Before last week, Newton never won a state playoff game. Now, they've won two. The Rams scored 15 unanswered points to beat Central Gwinnett 15-14 and advance to the third round where they will hit the road to face Etowah next Friday.
All the talk has died down now. Newton football was named Fox 5's team of the week on Thursday and has drawn plenty of media attention the past week for its victory over Valdosta. None of that matters tonight when the Rams take on Central Gwinnett at 7:30 at Sharp Stadium.
After their stunning playoff victory over Valdosta, the Rams have garnered plenty of attention. On Thursday morning, Newton held a pep rally, as Fox 5 came to award the football team with their trophy as the team of the week. Rams' head coach Terrance Banks accepted the trophy after the pep rally.
If cheering was the contest that counted then Heritage was easily the victor, but it didn't. Neither did the many entertaining dance-offs between the fans of the two schools, but what did count was the Ws for both the girls' and boys' varsity basketball teams.
On Tuesday, the Newton Lady Rams held a practice at Philips Arena. The players got to practice on the Atlanta Hawks' homecourt and also attended the Hawks/Lakers game that night. The team was able to be on the court at halftime and rebound for the players.
Play 12. That's been the goal all year for the Newton Rams. You see, playing 12 games in high school football means that you've won a first round state playoff game, something Newton hasn't done, ever. The Rams won two region playoff games in 1987, but region playoffs were eliminated in 1994 and Newton has never won a state playoff game. Until now.
Win or go home. That's what the playoffs are all about. That's what the Eastside Eagles and Newton Rams are facing next Friday, as both teams scratched and crawled their way into the Georgia State Playoffs. The first round kicks off November 14th for both teams.
The game of the season between two rivals ended in classic fashion. Newton took the game and the county championship crown in a thrilling 29-26 victory. Rockdale played great, the Bulldogs led for most of the game, but it was Newton's final drive that drove the nail in the coffin. Here's some takeaways from the game.
The game was all but over. Rockdale was nine yards away from the endzone and led Newton 26-21 with just over five minutes to go. On third and nine Steven Montac jumped a route and intercepted a Zuri Minnifield pass and the Rams were back in business at their own five-yard line.
In April 1956, Homer Sharp, principal of Newton County High School, proposed an idea for an athletic field for the school's sport activities. A month later, that athletic field came into action as the county's board of education approved the proposal. Due to the help of the citizens in the community, the stadium was opened on September 21, 1956. It was named after Homer Sharp, because of his hard-work and passion to get the field done. Since then, the field has been used for high school sporting events, recreational uses and graduation ceremonies.
It's that time of the year. Leaves are falling off trees, temperatures are dropping, windy days are upon us, football is nearing its end and it's time to head inside the gymnasiums and hit the hardwood. The Newton Lady Rams aren't wasting any time, as they already are in the gym getting ready for their season.
With less than three weeks until Newton plays its exhibition game the Rams are trying to get the chemistry back that they had this summer. The summer saw the team go 21-9 despite sophomore standout Darvin Jones missing 10 games.
With just two games left for most teams and one game for others, the playoff race is in the final lap and the teams are headed toward the finish line. Some teams fare better than others, but every Newton County high school football team has a shot at making it to the big dance. Here are the current playoff implications for each team. (Note: this was written before Newton's game against Lovejoy).
Speaking to head coach Ashley Coles after her team became the runner up in region 2-AAAAAA, she was confident her team could advance to the second round. Those expectations, although they were not met were very realistic. The Lady Rams came into the first round with an 13-15 record and Tift came into the matchup with an 11-17 record. After Tift's sweep against Newton the two teams finished with identical records. Coles recaps her first year as head coach and speaks on the future of the program in this Q&A.