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RGR | Newton seeks back-to-back wins against Salina South on senior night
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On Friday night, Newton (1-4) will host Salina South (0-5) for its senior night and final home game of the regular season as the Railers gear up for a stretch of three straight Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail Division 1 matchups.
Location: Fischer Field Stadium (Newton)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Weather: 52 degrees. Partly cloudy. 0% chance of rain.
Spread (via the Esch Index): Newton (-15)
What’s at stake?
Salina South is searching for its first win of the season and first since Sep. 17, 2021 to jump Newton out of last place in AVCTL-I. The Railers are looking to tally back-to-back wins for three straight seasons — two of which would include a win over the Cougars — after a 26-13 victory over Arkansas City a week ago and set up a crucial showdown for playoff seeding with Haysville-Campus next week. The Cougars will be fresh off a 42-7 loss to 5A’s fourth-ranked Hutchinson.
The Newton aerial attack should fare better than it has all season against a Salina South defense that’s one of the state’s worst against the pass — and has failed to hold a single opponent under 40 points in 2022. In the win over Arkansas City, the Railers went with a run-first gameplan that resulted in a quiet night for the team’s typically electric skills group. Expect them to get back on track at home against a highly suspect secondary.
Players to watch
Newton: QB Colby Gomez. As mentioned in the key matchup, the Newton passing attack will need to get back on track before it faces Haysville Campus next week in what’s likely to be the biggest game of the season in terms of playoff seeding for the Railers. Gomez has shown the ability to take advantage of reeling defenses and will look to do so again on Friday.
Salina South: RB Ian Andalon. The lead back racked up three touchdowns and 161 all-purpose yards in Salina South’s 56-41 loss to Haysville Campus back on Sep. 16 and has blossomed into the go-to ball carrier for the Cougars. He’ll also be quarterback Weston Fries’s safety valve in the passing game.
Facts and figures
Newton is 2-8 against Salina South since 2008 with Newton tallying both wins in the last two seasons. … Salina South’s average point differential this season is -34.4 while Newton’s is -13. … This contest marks Newton’s last home game and Salina South’s last road game of 2022. … Newton is 1-4 on senior night games since 2017. … This will be Salina South’s second straight trip to Newton in the same number of years.
Esch Index projection: Newton 35, Salina South 20