The Newton Rams enter their sixth game of the season Friday night at Sharp Stadium against Druid Hills with one goal on their mind.
Just keep winning.
After starting the season 1-3, tonight the Rams have a chance to move to 2-0 in region play with a victory over the Red Devils.
Things are once again falling into place for the Rams, and Newton coach Terrance Banks is ready for the Rams to gain some confidence during fall break.
"Even though we had fall break this week, it didn't really affect us that much," Banks said. "We're stressing to the kids to maintain their focus and keep their goals in front of them. We want to take it one game at a time and take care of Druid Hills this week.
"We've learned that you never want to underestimate an opponent," he said. "We've been working hard and the kids are gaining some confidence."
NHS takes on the Red Devils after defeating county rival Alcovy 17-14 a week ago. Alcovy opened the game with 14 consecutive points, but the Rams responded with 17 unanswered points for their first region win of the year.
Banks said that getting off to a good start in region play was vital for his team.
"Winning last week was extremely important," Banks said. "Alcovy is a playoff team and a win over them is going to be important come playoff-seeding time. We want to win every game and winning that first region game was one of our goals.
"You don't want to be facing 0-1 in the region," he said. "It puts so much pressure on you. We have an opportunity to go 2-0 now, so this week is huge for us."
While Druid Hills' 2-3 overall record and 0-2 mark in region play may fool some, Banks believes the Red Devils could pose a lot of problems for the Rams.
"Druid Hills is extremely athletic," Banks said. "They are a mishap here or there away from having things so their way.
"We watched the game against Luella and early in the game they had a chance, but some things didn't go their way like a first down here or a blocked punt there," he said. "They have a lot of athletes — a lot of athletes that can match up with us. It's our job to not let them take advantage of that."
The Red Devils were shut out in their first two region games of the season, falling 59-0 to Lovejoy and 37-0 to Luella.
Banks believes that how his team executes along the line of scrimmage will determine if the Rams come out of Sharp Stadium with their third win of the season.
"One thing we really hope to take advantage of is taking control of the line of scrimmage," Banks said. "We can not let Druid Hills get into a rhythm on offense. If we let them control the ball, they could start putting together some of the impressive drives they have had in games and finishing those drives with scores. Our defensive line has to get in the backfield and put pressure on their quarterback. We want to make him uncomfortable and never let him get a feel of where we are on the field."
On the offensive side of the ball, Banks said the Rams have to continue to protect quarterback Romario Johnson while he's in the pocket, and open up running lanes for running back Artice Hobbs, who has played a more prominent role in the offense as the season has progressed.
"Offensively, we have to clear space and keep our quarterback up," Banks said. "We want him to feel comfortable back there. We've continued to add new schemes, but we have to give him the time to make a throw. We also have to keep blocking well for our running back while making sure he has running room."
The Rams are 2-2-1 all-time against the Red Devils, winning last season's contest 19-3 on the road at Adams Stadium.