Un­der the Fri­day lights

New­ton’s 41-0 win over East­side most lop­sided in se­ries his­tory

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - GABRIEL STOVALL gsto­vall@cov­news.com

The New­ton and East­side High stu­dent sec­tions were in rare form Fri­day night in the 14th edi­tion of the in-county ri­valry game be­tween the two foot­ball teams. New­ton de­feated East­side 41-0 this time around.

For a few mo­ments Fri­day night, New­ton foot­ball coach, Ter­rance Banks turned off the coach­s­peak but­ton and let his com­ments flow from his heart.

For­get about all of the, “it’s just another game” rhetoric. Banks let it be known that Fri­day’s 41-0 win over East­side — his first as coach, and the pro­gram’s first win over its county ri­val since 2011 — was spe­cial to him and to other Rams, both on and away from Sharp Sta­dium.

“This is not just for the play­ers on this team,” Banks said. “This is for J.J. (Hol­lo­man), for Jaquan (Hen­der­son), Toyus Avery, Steven Mon­tac. It’s for ev­ery player I’ve ever coached who didn’t get the chance to win this game. And I just want them to know it’s as sweet as we all imag­ined it to be.”

In what was the most lop­sided win ever in a se­ries full of closely con­tested games, the New­ton Rams dom­i­nated East­side in ev­ery facet, from be­gin­ning to end, hold­ing the Ea­gles to un­der 80 yards of to­tal of­fense on its way to vic­tory Fri­day night at Homer Sharp Sta­dium.

The win, as­tound­ing in its dom­i­nance, also marked the first time East­side has been blanked in the se­ries and just the sec­ond time since 2009 the Ea­gles have been shutout in a reg­u­lar sea­son game.

UAB com­mit Nuru Tinch went over 100 yards in the first half for the sec­ond straight game, net­ting 160 rush­ing yards on 12 car­ries and three touch­downs. Mean­while, My- ron Mid­dle­brooks com­pleted 10 of 20 passes for 135 yards and four touch­downs with no in­ter­cep­tions.

But even that ef­fort wasn’t enough for the se­nior quar­ter­back to rest in his lau­rels. Mid­dle­brooks cel­e­brated with his team­mates in the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of the win. But when it was sug­gested that his per­for­mance was solid, he shook his head and only spoke on the things he needed to im­prove on.

“We got this win and it feels good,” Mid­dle­brooks said. “But there’s still a lot to clean up. Like when I fum­bled over there when we had another chance to score, I can’t let things like that hap­pen.”

To be sure, things like that didn’t hap­pen very of­ten Fri­day night.

New­ton’s dom­i­nance be­gan, lit­er­ally, from the very first play, when an over­whelmed East­side of­fen­sive line couldn’t stop Dar­nell Jef­fries, Dre But­ler and Josh Smith from con­verg­ing on sopho­more quar­ter­back Noah Cook for an eight yard loss.

Af­ter a three-and-out, New­ton went on a me­thod­i­cal, eight-play, 59yard drive that fea­tured six Nuru Tinch runs. Tinch capped off the scor­ing drive with a 12-yard push into the end zone.

New­ton’s de­fense was ac­tive again, shut­ting down any­thing East­side tried to do of­fen­sively. And when the Rams got back on of­fense, Tinch found pay dirt again, this time as a re­ceiver. Quar­ter­back My­ron Mid­dle­brooks found Tinch out of the back­field and fired a 41-yard scor­ing strike to the se­nior to give New­ton a 13-0 lead with 2:33 left in the first half.

Mid­dle­brooks would throw his sec­ond touch­down pass of the night on New­ton’s next of­fen­sive pos­ses­sion. This time, it was a 13-yard toss to Mike Mathi­son at the 6:23 mark in the sec­ond quar­ter to stretch the Rams’ lead to 20-0.

Be­fore half­time, Tinch would make sure New­ton would light up the score­board again, as he sliced through the East­side de­fense and sprinted 62 yards for a score. That

gave New­ton a 27-0 lead at half­time.

New­ton’s “Blue Swarm” de­fense lived up to its name, as East­side could only muster 33 yards on its first 17 plays in the first half. East­side didn’t ob­tain a non­penalty aided first down un­til Tyon Davis gained 17 yards on a run play at the 3:56 mark of the sec­ond quar­ter.

Mid­dle­brooks added another score when he found Robert Lewis run­ning free over the mid­dle for a 20-yard toss-and-catch for a touch­down at the 9:44 mark of the fourth quar­ter. One drive later, Mid­dle­brooks found David Butso in the cor­ner of the end zone to pro­vide the fi­nal mar­gin.

New­ton (2-0) will go into a bye week this Fri­day be­fore start­ing a four game Septem­ber road stretch with a matchup at Peachtree Ridge on Sept. 8. Mean­while, East­side will face its other in-county ri­val, Al­covy, next Fri­day at Sharp Sta­dium. Al­covy hosted Mead­owcreek on Satur­day night. You can find com­plete cov­er­age of that game on our web­site, www.cov­news. com.

Photos by An­thony Banks | The Cov­ing­ton News

Photos by An­thony Banks | The Cov­ing­ton News

Ken­drick Carl­ton (61) and Chris­tian Mur­ray (71) dou­ble team on a block that cleared the way for a big Nuru Tinch run.

New­ton line­backer Cozbi Craig, left, chases East­side quar­ter­back, Bray­den Harper.

An­thony Banks | The Cov­ing­ton News

New­ton’s Nuru Tinch flies past a pair of East­side de­fend­ers on his way to a 62-yard touch­down run in Fri­day’s 41-0 win over the Ea­gles.

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