The Newton County High School Rams (6-1, 2-0 Region 2-AAAAAA) dominated the Alcovy Tigers (1-6 , 1-1 Region 2 AAAAAA) in this year’s rivalry game by a score of 47-0.
The Tigers had just come off of a big win on homecoming week, and looked forward to keeping that momentum going Friday night versus the Rams, but the night wasn’t meant to be theirs. Five minutes before kickoff, a power outage put the game in question. While a few fans had made it inside the stadium, most fans were held at the gate until a decision was made on playing or cancelling the game.
It was announced that the game was cancelled and would be played Saturday night at 7 p.m., but while most fans were heading to the parking lot, the lights came on in Sharp stadium. The game was on, and the blackout issue would foreshadow events for both teams. For the Tigers, it foreshadowed a long night; for the Rams, it described their lights out performance.
The Rams started with the ball at the 33-yard line. Senior quarterback Romario Johnson started the night with an incomplete pass, but the offense didn’t take long to get on track. Johnson completed a pass to junior Dante Johnson for 12 yards, and Romario followed it up with a 19-yard run to the right side of the Tiger’s defense.
Junior Kurt Taylor seemed to burst out of a cannon through the middle from the Tigers’ 33 yard line, rushing for the Rams’ first touchdown. With the 2 point conversion converted, the score was 8-0 with 10:26 left in the first quarter. The Tigers received the kickoff and started with good field position at their own 43-yard line. The Tiger’s offense started with a false start penalty and then a rush for no gain. After another rush for no gain and a sack, the Tigers punted on their first drive going three-and-out.
The Rams started their next drive from their own 27 yard line. On the first play, Johnson threw to senior Deandre Huff and he took it 72 yards for the Rams’ second touchdown of the night. With the 2 point conversion being good again, the score was 16-0 with 7:34 left in the first quarter.
One good thing for the Tigers all night was starting field position. They started at their 45-yard line with a 2 yard loss on a run play, but a Rams’ penalty gave the Tigers a first down. They couldn’t capitalize though; a two-yard loss and a four-yard run were only followed up by Tigers’ quarterback Quindrelin Hammonds throwing an interception on his first pass of the night.
Rams’ senior Quentin Dixon intercepted Hammonds and the Rams were back in business starting at their own 13-yard line after a penalty. Taylor starts with a nine-yard run to the left side and gained another yard the next play to give the Rams a first down. The Rams went to the air on first down and connected with junior Jeremiah Holloman as he broke two tackles and ran for a 77-yard touchdown. The extra point was good, and the score was 23-0 with 4:21 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers got a good kickoff return and start at their own 45-yard line once again. Their first run was stuffed for a two-yard loss. Newton junior Dante Carter was responsible for two tackles on the drive, one for a loss, and was in the Tiger’s backfield all night. On the first play of the second quarter, the Rams’ senior Tony Collins II came up with a big sack for a loss of 10 yards to end the Tiger’s drive.
The Rams started at their own 15 yard line with Taylor getting a carry for six yards. The very next play was another bomb thrown by Johnson to Holloman for a 79-yard touchdown. 30-0 Rams, and the game was officially a blowout with 10:22 left in the second quarter. The Tigers started for the third time at their 45-yard line. After an 11-yard run for a first down, a penalty, a short gain and two incomplete passes ended the drive.
The Rams started at their 25-yard line. Taylor gained good yardage running the ball for a couple of first downs. After two first downs, Taylor broke a 20-yard run and Johnson followed it up with a 24-yard quarterback draw setting up their first red zone opportunity. From the 10-yard line, Taylor rushes for the touchdown, increasing the Rams’ lead to 37-0.
For the fourth time in a row, the Tigers start their drive at the 45-yard line, and they went three-and-out. Rams’ junior Jeremiah Bundrage came up big on three-and-out drive with a huge tackle for a loss. Rams’ junior Deion Watson contributed as well on the drive stop with a tackle for a loss as he flew in the backfield and held up the running back.
The Tigers had to punt, and the Rams’ Huff received the punt at their own 25-yard line. He started left, cut right and broke a tackle before racing down the sideline for a 75-yard punt return touchdown with 2:07 left in the second quarter. 44-0 Rams, and the Rams’ faithful went wild with cheers. You could feel the bleachers rocking as well as the press box.
The Tigers started the last drive of the half at their own 19-yard line. They took to the ground and gained 45 yards on four runs before a penalty, a five-yard pass and three-yard run ended the half.
The second half started for the Tigers at their own 39-yard line. After a Rams penalty, Bundrage disrupted the Tigers’ backfield again for a two-yard loss. Junior Jaquan Henderson followed up the loss with a sack of his own on the drive before the Tigers had to punt. The Rams started their first drive of the second half on the 37-yard line. This drive belonged to senior Augustus Murray as he busted off a 13-yard run, a 14-yard run and another seven yards on runs setting up the Rams in the red 0zone once again.
The Tigers’ defense finally held the Rams forcing a fourth and short, and the Rams lost one yard forcing a field goal. The field goal was good, and the score was 47-0 with 7:38 left in the third. On the ensuing kickoff, the Rams kick an onside kick that bounced into and out of a Tigers’ player hands and the Rams recovered it. The Rams got offense from senior Artice Hobbs with 36 yards rushing setting up great field position in the Tigers territory.
The Tigers started the fourth quarter with a fumble recovery at their own 42-yard line. They couldn’t get anything going as Rams seniors Breone Adkins and Harrison Chance closed the drive with a sack, meeting at the quarterback causing the Tigers to punt. The Rams held the ball for the most of the quarter with successful runs put up by freshman Khalil Wilcox, and help with a catch from senior Jamani Payne to run out the clock, and with time running out, they ended the game. 47-0 Rams victory.
Alcovy has a bye week next week and will face Tucker at home on Oct. 23. The Rams will be off next week as well before coming back to play at Lovejoy Oct. 23. Both games are at 7:30 p.m.