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RGR | Newton falls to 0-4 with 34-14 loss to Maize South: Recap and analysis
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MAIZE — Newton (0-4) scored the first and last touchdowns, but it was all 5A’s sixth-ranked Maize South (3-1) in between at Maize South Sports Stadium on Friday night when the Mavericks defeated the Railers, 34-14.
“We just couldn't get things going offensively after the first touchdown,” Newton head coach Greg Slade said. “We’ve got to simplify some things and get back to what we do well — and that goes for both the offense and defense.”
That first touchdown came courtesy of a 74-yard strike deep down the middle of the field from Railers quarterback Colby Gomez to wide receiver Camden Carr on the third play of the game. An interception on Newton’s second drive allowed Maize South to knot it up at seven with a six-yard strike from quarterback Tate McNew to Jeron Askren.
The Mavericks would score twice more in the second quarter — a trick play to wide receiver Sammy Dresie and another McNew-to-Askren hookup — to take a 21-7 lead into halftime.
“That quarterback [Maize South’s] got is super good,” Slade said. “I think he's just a sophomore. I go back to that early turnover after the first touchdown where we were driving the ball … you have to wonder what happens if we score on that drive.”
Maize South would tack on 10 more points in the third quarter with a one-yard sneak and a 32-yard field goal by Sam Parks. The Mavericks would add another three in the fourth quarter on a 49-yard field goal by Parks. The Railers found the end zone to cap the game’s scoring with 3:50 left in regulation when James Hulse carried it to paydirt from six yards out.
“I told the kids we’ll come to work on Monday and get better,” Slade said.
Maize South recorded 426 yards of offense to Newton’s 230. Dresie led all pass-catchers with 191 yards receiving on 13 receptions. McNew passed for 324 yards, while Gomez tallied 135. Carr finished with 101 yards on just five receptions.
It was a game of what-ifs for Newton.
The key play you likely forgot:
Gomez’s first interception came with 6:27 left in the first quarter with Newton leading 7-0 and the Railers driving deep into Maize South territory. Though easily overlooked by other woes across the team’s performance, once the Mavericks forced a turnover, they captured momentum and Newton was never able to regain it. Had the Railers scored on that drive and taken a two-score lead it would’ve heavily changed the course of the game.
The turning points:
Maize South’s trick play that resulted in its go-ahead touchdown midway through the second quarter cemented the Mavericks’ control of the game. It revitalized a team that had been playing rather lifelessly despite forcing two first-half turnovers. From that point on, Newton played on its heels.
The third touchdown scored by Maize South exposed a recurring theme among the Railer secondary: an inability to defend in the red zone. Far too often, opposing wide receivers are finding themselves all alone in the end zone. McNew’s second scoring toss to Askren with 2:29 left in the first half took advantage of this and put Newton two scores behind.
The lone consistent trait you simply can’t knock about the Railers is their willingness to compete at all times. Throughout the second half, Newton’s defensive front seven recorded two sacks and forced a handful of negative plays that prevented the Mavericks from worsening the Railers’ deficit. This has been praised by Slade after each game so far this season.
Newton’s wide receiver corps got back in the groove after a dismal showing a week ago with the three primary contributors (Carr, Isaac Klug, and Dellen Claassen) each getting a fair share of receptions. With this, Gomez regained his confidence as well. It’s a positive development, despite the lack of yardage, ahead of next week when the Railers welcome winless Arkansas City to town.
The areas of concern:
As mentioned with Newton’s secondary, red zone defense altogether is a major red flag for the Railers, and will be moving forward no matter the opponent. Teams that have faced Newton have rarely been forced to kick field goals — Maize South attempted more in this game than any other team has against the Railers in 2022. At some point, the defense has to give the offense extra chances to stay competitive.
The lack of a run game will always haunt any offense, especially at the high school level. Credit is due to Newton’s coaching staff for finding ways to get Hulse and CJ Claussen touches creatively but the ability to run between the tackles is essential to success. The Railer offensive line was noted as the key matchup ahead of this contest and they were beaten at the line of scrimmage once again.
Full offensive stats:
To see full offensive stats from this game, click/tap the button below.
Newton will host Arkansas City in non-league play next Friday at Fischer Field Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The Bulldogs are 1-3. It’ll be the first meeting between the two teams since 2017.