The Covington News - - SPORTS -

There is a say­ing, ‘the best de­fense is a good of­fense,’ but there’s another say­ing ‘de­fense wins a cham­pi­onships.’ New­ton (2-0, Re­gion 2-AAAAAA) sub­scribes more to the mantra of hav­ing a good of­fense, and West­lake (2-1, Re­gion 3-AAAAAA) is more of a de­fen­sive jug­ger­naut.

The Lions are com­ing into their matchup with the Rams, hav­ing given up just 14 points in three games. While New­ton is com­ing in, although they’ve played only two games with the last one can­celled due to bad weather, hav­ing scored at least 48 points in each game.

West­lake’s start­ing quar­ter­back was in­jured in its last game, so the Rams will look to force the hand of who­ever the Lions choose as their sig­nal caller Fri­day night. Ju­lian Jones, an Arkansas State com­mit who played quar­ter­back for the Lions last year, might be called upon to take up that role again. How­ever, this would be an op­por­tu­nity for the Rams to use their fast­paced of­fense to get Jones tired, as he plays line­backer for the Lions, too.

“We wanna make them have to throw to beat us,” Ter­rance Banks, Rams’ head coach, said. “They’ve got some ques­tions at what they’re go­ing to do at quar­ter­back. They played three dif­fer­ent quar­ter­backs last week. We’ll love noth­ing more than to hope­fully make those ques­tions con­tinue to force them to have to beat us in the air.”

West­lake’s Nigel War­rior, son of New­ton County legend Dale Carter, is a class of 2016 safety be­ing re­cruited by Ten­nessee, Ge­or­gia and Ohio State, just to name a few. Carter was a de­fen­sive back for New­ton be­fore he con­tin­ued his ca­reer at the Univer­sity of Ten­nessee and even­tu­ally the NFL. Carter won NFL De­fen­sive Rookie of the Year in 1992

War­rior hasn’t fallen far from the tree. He’s one of the lead­ers on a loaded Lions’ de­fense. Of­fen­sively, Banks says they’ll take what they get, but won’t let Wes­lake dic­tate the game to them.

“We al­ways take what we get. We’re a ver­ti­cal pass­ing team, so we’re gonna try to go ver­ti­cal on every­body,” Banks said.

“I don’t think we’ll ever let any team dic­tate how we run our of­fense. How­ever, we are gone take what a team gives us,” Banks said. “If they say you can have the un­der­neath, we’ll go un­der­neath. We got dif­fer­ent ways to get ver­ti­cal. So we’ll just have to fig­ure out what’s our best plan of at­tack, but we’re still gone do what we do.”

This game is huge for New­ton. It’s home­com­ing, and it’ll be their first true test of the sea­son, just one week be­fore they play Lown­des.

“West­lake is the tough­est team that we’ve faced thus far this year with­out a shadow of a doubt. They’ve got about four or five guys com­mit­ted to D-l es­pe­cially on the de­fense,” Banks said. “They’re loaded, so this will be a good test for us to find out where we are in our pro­gres­sion to­wards the sea­son. It comes down to we do our jobs, and that’s what you have to do to beat a team of this cal­iber.”

“I try to tell them, ‘You fo­cus on home­com­ing if you want to, it’ll be a bor­ing dance.’ So you bet­ter fo­cus on the task at hand, which is get­ting bet­ter and get­ting ready for the (re­gion) when it starts on Oc­to­ber 3,” Banks said.

Banks of­fered his three keys to beat­ing West­lake: Make West­lake one-di­men­sional

“Be able to per­ceive which quar­ter­back they’re gonna trot out, and see how good he is at try­ing to beat us,” Banks said. “Mak­ing them one-di­men­sional is the first thing we wanna do on de­fense.” Block­ing

“It’ll be the first time we saw a three-man front in a game. East­side ran a three­man front, but this’ll be our first time play­ing a 3-4 in a real game,” Banks said. “Will the of­fen­sive line be able to block the dif­fer­ent stunts they bring their way? If they can block those stunts then (Ro­mario John­son) Ray-J will have time to dis­trib­ute the ball as he needs to.” Home­com­ing

“Home­com­ing is for the fans and it’s for them on Satur­day night, but it’s not to be wor­ried about Fri­day night at 7:30,” Banks said. “I know they wanna win on home­com­ing, we lost last year to Love­joy. I’m sure the se­niors wanna go out with a bang, but that can’t be the fo­cus. The fo­cus has to be tak­ing care of business against West­lake.”

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