The Newton Rams earned their second region win of the season Friday night, getting back to .500 with a 32-21 victory over Druid Hills at Sharp Stadium.
Newton (3-3, 2-0) was able to get the win fairly easily, though they made a tremendous amount of mistakes and committed several personal foul penalties that allowed the Red Devils to stay within striking distance.
“It’s a win and we are happy,” Newton coach Terrance Banks said. “I don’t agree with all the penalties called on us, but we kept fighting and got the win.”
Newton’s offense came out lighting hot on their first two drives as they had two big plays that gave the Rams an early lead. On the first drive, quarterback Romario Johnson connected with Davonta Jones for 30-yard touchdown, before Johnson hit Taylor Hawkins in stride for a 69-yard touchdown pass on the Rams’ second offensive possession.
The two scores gave Newton a 14-0 lead, but the Red Devils battled back to threaten the Rams’ advantage.
Druids Hills responded late in the second quarter. After a fourth down stop deep in Newton territory, Red Devils’ quarterback Michael Scott connected with Thyus Hughes for 21 yards. The play set Scott up for a 1-yard touchdown run to complete the drive.
Newton tried to get back on the scoreboard before the half, but Johnson threw an errant pass that was intercepted by Druid Hills.
Johnson threw another pick to open the third quarter, but, Newton’s defense made a play of its own, recovering a fumble deep in Red Devils’ territory after Johnson’s turnover. Johnson redeemed himself on the Rams’ next drive, connecting with Jones again for a 13-yard touchdown.
Druid Hills’ turnover problems continued late into the third quarter, as Scott fumbled the snap and Newton recovered. The Rams capitalized again off the turnover, with Johnson taking a quarterback keeper 28 yards into the end zone for a touchdown.
Johnson started the fourth quarter much like he ended the third, crossing the goal line, this time with a 23-yard bomb to DeAndre Huff for a touchdown on the first play of the final quarter.
Newton’s defense put the icing on the cake late in the fourth quarter. The Ram’s Tony Collins picked off Scott in the end zone, returning it 78 yards for the Ram’s final score.
Druid Hills scored again with under a minute to go in the game, but Newton held on for the 32-21 final.
Newton travels to Rockdale next week for a big-time region matchup against the Bulldogs.
“It’s a big game,” Banks said. “It’s a rivalry with a trophy involved.”
The Rams are 22-17-3 all-time against the Bulldogs, winning the last two contests by a combined score of 41-13.