Salem's girls survived against a strong push from a promising Newton team with a bright future, but Newton's boys dealt the Seminoles their second loss of the season.
Newton, both the girls and the boys, got convincing victories over county rival Eastside. The girls started it off with a 76-51 victory and the boys followed it up by winning 57-43.
All good things must come to an end. Newton's outstanding playoff run ended on Friday after a devastating 43-29 loss to Etowah.
Before the season, Rams' head coach Terrance Banks talked a big game about his team. It had some wondering if he was just being arrogant or if there was actual truth to his words. The Rams just lost their last game of the season, going 2-1 in the playoffs, but it seems Banks was right about a lot.
This week is a special edition of our athletes of the week page. With Eastside and Alcovy basketball having away games, we decided that Newton's seniors would be the athletes of the week. All of Newton's seniors have made some type of impact on this season, but we can only highlight a few of them. Honorable mentions: Nuka Yobo and Steven Montac.
With five minutes and 31 seconds left Newton awaited a kickoff with the game tied at 29. It was everything the Rams wanted, until it wasn't.
All year long Newton football made its money on offense where Rams' head coach Terrance Banks had nine returning starters from last year's team. As the Black Knights know, the Rams live and die (mostly living) on the arms and legs of Romario Johnson. However, it's been the Rams' defense that has propelled the team to new heights in this year's playoffs.
They say pressure either makes pipes burst or it makes diamonds. Plenty of pressure was on Newton to follow up the win against Valdosta and solidify the Rams as a program to be reckoned with. The only pressure that showed against Central Gwinnett was the pressure from the Rams' defense.
Newton versus Heritage was all it was hyped up to be, at least in terms of the jawing between the two sides in the crowd. To begin the boys matchup, Newton fans brought out their newspapers (Covington News papers of course) when the boys varsity players were announced. It was a smart play, and it worked. Although, the fan contest is over, you can still sends us your fan photos for a chance to get the #FanPhotoOfTheWeek in our weekly Sunday edition.
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.