Coach Josh Austin began the 2012 football season not knowing what to expect from his latest edition of Newport Greypups.
As the season draws to a close, Austin finds himself with as many questions as answers about their lost season.
"I don't know what to say. Just when it looks like we are turning the corner, we shoot ourselves in the foot with mistakes," he explained following the Pups 56-24 road loss at Marianna last Thursday.
"Our effort is still good but our execution is lacking."
Trailing 26-16 at halftime, the two teams appeared to be locked in a potential nail-biter as the third quarter ticked away before a fumble recovery by the Jr. Trojans at the Newport 30-yard line seemed to shut the Pups down.
Marianna scored two plays later, pushing the lead to 34-16 with the successful two-point conversion with 1:13 remaining in the frame.
The Trojans then recovered the onside kick and the Newport 48-yard line and - following a penalty - raced 53-yards for another score. The two-point attempt was no good but Marianna had built a 24-point lead, 40-16, with :35 seconds to go in the third.
The Jr. Trojans put the game away in the fourth as they notched a safety on the ensuing Newport possession and then scored on runs of 19 and 15-yards for a 56-16 lead.
The four consecutive scoring drives broke the spirits of the Pups, who will take on Southside tonight at Greyhound Field.
Newport's Ben Collier scored the first of his two touchdowns at the end of the first quarter to give the Pups an 8-6 lead as the game moved to the second quarter.
Collier's 17-yard scoring run was highlighted by the powerful freshman running over a defender at the Marianna 5-yard line and bursting into the end zone.
Zach Altom used a 3-yard quarterback sneak with :22 seconds remaining in the first half to cut the lead to 26-14.
Collier added an electrifying 53-yard touchdown run with only seconds remaining in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
"We are going to do what we always do, keep coming to practice and working hard," Austin explained.