COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton challenged the undefeated Mill Creek on a chilly homecoming night at Homer Sharp Stadium, but the Rams’ impressive bid to break up the Hawks’ perfect season came up short as they pulled away 17-14.
In the first quarter, Mill Creek took advantage of good field position, starting at mid-field. Frequent contributions from quarterback Hayden Clark and running back Donovan Journey helped keep the chains moving. From the 2-yard line, Caleb Downs took a direct snap and found his way into the end zone to give the Hawks a 7-0 lead with under five minutes remaining in the quarter.
The Rams responded immediately.
Quarterback Jevarra Martin impressed the fans with his left arm, heaving two 30-yard completions to Montarious Reed and Marcus Calwise on back-to-back plays. Martin then capped off the drive with a running touchdown to tie the game 7-7.
The Rams defense played disciplined all night and contained Mill Creek’s running backs’ repeated attempts to get outside of their perimeter.
With seven minutes remaining in the second quarter, Mill Creek’s place kicker drove a 39-yard field goal through the uprights to give Mill Creek a 10-7 lead.
The Rams answered again by taking advantage of good field position.
With more than three minutes left in the half, running back Rontravious Perry had two huge gains on running plays to set up another touchdown run by Martin to give Newton a 14-10 lead over the undefeated Hawks.
In the closing minutes of the second quarter, both defenses traded turnovers. For the Rams, Nolan McCamy intercepted a pass by Clark. Seconds later, Martin rushed a throw into the hands of Mill Creek defender Garrett Zalewski, who ran the football 62 yards for a Pick-6 and give the Hawks a 17-14 lead at the half.
Both offenses were kept out of the end zone for the remainder of the game, as Mill Creek escaped with a 17-14 win.
With the nonregion loss, Newton falls to 4-3. The Rams get back to region play next week against Grayson.