Newsome Wolves slot receiver Juan Carlos (J.C.) Roque had a tremendous season overall, scoring a team-leading 25 total touchdowns. (Photo courtesy of the Newsome football program.)

Newsome running back/receiver Juan Carlos (J.C.) Roque went out with a bang in the final game of his high school career, scoring a school-record eight touchdowns in a 54-43 win over Gaither. Former Newsome standouts Conner Powers and Will Worth previously held the record with five total touchdowns in one game. The senior tallied 15 rushes for 153 yards, five touchdowns on the ground, four catches for 95 yards and three touchdowns through the air.

The three-year varsity starter said that this game was easily the most memorable of his career, and he knew after the first half that it was going to be a night for the record books.

“I realized it was going to be a special night when we went into halftime and I had three touchdowns,” he said.

Newsome football head coach C.J. Yockey said he didn’t know what an amazing night Roque was having until he heard the PA announcer say that he had six touchdowns during the game.

“It just started to snowball after the first half,” said Yockey. “He took a hook-and-ladder play for a touchdown with five seconds left in the half to give us a lead for the first time. We never gave the lead back after that.”

The Wolves slot receiver had a tremendous season overall, scoring a team-leading 25 total touchdowns. He had 964 rushing yards on 96 carries with 15 touchdowns on the ground, 450 receiving yards on 29 catches with seven touchdowns through the air and two kickoff returns for touchdowns on just eight chances.

“The cool thing about J.C. is that he really doesn’t like the spotlight, so he’s kind of a low-key guy that just puts his head down and goes,” said Yockey. “He’s not really going to pound his chest and want everybody to look at him. One of his great qualities is that he’s just really humble, he does what he’s supposed to do and leads by example.”

Yockey said that Roque is being recruited by several colleges and thinks that he will be a Division I athlete. Roque said that he has several offers, including one from Stetson University.

“What I remember most about the game was all of my teammates’ faces when we won,” said Roque. “The joy and excitement is just amazing, and it made me realize that football is about building a bond with your team — that makes us like a family. I just want to thank my family and the Newsome coaching staff for an amazing four years.”

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Nick Nahas
Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.