POWDER SPRINGS, Ga. - The Newton Rams held off the McEachern Indians’ attempt at a comeback win and defeated the Indians 39-21 at Walter H. Cantrell Stadium on Friday night.
There were some anxious moments for the Rams down the stretch, but they persevered through it all.
Largely due to Newton's multidimensional rushing attack, the Rams recorded almost 400 rushing yards while averaging nine yards per attempt.
Whether it was Rontravious Perry, Zion Johnson, Jehden Robinson or Jevarra Martin Jr., the Rams’ run game preserved the Rams lead and brought home the win.
Perry put the game on ice with a score from three yards out with just 1:27 remaining in the game. Perry finished the contest with 177 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Additionally, Johnson rushed for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Robinson, who the left the game early with a leg injury, had 44 yards on seven attempts and Martin recorded 85 rushing yards as well as 99 passing yards.
The Rams’ defense wouldn’t be outdone, though.
With the defense just surrendering an average of 6.5 points per game going into Friday night, they made their presence known early.
After both teams went three-and-out on their opening drives, Newton downed Perry’s first punt of the game at the Indians' 1-yard line.
Operating under the shadow of his own goal post, McEachern quarterback Bryce Archie dropped back to attempt a pass two plays later. When he did, the front four of the Rams defense greeted him with a sack in the end zone.
For the second time this season, Newton forced a safety to score an additional two points.
More of the run game was on display in the second half which ate more clock. Particularly in the third quarter, the Rams’ running game just busted open.
Perry and Johnson began the second half scoring with 89 and 47-yard touchdowns, respectively. Those back-to-back touchdown drives seemed to provide the separation needed for the Rams' win.
On the other hand, McEachern was opportunistic in its scoring.
Its first two scores of the contest were set up by two muffed punts from Newton’s return man, Montarious Reed. Then, late in the contest, the Indians took advantage of the Rams’ soft coverage when Charles Gordan ripped off a 60-yard touchdown run.
All three touchdowns came in the second half which made for an intense finish to Newton's win. Despite all of that, however, the Rams' efficient run game and suffocating defense kept them in the driver's seat for most of the game.
After the win, Newton improves to 3-0 overall in 2021. Next week, they host Houston County at Sharp Stadium and they begin region play on Oct. 2 against Parkview.