Newberry runs past Hawthorne

Published: Friday, October 12, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 12:24 a.m.

HAWTHORNE — Following back-to-back 2-8 seasons, Newberry guaranteed this year wouldn’t end with a losing record.

The Panthers (5-2) ran for 373 yards on 47 carries against a short-handed Hawthorne team, with Tamarcus Faulkner the only ball carrier to eclipse 100 yards. The game’s leading rusher, Faulkner finished with 114 yards and a touchdown in the 50-8 win over Hawthorne on Friday night. Eleven athletes carried the ball for the Panthers, six scoring touchdowns.

The loudest cheers, however, came long after the starters were replaced by the reserves with a 44-8 halftime lead. They were reserved for late in the fourth quarter, when 5-foot-2 junior David Visconti squeaked into the end zone. The sidelined starters yelled and jumped on him like he won the game in overtime.

“This is a kid who comes to practice every day, works hard every day and plays unbelievably hard,” Baker said. “I’m really happy we got down there and got him running. He had a great run to get into the end zone. This is a team that actually likes playing together. I’m not sure last year I could say that. That’s what tells you if you’ve got a good team.”

Newberry scored two touchdowns in less than four minutes of possession to start the game, which is exactly what coach Chris Baker said he hoped to see.

“This could have been one of those trap games if we came out flat,” he said. “That’s been the difference this year, is this bunch stays focused. I like how the kids came out to play. We did what a better team should, and we are a better team this year.”

With the Hornets lone touchdown coming on linebacker Dionte Mann’s fumble recovery returned 60 yards, Hawthorne’s offense struggled to stay in positive yardage.

The Hornets (0-6) had fewer yards and first downs than the number of trains that passed near the stadium — two first downs, two yards, three trains. And that’s ignoring 51 yards of penalties.

“We were just outmanned and outmuscled,” coach Ellis Walker said. “We’re banged up, but we’ll be all right.”

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