The Covington News - - Sports -

team that sits atop the stand­ings with Union Grove at 2-0.

“We feel good,” Collins said. “As I have stated many times this sea­son, we have an ex­pec­ta­tion of winning and that is how we pre­pare.”

The Rams will at­tempt to keep the mo­men­tum from Fri­day’s win and Collins said the team has ral­lied be­hind Demetrius McCray since he was in­serted as the starter af­ter week one.

“Our team has a lot of con­fi­dence in Demetrius, and al­though he is not a vo­cal leader, his, what the kids call Swag­ger, is con­ta­gious,” he said.

It won’t be easy. The Rams have been prone to giv­ing up big plays and will have to con­tain a po­tent run­ning game. Up front, the Rams will need to knock the Lions off the ball and win the bat­tle in the trenches.

“We have to con­trol the line of scrim­mage, play great run de­fense and win the kick­ing game bat­tle,” Collins said. “They [the Lions] field great ath­letes and are mul­ti­ply tal­ented in both their of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive schemes. Coach [Corey] Jarvis does a great job of tak­ing what you give him and turn­ing it into big plays.”

An­other con­cern fac­ing Collins is his team’s in­con­sis­tency. With only five se­niors in the start­ing lineup, the Rams are young and gain­ing ex­pe­ri­ence each week. To beat a team as deep and ath­letic as MLK, New­ton will cer­tainly need to put to­gether 48 min­utes of fun­da­men­tal foot­ball.

“We have to stop get­ting com­pla­cent,” Collins said. “Our kids don’t have that killer in­stinct when we get ahead and some­how we have got to in­still that in them.”

McCray has been the cat­a­lyst for New­ton’s run­ning game and the Rams fea­ture quick hit­ters on the edges like Fred Davis and Akeem Hunt, the lat­ter who has al­ready scored two 80-yard runs. Collins will use Quin­ton Pooler as a change of pace and hopes the run­ning game will al­low the Rams to move the chains and keep the ball away from MLK.

“We will change a cou­ple of things as far as how we use Quin­ton [Pooler], Fred [Davis] and Akeem [Hunt] and we hope that th­ese changes will al­low us to be more ball con­trol­ling as we go along,” he said. “We hope to use the pass­ing game more. As long as we are not forced the throw the ball, then we have a chance to be suc­cess­ful pick­ing the spots to throw where we can keep an ad­van­tage.”

A win would cer­tainly put New­ton in the mix for the re­gional play­offs and would make a state­ment in Re­gion 2-AAAAA. As it stands, the Rams sit in a log jam for sec­ond with three other teams. New­ton plays three of its last five games at home and while tonight’s bat­tle is not a must win, Collins knows it is im­por­tant not to fall too far be­hind head­ing into the sec­ond half of the sea­son.

“I’m not sure still if the kids are aware of the im­por­tance of this game,” he said. “We have to run the ball and stop the run. This week is huge be­cause it puts us in the driver's seat as far as one of the play­off po­si­tions is con­cerned. “

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