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NEWTON CUP: Why the battle between Newton County football teams is a rivalry unlike any other
Newton vs. Alcovy's Friday night football game kicks off 2022 battle for the Newton Cup
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Newton's senior quarterback, Jevarra Martin Jr., scored three touchdowns in the Rams' 27-7 victory over cross-town rival Eastside - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News

When Newton and Alcovy's football teams show up for Friday's 7:30 p.m. clash at Sharp Stadium, it will signal the renewal of the battle for the Newton Cup.

Since 2006, Newton County has had three high schools and, therefore, three football teams — Newton, Eastside and Alcovy — have battled on the gridiron and for the coveted Newton Cup as part of its round robin rivalry every football season. 

But a rivalry that has spanned across a decade and a half has seen many noteworthy moments, and it started at the very beginning. 

Newton vs. Eastside 

NHS leads series 10-7-1

The first ever inter-county matchup in Newton County took place on Sept. 13, 2002 between the Newton Rams and the Eastside Eagles. In fact, this game was a region matchup as both teams were members of Region 8-AAAA. 

Eastside won 14-7. After that, wins for each school seemed to come in threes. Newton enjoyed a three-game winning streak over Eastside from 2003-2005. But Eastside answered with a three-game winning streak of its own from 2006-2008. 

Another three-game winning streak by Newton ran from 2009-2011, which featured the series’ closest margin of victory to date when the Rams won 10-3 in 2011. 

One year later, Eastside enjoyed its biggest margin of victory against a Newton squad when it downed the Rams 32-0. The Eagles also won in 2013. 

In the 2014 and 2015 seasons, the two teams didn’t battle on the gridiron. However, 2016 featured a close contest that produced the lone tie between any Newton County-based school. 

Newton 41, Eastside 41. Why did it end in a tie? Well, given that this was a non-region contest, Georgia High School Association guidelines allow for overtime in non-region football games to be optional. The catch is, both teams’ coaches have to agree to overtime. If one chooses against it, the game automatically ends in an end-of-regulation tie. 

But in 2017, the Rams left no doubt, dominating the Eagles 40-0. Eastside responded with payback in a 27-20 victory a year later. 

That was the Eagles’ last win over Newton as the Rams have owned the past three seasons winning by a combined score of 90-21. 

Eastside vs. Alcovy 

EHS leads series 13-3 

Facing each other for the first time on Oct. 27, 2006, the Eagles dominated the Tigers out of the gate winning the first three matchups by a combined score of 86-23. 

Alcovy earned its first win in the series in 2009 by defeating the Eagles 3-0. 

The two teams then traded two-game winning streaks in the following four years. 

Eastside won over Alcovy in the 2010 and 2011 seasons while Alcovy triumphed two years in a row from 2012 and 2013. 

In 2012, Alcovy celebrated its biggest margin of victory over the Eagles in a 24-10 triumph. Alcovy’s 20-10 win on Sept. 13, 2013, though, was its last in the series. 

Eastside has enjoyed wins over Alcovy since 2014. The Eagles’ biggest win in the matchup came in 2015 when they downed the Tigers 41-0. 

The past two seasons have shown signs of Alcovy closing the gap between the two schools – especially when you consider the 2020 game which ended with Eastside winning 34-31 in one of the closest matchups in the series. 

Newton vs. Alcovy 

NHS leads series 4-3

Now, this particular matchup isn’t as steeped in history as one might think. Even though the first meet-up between the two came on Sept. 8, 2006, there was an eight-year gap (2010-2017) where Newton and Alcovy didn’t play each other. 

Nevertheless, the rivalry matchup was actually owned by Alcovy early on. 

Newton bested Alcovy 19-14 in the series’ inaugural game, but Alcovy went on to win the next three games by scores of 23-0, 3-0 and 3-0. 

Following the eight-year hiatus, Newton started dominating the series by defeating the Tigers by a combined score of 99-3. The Rams’ biggest margin of victory came in 2019 when they shut out Alcovy 45-0. 

The two teams didn’t play  in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing a game cancellation. 

2022 Newton Cup 

This year, all three schools will be playing each other again for the Newton Cup.

On Aug. 26, Newton and Alcovy will renew its rivalry at 7:30 p.m. The following week, on Sept. 2, Eastside and Newton will face off while the 2022 edition of the Newton Cup rivalry will conclude on Sept. 9 with Alcovy and Eastside squaring off. 

The past few years, the Newton Cup has been captured by the Newton Rams. Will that streak continue or will Eastside or Alcovy rise up and claim the title?