The Newton High School football team lost its first Region 8-AAAAAAA game of the season Friday night, getting shutout on the road, 42-0 by Archer.
As has happened earlier this season to the Rams (4-2-1, 1-1) turnovers were an issue, creating a shortened field for their opponent to work with.
“We didn’t have the boys with the right claws to execute plays,” Newton coach Terrance Banks said. “We turned the ball over, and our defense had to play the majority of the second quarter on the field.
“Any time that Archer had to drive the ball from their side to ours, they were unable, but every time we gave them the ball on our side of the field, they were able to put up points, and we did that often.”
The Rams have had close games throughout the season, with its previously lone loss coming at Lowndes, 42-34. However, Friday night Newton wasn’t able to threaten.
“We didn’t play our best,” Banks said. “As a staff, we didn’t do enough to have the boys prepared, and ultimately that falls on me.”
Despite the hiccup, Banks feels his team can improve and make a playoff push, especially with an additional week of preparation ahead.
“We have a bye week coming up, so we’ll get back to work and try to continue to get kids healthy,” Banks said. “We’re still missing about five or six starters. It’s no excuses. We talk about the next person up, but we’re still missing five or six starters, and we have three games left, so we’re going to use this week to get healthy and then finish strong.”
Newton will travel to Loganville to face one of the best teams in the state in Grayson, on Oct. 21.
“This is not the first time that we’ve lost a game, and it doesn’t mean that the season is over with,” Banks said. “We continue to fight, because that’s what we do. We’ve been in this situation before.
“We haven’t had a game where all offense, defense and special teams all played well in the same game, so that’s our goal over the next three weeks is to get that to happen going into the playoffs.”
Mariya Lewter contributed to this report.