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RGR | Newton kicks off welcomed four-game stretch with trip to Maize South
What's at stake, the key matchup, players to watch, and more.
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On Friday, Newton (0-3) will travel south to Maize for the second consecutive week, this time for a matchup with 5A’s sixth-ranked Maize South (2-1) to continue its Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division 1 campaign.
Location: MSHS Sports Stadium (Maize)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Weather: 77 degrees. Clear skies. 1% chance of rain.
Spread (via the Esch Index): Maize South (-27)
2021 result: Maize South won, 68-24
What’s at stake?
Newton is looking to avoid its third straight 0-4 start after falling to top-ranked Maize, 49-0, a week ago. Maize South is looking to bounce back from a 35-21 loss to fourth-ranked Hutchinson. This matchup is the first of a four-game stretch for the Railers that offers a collection of winnable games — home games against Arkansas City (0-3) and Salina South (0-3) followed by a trip to Haysville-Campus (1-2) await Newton starting next week. The Mavericks are seeking momentum ahead of their showdown with the crosstown rival Eagles. This is only the third meeting between Newton and Maize South since the latter opened in 2009.
The Newton offensive line — led by senior Jayden Woods — must move the line of scrimmage for the running back duo of James Hulse and CJ Claussen, who have struggled running between the tackles this season. The Maize South defense allowed 20 points through its first two games prior to allowing 35 against Hutchinson. If the Railers are hoping for more success than they produced a week ago, they’ll need to be two-dimensional against a Maverick unit that could be reeling from last week’s performance.
Players to watch
Newton: WR Camden Carr. The senior was quiet (along with the entire Railer offense) against Maize, but will need to get open early and often against Maize South to help his signal-caller Colby Gomez get back on track. Both recorded career outings in the narrow loss to Hutchinson and will be hoping for similar production.
Maize South: QB Tate McNew. The sophomore threw for 448 yards and five touchdowns on 23 completions in the Mavericks’ season-opening win over Andover on Sep. 2. He tallied 242 yards through the air in the team’s only loss thus far to Hutchinson. Now, he’ll face arguably the most big-play prone secondary on Maize South’s schedule.
Facts and figures
Maize South leads the all-time series versus Newton, 2-0. Maize South won those meetings by an average of 32 points. … This is Newton’s third game in 2022 against a ranked opponent. … Newton and Maize South share a loss to Hutchinson. Newton lost by five while Maize South lost by 14. … This is Newton’s second straight season playing Maize South on the road. … This is the second of back-to-back road games for Newton. It’s the first of back-to-back home games for Maize South.
Esch Index projection: Maize South 36, Newton 9