New­ton shuts out Redan 8-0

De­fense, pitch­ing pro­pel Lady Rams to fourth re­gion win

The Covington News - - Sports - By Eric R. Wal­lace

The New­ton Lady Rams had no trou­ble get­ting their fourth re­gion victory by shut­ting out The Redan Lady Raiders 8-0 in a five in­ning run-rule con­test Thurs­day.

Markea Shep­pard pitched the shutout for the Lady Rams (8-7 over­all, 42 Re­gion-2-AAAAA), al­low­ing only three bat­ters to reach the base paths strik­ing out six and walk­ing four.

The Lady Raiders (1-4 over­all, 0-2 Re­gion-2-AAAAA) went down in or­der on their first trip to the plate in the first in­ning be­fore New­ton came up in their half of the first to score two runs when Meisha Roberts walked, stole sec­ond and third, then came home on a wild pitch.

Cha­conna Marks fol­lowed with a sin­gle to right field and moved to sec­ond on an over­throw, then to third on a wild pitch. Holly Springer laid down a bunt to the pitcher to sac­ri­fice the Lady Rams’ sec­ond run and New­ton took a 2-0 lead into the sec­ond in­ning.

In the top of the sec­ond, Redan bats still couldn’t catch up to Shep­pard’s change up and went down in or­der again.

New­ton picked up two more runs in the bot­tom of the sec­ond when Sami Becker reached first on a field­ing er­ror by the sec­ond base­man, then stole sec­ond be­fore com­ing home when Cha­conna Marks hit a sac­ri­fice fly deep to cen­ter. Springer reached first on an er­ror by the sec­ond base­man be­fore Becca Bra­zle­ton slapped a sin­gle to right scor­ing the run­ner. The in­ning ended with New­ton in­creas­ing their lead 4-0 headed into the top of the third.

Shep­pard con­tin­ued her as­sault on the Lady Raiders in the third, send­ing all three bat­ters back to the dugout in or­der.

The bot­tom of the third spelled doom for the vis­i­tors from DeKalb when the Lady Rams took an 8-0 lead by scor­ing four runs off one hit in the in­ning.

Roberts reg­is­tered the only hit with a lead­off sin­gle to left cen­ter. The next bat­ter hit a grounder to short for the first out, mov­ing Roberts to sec­ond, but she was thrown out try­ing to move to third.

“They gave it to their best player. I mean, that’s what we did. They did the ex­act same thing and we were just for­tu­nate enough; Zach was in the right spot and we were for­tu­nate enough to make a play.”

East­side took an early 7-0 lead af­ter Git Aiken capped a seven-play 55-yard drive with a 7-yard touch­down in the first quar­ter.

Af­ter New­ton made two field goals, the Ea­gles scored two touch­downs in the wan­ing min­utes of the first half to take a 21-6 lead into half­time.

New­ton came out strong in the sec­ond half and DJ Hill scored on an 18-yard run with 9:48 left in the third to close the gap to 21-14. The Rams cap­i­tal­ized on a long re­turn and a short field af­ter East­side was called for a 15-yard face­mask on the kick­off to give New­ton the ball on the Ea­gles’ 32-yard line.

“We have great skill peo­ple in the back­field,” Collins said. “If you give us enough time, we’re go­ing to find a way to run the foot­ball and be suc­cess­ful."

Af­ter back-to-back turnovers, East­side moved the ball in­side New­ton’s 5-yard line af­ter Wray hooked up with Ken­dall Robin­son for 22 yards. But a fum­ble on the play killed the drive and the Rams trailed by one touch­down head­ing into the fourth quar­ter.

The Rams started the fi­nal drive on the last play of the third quar­ter and didn't give East­side the ball un­til the en­su­ing kick­off with less than two sec­onds re­main­ing.

Mak­ing things more dif­fi­cult, the Rams over­came three penal­ties and con­verted four fourth downs be­fore Akeem Hunt took an 8-yard sweep around the left edge to clip the py­lon and bring his team to within an ex­tra point.

East­side did its part in aid­ing the Rams drive as it was flagged twice for pass in­ter­fer­ence in­clud­ing once in the end zone. Each time the de­fen­sive penalty al­lowed the Rams to con­vert a fourth down.

“We felt like we were a bet­ter team,” Collins said. “We pre­pared well but we made some crit­i­cal mis­takes in the first half. I thought at half­time we made great ad­just­ments. We came out and ex­e­cuted our game plan the way we wanted to.

“We have to un­der­stand we are a bet­ter team than peo­ple give us credit for be­ing. Now, we have to un­der­stand that when we come pre­pared, we can beat any­body on any given night.”

For the night, McCray tal­lied 75 yards on 15 car­ries in­clud­ing a touch­down while Pooler chugged his way to 66 yards on 16 car­ries.

“One thing I never be­lieved in as a coach is run­ning the op­tion. When I de­cided to run it this week I toold the guys, ‘you’re go­ing to think I’m crazy, but we can run the op­tion against th­ese guys. We felt if you give us time and we keep go­ing, it would work.”

The op­tion did work. In fact, it worked so well, even Hurst agreed his team was sur­prised at its ef­fec­tive­ness.

“They came out with that op­tion that we haven’t seen them do and we didn’t tackle the quar­ter­back all day long," he said. "He (McCray) had a field day on us.”

Wray led the way for the Ea­gles with 88 yards on 13 car­ries and a touch­down while throw­ing for 94 yards and one score and Tony At­wa­ter chipped in with 75 yards on nine car­ries.

De­spite nearly suf­fer­ing a heart­break­ing loss, the Ea­gles came up with plays when they needed them. Even so, Hurst said his team has work to do head­ing into league play.

“For 12 min­utes our de­fense was out there so they were tired,” Hurst said. “The kids played re­ally hard and did what they had to do and pull out a win."

"They de­served the victory,” Hurst added. “But we have to fix some things be­fore we start re­gion play.”

0 6 8 7 6 – 27 7 14 0 0 8 – 29 EHS – Aiken 7 run (Daniels kick), 2:36. NHS – FG San­dler 29, 11:53. NHS – FG San­dler 27, 6:48. EHS – Wray 18 run (kick failed), 1:22. EHS – Alexan­der 5 pass from Wray (2-point good), :05. NHS – Hill 18 run (2-point good), 9:

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