are. Newton, however, just displayed more physicality, which was expected with the size of the guys on their Class AAAAAAA squad.
2. Jaylon Lackey is a tremendous open field tackler, while Tanner Feeny is a monster at defensive end. In two plays on Newton’s first offensive drive, Jaylon Lackey flew over and made two great open field tackles — a feat he would perform several other times throughout the game. He showed that he’s not afraid to make a one-onone tackle against anyone. On the defensive line, Tanner Feeny has become a force to be reckoned with. After a dominant performance last week against Luella, Feeny would make even more noise against Newton. Often, he was found in the backfield disrupting the passing game and creating pressure on Middlebrooks to prevent big plays in the passing game.
3. The QB role is uncertain for now. Sophomore QB Noah Cook got the go-ahead to start again against the Rams Friday night, but with a physical Newton defense constantly after him, literally from the first play, Cook would go down with an apparent shoulder injury that kept him on the sideline in a sling for much of the game. That led to Brayden Harper having to step back into the quarterback role. While the extent of Cook’s injury is uncertain, the Eagles will temporarily lose a QB and a receiver since Harper is now throwing the passes again instead of catching them.
4. The Eagles have one week to bounce back before facing the other in-county rival. Eastside now has just six days to rest, recuperate, and get back up after taking the fall tonight. Why is it important to do so in just a few days? Well, last week Alcovy looked the best it’s looked in the last few seasons, dominating Duluth 37-22. Eastside holds a three-game winning streak on the Tigers, and I would expect coach Troy Hoff to strongly challenge his team to get back on track as it will try to make it four in a row against the Tigers.
5. Keep your head up, Eagles. No, seriously. Regardless of the score and how the game was played, there is still a lot of upside to this young team. Newton is playing lights out and could potentially give defending region and Class AAAAAAA state champs, Grayson, a run for its money later in the season. Eastside has loads of talent, and Newton will probably be the best team the Eagles see all year, including its matchup with Woodward Academy late in the season. This loss should not discourage anyone on the roster, but should motivate them to make a statement moving forward.