regulation.
It was inevitable that overtime time would benefit the Titans. However, Jacoby Smith found the end zone on a one-yard touchdown run to put the Greyhounds up 56-49.
After that, it was only fitting for the coaching staff to call Newton’s number again.
Not only did he convert on the touchdown, but he also converted the two-point conversion.
Lake Taylor 57, Norcom 56 (OT)
– Brandon Mitchell
Lake Taylor 0 7 21 21 8 — 57
Norcom 0 34 6 9 7 — 56
LT—Newton 8 run (PAT good)
NOR—Outten 83 pass from Smith (PAT no good)
NOR—Smith 15 run (PAT good)
NOR—Brown 28 pass from Smith (PAT good)
NOR—Cannon 41 pass from Smith (PAT good)
NOR—Prunty 38 pass from Smith (PAT good)
LT—Newton 10 run (PAT good)
NOR—Bradley 85 kick return (PAT no good)
LT—Newton 10 run (PAT good)
LT—Speight 41 pass from Foster (PAT good)
LT—Foster 10 run (PAT good)
LT—Newton 53 run (PAT good)
NOR—Prunty 85 kick return (PAT no good)
LT—Newton 15 run (PAT good)
NOR—Twyman-Buxton 29 field goal
NOR—Smith 1 run (PAT good)
LT—Newton 4 run (two-point successful)
LT: Foster 3-56-1-1
NOR: Smith 13-33-355-4
LT: Newton 30-225-6 Foster 15-55-1 Washington-Jacobs 10-60 Floyd 2-1
NOR: King 8-12 Garland 1-2 Outten 1-2 McElroy 2-(-3) Smith 5-(-19)
LT: Speight 1-41-1 Newton 1-15
NOR: 7-129-1 Outten 1-83-1 Cannon 2-81-1 Brown 1-38 McElroy 1-16 King 1-5