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Posted: October 6, 2011 5:02 p.m.

Rams face must-win to stay in playoff hunt

Newton is in need of a win tonight when the Rams face Stephenson at Sharp Stadium. How bad do they need one? It’s pretty simple. If they lose, their chances of making the postseason are likely over.

While the Rams still have five games remaining including tonight’s, the road to the playoffs became bumpier thanks to a pair of losses to open region play. The Rams fell to Newnan and East Coweta in their previous two games respectively and have started region play 0-2. Now Newnan faces the tough task off knocking off either Stephenson (5-0, 2-0 Region 2-AAAAA) or M.L. King (5-0, 2-0) – two teams Newton has never defeated, then winning out the rest of the way. The latter task may be doable. History says taking down of M.L. King is a different story.

Yes, the task seems daunting. But the Rams

If the Rams are going to break through though, they’ll need to solve their offensive woes. After solid offensive showings against Shiloh and Northview, Newton has struggled to score points. They were held to eight points against East Coweta and just seven against Newnan. Throw in the 10 points they scored against Eastside in a win, and you see a pattern of offensive futility the Rams must dispose of tonight.

Newton’s defense has been pretty solid for the most part and teams are scoring on average, 14 points per game against the Rams. However, the Rams aren’t making things happen on special teams as much as they’d hoped. That explains some of the team’s recent struggles. Still, Newton’s defense has played well enough to give the Rams a chance to win.

Stephenson sits in a four-way tie at the top of the region standings but that will change once those teams face each other. Newton on the other hand must win then hope for some help. The Rams can’t control what other teams do so it’ll be up to them to take care of what they can control.

have fared pretty well against Stephenson the past two years, giving coaches and players at least a glimmer of hope. The Rams were right there with the Jaguars last year before eventually falling 22-16, and a touchdown in overtime proved to be the difference in a 13-7 loss in 2009. A breakthrough seems inevitable.

 

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