PLEASANT HILL — When the Analy Tigers football team was down 31-7 at halftime, junior quarterback Jack Newman faced a steep uphill battle.
He had completed only eight of 17 pass attempts in the first half of the CIF North Coast Section Division 3 championship game, but he wasn’t going to settle for that.
“When we are down in that situation, you just gotta go out and fight,” Newman said. “We went down fighting.”
The Tigers were plagued with a first half full of incompletions, a blocked field goal and an interception, when junior wide receiver Spencer Vogel broke through.
Housman caught a pass from Newman and moved down the field before rolling out of a tackle and finishing the 46-yard touchdown to get Analy on the board.
“Heads up,” Newman said as he credited his teammate. “He was the one who made the really nice play.”
It was enough to give the Tigers a lift, and Newman led the boys out of the locker room with a fire despite facing more adversity.
“He’s a competitor,” said Analy head coach Daniel Bourdon. “He faced adversity early on and we were in some bad spots but he kept battling.”
After the Tigers took possession early in the second half after holding Campolindo on downs, Newman went on a streak of completing five of seven passes on a scoring drive that cut Campolindo’s lead to 31-14.
Newman then continued to revive the passing game, and on a fourth-and-3 he found Lucas Housman for one of the most crucial completions of the game that set up a 1-yard touchdown for the Tigers, cutting the deficit to 31-21.
Despite the double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter, Newman continued to have faith in his teammates, he said, as the Tigers kept pushing down the field.
After the Campolindo Cougars scored another touchdown late in the game, Newman completed four consecutive pass attempts that moved them downfield and a final 6-yard pass to Housman with less than 20 seconds remaining showed the grit of the offense with Newman at the helm.
“These guys preach about family and that’s easy to do when you’re winning games,” Bourdon said. “I am tremendously proud that when we had so much adversity thrown in our face, these guys stuck together.”
Newman finished 31 of 59 for 326 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in Analy’s 38-28 loss to Campolindo.
Built around the family that is the Analy Tigers football team, Newman said that this group is a special one, with the banner to prove it.
“Analy’s got something to say,” Newman said. “We’re the first ones to get here.”
It will be interesting to see how the junior quarterback progresses when he returns for his senior year, Bourdon said.
Still too early to think about, but Newman will return next year to figure out how to make it work, he said.
“We’re going to take this loss, have it sting,” Newman said. “We’ll be back next year.”