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PREP FOOTBALL: Rams hold on for region win
Newton begins region play 1-0
Tahjae Mullix wraps up Parkview quarterback Colin Houck before other Rams defenders come in to force the sack. - photo by Garrett Pitts

COVINGTON, Ga. - The Newton Rams got their revenge under the Saturday night lights as they defeated Parkview 27-24 in a game that went down to the wire. 

The Rams defense made their presence known early and often as they found their way into the Parkview backfield with ease. The inability to move the ball for the Panthers would prove costly as the Rams would not have similar issues. 

Jevarra Martin Jr. once again went for the big touchdown as he found Rontravious Perry down the sideline. The tipped pass off the Panther defender fell right into Perry’s hands and he took it all the way down the field for a 69-yard touchdown. 

The pair of seniors gave the Rams a 6-0 lead after the blocked extra-point attempt.

Parkview’s offense found a breakthrough halfway through the second quarter as it ran the ball down the field effectively before eventually scoring on the 3-yard rush from Kyhair Spain to give the Panthers a 7-6 advantage. 

The Rams put their own run on display the next drive as freshman Zion Johnson turned on the jets and ran by the entire Parkview defense on his way to the 50-yard touchdown. That gave Newton back the lead at 12-7 following the failed two-point conversion.

As time was expiring in the second quarter, the Panthers moved toward midfield. Then, senior Tahjae Mullix made a key sack that ultimately killed the Parkview drive and sent the game into the break with momentum on the Rams’ side.

On the opening kickoff of the second half, the Panthers committed their first big miscue of the game. They fumbled on the return deep in their own territory. That gave Martin and the rest of the Newton offense the ball back almost immediately to open the third quarter.

One play was all Martin needed as he fired a laser across the middle to senior Audavion Collins for the 26-yard touchdown pass to make it a 20-7 game early in the half.

The Panthers answered quickly on the ensuing drive as a few quality run plays led to an 8-yard pass from quarterback Colin Houck to Antonio White to trim the Rams’ lead to 20-14.

Newton decided to go back to Johnson on the ground and it paid off as the freshman ripped off another big carry to put the Rams back into Parkview territory. The Rams eventually scored as Perry took the handoff right through the Panthers’ front seven and scored on the 15-yard carry to give the Rams a 27-14 lead.

Parkview turned over the ball twice early in the fourth quarter as Houck was picked off by Collins and then Anthony Bynum jumped on a fumble on the next drive. 

Neither of these turnovers resulted in points as the Panther defense woke up during the final quarter.

The Panthers would get a turnover of their own in the play following the fumble as Martin would drop the snap and Parkview quickly recovered to give Houck excellent field position. At the goal line, Houck dropped back and threw three straight incompletions resulting in a turnover on downs. 

The Rams had the ball on their own 3-yard line and failed to move any further and were faced with a fourth down in a bad position. Instead of punting, Perry received the ball and walked out the back of the endzone to take the intentional safety to limit the possibility of a blocked punt. The Rams’ lead was trimmed to 27-16 following the safety.

The Rams’ offensive struggles in the fourth quarter continued the ensuing drive with a three and out. Houck would not miss the opportunity as he drove the Panthers defense down the field and eventually scored on the 7-yard pass to White. Down by five points, Parkview rolled the dice on the two-point conversion and succeeded to make the score 27-24.

After Parkview held the Newton offense to another three and out, the Panthers got the ball back and needed to drive the ball 74 yards to get the touchdown with only 40 seconds left in the game.

Parkview moved down a good portion of the field with the help of the Newton defense as a late hit, defensive holding and defensive pass-interference were all called in consecutive plays.

With four seconds left in the game, Houck rolled out only to be sacked by multiple members of the Rams’ defense to put the game on ice and give Newton the win 27-24 and avenge their loss from last season.

Following the region win over Parkview, the Rams will get a week off before facing another tough region opponent as they go on the road to face the Brookwood Broncos Friday, October 15.