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Rams top Westlake, pick up first region win
Javonte Williams' three TDs lead 35-14 rout
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Newton finally earned its first region win while snapping its four-game losing streak Saturday with a 35-14 win over Westlake. The Rams forced five turnovers and the offense had its most complete game of the season in the process.

"The kids have matured and are playing a lot better so we’re excited for them," Newton coach Cortez Allen said. "It feels good. Now we can go home and look at film and see some of the mistakes we made but also look at some of the things we did well and still feel good about a win."

After an early Newton score, the game slowed down to a snail’s pace thanks to a combined 15 penalties between the two teams. The teams

"I think we did a good job staying focused and maintaining what we wanted to do," Allen said. "That first quarter was probably the worst football I’ve seen from both teams to the officials. I was proud of our kids for sticking in there and handling it and moving forward."

Javonte Williams had a big night, scoring three rushing touchdowns and leading all running backs in yards from scrimmage.

"He’s (Williams) been doing a heck of a job running the ball," Allen said. "Out of the backs we’ve had over the past couple of years, he’ll probably have gained the most yards (in a season) so he did a great job. We’re proud of him."

Slow starts complete with costly turnovers have plagued the Rams during their recent slide but they were able to buck that trend. Newton quarterback Gmatreian Brown hit Aaron Pierce for a 20-yard touchdown strike on their first possession and the Rams led 7-0 with 10:23 left in the opening quarter.

"That’s something we’ve talked about and been working on," Allen said. "It got fixed finally. Hopefully it’s finally fixed and we can keep moving forward."

Westlake responded with a quick 80-yard drive setup by an 82-yard reception by Devin Anderson. Josh Poole took it in two plays later from three yards out to knot the score at seven. Things got ugly from there.

Newton turned it over on downs after a failed fake punt attempt on fourth down then committed five penalties on their next series and was forced to punt from deep in their own territory.

"That was probably the ugliest series of football I’ve ever seen," Allen said.

Westlake made its first mistake on its ensuing possession when a long snap on a punt sailed 30 yards past the punter. The Rams were unable to capitalize when kicker Zac Sullivan rattled the left upright from 39 yards out.

Davonte Hunt gave the Rams the ball right back on a 68-yard interception return. Williams took it in from 14 yards on Newton’s first play to make it a 14-0 game with 9:10 left in the half. Hunt had two interceptions on the night.

The Rams cashed in on another Westlake mistake. After another interception gave Newton the ball at the Lions’ 26, Williams capped an 8-play drive with his second touchdown, this time from three yards out. Brown’s 23-yard pass to Desean McKenzie on third-and-20 set up the score.

Westlake scored on its opening drive of the second half and was poised to tie the game after Newton fumbled the ensuing kickoff. But the Rams held Westlake to a field goal attempt then deflected the 28-yard attempt.

Darius Dean broke a 37-yard run on the Rams first play of their next possession and Williams capped the drive with a 25-yard touchdown run for his third score of the night.

B.J Reid scored Newton’s final touchdown with 9:58 remaining in the game on a 2-yard run to make it 35-14.

Westlake defeated Newton a year ago to knock the Rams out of the playoffs. Even though they are out of the playoff hunt, Newton returned the favor Saturday.

Having beating East Coweta already, the Lions had a shot to get in as the fourth seed.

"We use that with the kids for motivation but we just want to go out and win the ballgame," Allen said. "We just want to worry about us."

also combined to commit four turnovers. Nevertheless, the Rams built a 21-7 lead in large part to their ability to capitalize on Westlake mistakes.