SOUTH FULTON, Ga. — The Newton Rams faced two opponents on Friday night: themselves and the Westlake Lions. Newton went 0-for-2 on the night in its 42-14 setback to Westlake on the road.
In most ways, the Rams were their own worst enemy, and that became evident in the closing parts of the first half.
Newton led 14-10 with 6:20 remaining in the second quarter. At that point, the Rams imploded.
The Rams had an arrant snap over Deion Lewis’ head that made its way to the end zone and was recovered by Lewis. The play resulted in a safety giving Westlake two points.
On the free kick that ensued, the Lions returned the ball back for a touchdown giving Westlake a 19-14 lead.
But that wasn’t it.
Another snap went past Lewis — who was one of four quarterbacks to take snaps for Newton on Friday night — and through the back of the end zone.
And just like that, in less than four minutes, Westlake had a 21-14 advantage.
Earlier in the half, though, Newton had some explosive plays.
The Rams’ first score was set up by a Tony Clark interception that was returned to plus-9. Two plays later, JaMarcus Presley found the edge to score a touchdown to draw the score even at 7-7.
Then, after surrendering a field goal to Westlake, Newton responded with just one play. Zion Johnson ran right down the middle of the Lions’ defense for a 60-yard touchdown as the final seconds ticked off the first quarter clock.
Newton’s defense had a few highlight-worthy plays as well. Whether it was a tackle for loss by Justin Benton or Anthony Bynum, or one of Kyle Veasley’s two interceptions, the Rams’ defense made its presence is known throughout the contest.
But, as the game progressed, Westlake’s offensive firepower was too much for Newton to contain and contend with.
The Lions scored three more times in the second half compared to Newton being shut out.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 3-2 overall. They are also 0-2 now in their road matchups of 2022.
Newton enters its first bye week of the season. Then, in two weeks, it returns home to kick off its Region 4-AAAAAAA games beginning with Grayson coming to town.
Following Week 4’s loss to the McEachern Indians, head coach Camiel Grant Jr. addressed the need for the Newton Rams to be urgent in Monday’s post-practice speech.
Grant compared the Rams’ first loss of the season to running late to work after one sleeps through their 5 a.m. alarm and instead wakes up at 5:45 a.m.
Following Friday’s result the Rams will look to be even more urgent as it leaves the non-region part of their schedule.