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Newton, Rockdale clash in region battle
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The Newton Rams take the road tonight for a region contest with a little rivalry flair, as Newton travels to Reid Stadium to take on Rockdale County at 7:30 p.m.

The Rams hold a perfect mark in region play, but they're taking on a Bulldogs' program looking for redemption after turning the ball over six times last week against Luella.

A win for the Rams would give Newton not only bragging rights, but also would keep Newton at the top of the region standings with Lovejoy.

Despite the Bulldogs losing their last two games against Lovejoy and the Lions, Newton coach Terrance Banks said the game will still have a certain level of excitement you can't find anywhere else.

"This week is a tremendously important game for us," Banks said. "It’s a rivalry game and it’s a big game. We worked a lot with Rockdale this summer, so the guys have seen each other some. They’re going to have a great crowd. It’s going to be exciting."

Even though Rockdale fell 28-14 last week on the road to Luella, the Bulldogs' defense gave up just one of those scores. Banks said that the Bulldogs' athletic defenders could cause trouble for Newton in their 43rd all-time meeting.

"Rockdale’s defense is extremely fast and well coached," he said “They have multiple fronts and they understand them. They know their alignments and are well versed on the defensive side of the ball. I think this game comes down to which defense plays better and which quarterback doesn’t turn the ball over."

Banks believes that no matter what, the Rams must stay aggressive and make good decisions to claim their third consecutive win over Rockdale.

"I want to see our team continue to be aggressive," Banks said. "I want to make Rockdale one dimensional. I think we do a good job of forcing teams into areas that are not their strength. We want them to throw the ball, and if we can do that, I think we’re going to have a good shot.

"We have to continue not to kill drives," he said. "Romario (Johnson) can take us on a roller coaster ride; it's up and down. I want him to take care of the ball this week and be smart with the football. If he does that, we’ll be able to put up points."