I believe that Newton will win
For a year now, Lowndes has had this game circled on its calendar because last year Newton went down there and beat them, and this year they’re gonna do it again.
You see, Lowndes is one of the most formidable teams in the state. They’re widely respected and every year since 2004 and probably longer (maxpreps.com doesn’t go past 2004) Lowndes had had at least six wins. That’s a huge accomplishment for any team, high school, college or professional.
That accomplishment is a testament to the powerhouse that Lowndes is. Through years of new players and new coaches, Lowndes has established a consistent thread of excellence. Vikings’ coach Randy Mcpherson is going for his 200th win on Friday and it’s also Lowndes homecoming. In a phrase, Newton will be traveling into the hornets’ nest on Friday.
You may say to yourself then, why do I think they can beat them?
It’s simple. Newton has the right formula to beat a team like Lowndes. Lowndes runs the wing-t offense, an offense built on misdirection, multiple options in the running game and the offensive linemen trapping defensive linemen. This helps create holes for the running backs while deceiving the defense with a number of fake handoffs.
The key to stopping the wing-t is for the defense to stay disciplined within their reads. Newton has to have success on first and second down against the run game. The Rams have to force the Vikings into as many third and longs as possible, which will hopefully force Lowndes to throw the ball.
In most cases, teams who run offenses like the wing-t or the triple option aren’t real effective at throwing the ball downfield. However, in last week’s matchup against Rockdale, the Bulldogs forced Lowndes’ to throw the ball and throw the ball they did.
The Vikings totaled over 150 yards passing with a handful of touchdowns. Lowndes is capable of throwing the ball, but they’re not going to unless you make/let them. Still, forcing the Vikings to air it out is what Rams’ head coach Terrance Banks wants.
Defending the pass against Lowndes will be much easier than defending the run. Even in the passing game, the defense will have to remain disciplined. Lowndes can use their effective running game to set up play action and go over the top when Newton puts eight defenders in the box. If the Rams’ defenders hesitate or bite on the fakes, the Vikings will have open receivers all day.
Defense is important, especially in this game, but the Rams’ key to success is in their offense. The Rams don’t use the wing-t (thankfully). Newton uses a pro-style offense that’s a lot like the west coast offense Andy Reid usually employs with Rams’ signalcaller getting the ball out quick to the playmakers.
A passing offense is usually alwyas a problem for any team that runs an offense like the wing-t. Newton’s passing game is legit and Romario Johnson is a dual-threat quarterback with quickness and a great arm.
The Rams will move the ball quickly and constantly. They’ll set Lowndes up with short passes and get big yards off a few deep fly routes. Putting up points is the best defense to a slow paced rushing offense like Lowndes.
The Vikings will either have to keep running the ball, which runs the clock quicker, or go to the air more frequently, where they’re not exactly experts when the running game isn’t successful.
All in all, it should be a really good game. But when the clock hits double zero, expect coach Mcpherson to be telling coach Banks and the Rams to get the hell out of their locker room after Newton takes the cake.