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PREP FOOTBALL: Archer defense shines in rout of Newton
Newton Football
Archer's Solomon Zubairu pursues and wraps up Newton quarterback Neal Howard during the Rams' 40-14 loss Thursday night to the fifth-ranked Tigers in Region 8-AAAAAAA action. -photo by Anthony Banks

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – The Newton Rams fell to Region 8-AAAAAAA opponent, No. 5 Archer Thursday night by a score of 40-14.

After starting the region schedule out right last week by rolling South Gwinnett, the Rams’ hopes of taking that momentum into the heart of their region schedule were quickly brought to a halt.

“They out-played us, and we made mistakes that we couldn’t make, and they capitalized off of them,” Newton head coach Terrance Banks said after the game. “When you play a team that is this good, you cannot make mistakes, and we made a bunch of them in the first half.”

The game’s opening series foreshadowed the night’s upcoming events.

After a long kick return from Archer, the Tigers pulled out a double pass play and scored from 45 yards out on the first play from scrimmage.

After a pair of stagnant series from both offenses, Newton was forced to punt from its own 30. The snap sailed deep into the end zone where Newton recovered, limiting the damage to a safety.

 Up 9-0 already, Archer took the free kick and in four plays added another score on a 38-yard touchdown bomb from quarterback Carter Peevy. This put Archer up 16-0 with 4:40 left in the first quarter.

Newton’s offense continued to struggle on its second drive, forcing the Rams to punt. After it appeared the special teams woes had subsided with a good snap and deep punt, Archer returned the punt 78-yards for yet another score, going up 23-0, still in the first quarter.

The Tigers continued to roll the Rams for the remainder of the half, adding on another touchdown and a field goal, and forcing three turnovers from Rams’ starting quarterback Neal Howard.

After benching LT Stowers in favor of Howard in the second half of last week’s South Gwinnett win, Howard drew the start at Archer, but the Tigers’ defense provided little room for success.

Facing a 33-0 deficit, the Rams went into the locker room desperate for a change.

Unfortunately, the only change that came during the second half was at the quarterback position as Stowers took over for Howard after his early struggles. Though Stowers had the Rams’ offense looking sharp for their first drive after the break, penalties killed their groove forcing a punt.

Archer subsequently scored after taking possession, going up 40-0.

Though the evening did not at all go how the Rams wanted, they did manage to put up 14 points thanks to Robert Lewis’ 83-yard kick return and a goal line scamper for a score from Jerrol Hines.

With the loss, Newton fell to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in region play. It will have to rebound team morale quickly as they face just as worthy of an opponent next week when they travel to region opponent, No. 4 Grayson.