COVINGTON, Ga. — Make it seven in a row for the boys in blue.
Newton and Alcovy met on the gridiron for the 11th time at Sharp Stadium on Friday night. After a slow start, the Rams continued their dominance in the series by powering their way to a 27-0 victory — their seventh consecutive win over their cross-county rival and eighth in 11 meetings.
Newton started the year off 1-0, but the coaching staff was far from satisfied with the team’s execution against the Tigers. The Rams continuously found themselves in their own way through penalties, dropped balls and missed tackles.
“We’ve just got a lot of work to do to get ready for Eastside next week. I’m not happy at all with the way that we played,” Newton head coach Camiel Grant Jr. said. “The scoreboard is not what tells us if we’re being successful. It’s our effort, our focus. The effort was good, but the focus was completely lacking.”
After squandering a scoring opportunity late in the second quarter, Grant and his staff were looking for a wake-up call to start the second half.
And that’s exactly what they received.
Senior Nyland Green fielded the second half kickoff on his own 3-yard line and sliced through a cloud of white jerseys unscathed on his way to a 97-yard touchdown. Green, the two-way blue chip recruit, finished the night with two touchdowns while also locking down Alcovy receivers from his cornerback position.
“Every time he touches the ball, a simple play can be an explosive [play,]” Grant said of Green. “You don’t have to do something huge with him; just get it to him.”
Newton’s final strike of the night came midway through the third quarter. Making his first start at the varsity level, junior quarterback Jevarra Martin Jr. dropped a dime pass in the hands of Tyrell Floyd for a 47-yard touchdown to put the Rams up 27-0 with 5:01 remaining in the period.
The Rams’ defense would stand pat for the remainder of the game, but so, too, would Alcovy’s.
“We can’t use the fact that we got shut down and we were behind for a couple weeks as an excuse,” Grant said. “That was just sloppy.”
Alcovy received the opening kickoff but was unable to capitalize. The Tigers ran three plays and promptly punted the ball away to the Rams, who took over on their own 20.
Newton effortlessly pushed the ball down
the field on its first drive, capping a 12-play sequence with a 29-yard field goal from Abdiel Velasquez to make it 3-0 with 6:13 to go.
The Rams’ first possession was a slow and methodical. Their second was a lightning strike.
On just the second play from scrimmage, Martin Jr. dropped back and found Green streaking down the left side of the field. He dumped a pass into the outstretched hands of Green, who ignited the afterburners on his way to a 72-yard touchdown. With 1:45 remaining in the first quarter, the Rams held a 10-0 advantage.
The Tigers continued to hold their own defensively. Newton would add to its lead with a 32-yard field goal from Velasquez, but went into the locker room clinging to a 13-0 advantage.
Next week the Rams will return to Sharp Stadium to square off against another county rival in Eastside. The Tigers, meanwhile, will hit the road in search of their first win as they face Duluth.