Newton’s punt attempt to give the Lions their first offensive possession on the Ram 19-yard line.
M.L. King capitalized on good field position. Myers hit Cory Phillips for a 12-yard touchdown pass and after Benjamin Walker’s PAT was good, the Lions had a 7-0 lead with 9:14 left in the first quarter.
“I’m embarrassed,” Newton head coach Nick Collins said. There’s just no other way to put it, I’m just embarrassed.”
M.L. King took the ball into the end zone on a 19-yard run by quarterback Cameron Myers but the Lions were called for the first of several holding penalties.
Newton held M.L. King out of the end zone to get the ball back at their 27, but still could not move the ball and had to punt.
Joel Kight returned the Newton punt 20 yards to the Newton 25 but another holding penalty brought the ball back to the Newton 46.
On the next play, Demetrius McCray intercepted Myers’ pass and Newton took over at its own 7-yard line.
Newton advanced the ball to its 11-yard line on a couple of two-yard runs by Quinton Pooler and Fred Smith before they had to punt the ball away to the Lions.
Newton’s defense held the Lions again, forcing them to punt, but once again Newton was held to a three-and-out.
The Lions couldn’t advance the ball on their next three offensive tries having to punt the ball to the Rams.
After a punt rolled dead at the Newton 40, the Ram offense continued to sputter.
The Lions put the ball in the hands of their fullback Mack Brown who chalked up first down yardage but the Lions were called for another holding penalty forcing the Lions to punt.
The Lions failed on a fake punt and turned the ball over on downs with 5:17 left in the first period.
Penalties killed the Lions yet again. M.L. King intercepted the ball and took it the distance but the touchdown was called back for yet another Lion holding penalty.
On the next play Newton was called for a facemask violation, but M.L. King was caught holding. The penalties offset and M.L. King had the ball at the Newton 15-yard line with 3:35 left in the first quarter.
An onside kick gave M.L. King the ball back but Demetrius McCray intercepted a pass at the Ram 7-yard line to kill the drive.
M.L. King returned the favor when Chris Eruchula intercepted a McCray pass.
Several plays later, Brown scored for M.L. King on a 7-yard burst up the middle. With the PAT, M.L. King led 14-0 with 2:47 remaining in the period.
It was all M.L. King in the first period with Kight going 62 yards on a pick six to extend the Lions’ lead 21-0 at the 1:17 mark.
M.L. King owned the second period as well. Eruchula ran in to the end zone on a 16-yard burst to give the Lions a 28-0 lead just 37 seconds into the quarter.
M.L. King scored on their next possession off an 8-yard strike from Myers to Joshua McClure with 4:20 left in the first half.
“I knew coming in that M.L. King was a darn good team,” said Collins. “I just expected our guys to do some things differently, and I’m just highly disappointed.”
By the time halftime rolled around, the Lions had a comfortable 42-0 lead to take to intermission.
The Lions continued their onslaught against the Rams scoring 14 points in the second half to end up with a 56-0 shutout over Newton.
M.L. King managed 213 yards of total offense compared to just 94 for the Rams.
“We’ve got to understand that we can’t be afraid of that bunch up the road and I’m not sure we’ve conquered that fear yet,” said Collins. “I don’t care what you might say; there’s no way that they’re 56 points better than we are. I’m not saying fear was a big factor in the game, we just didn’t play well.”