And that touchdown to Robert was one of them. So that just tells you the maturity that he has.”
After a Peachtree Ridge three-and-out, Middlebrooks led another scoring drive, highlighted by passes from Middlebrooks to Lewis for gains of 16 and 28 yards before finishing it himself with a one-yard score on a keeper. It was part of a stretch where Middlebrooks completed nine straight passes.
At that point, it was 3313, Newton, but Peachtree Ridge would respond again with a 60-yard scoring drive capped off by Robinson’s short touchdown pass to tight end Payne Durham. The score and two-point conversion cut Newton’s lead to 33-21 with 1:57 left in the third.
The two teams would trade touchdowns again in the fourth quarter until Thomas ended the scoring with a six-yard touchdown run at the 2:12 mark of the game. Thomas’ short scamper finalized a 13-play, 90-yard march and put away any faint hopes of a Lions comeback.
Now, Newton (3-0) and Banks will look southward to fourth-ranked Lowndes (3-0) which had its Friday night game with Shiloh postponed until Sept. 22 due to travel and weather concerns with Hurricane Irma. But next week’s game with Newton will remain, and Banks said he’s looking forward to seeing where his team stands against one of Georgia’s elite programs.
“Our guys have shown us this season that they’re gonna fight, and they’re going to play for the next play, which is what we keep preaching,” Banks said. “But Lowndes, that’s the best team in the state right now, hands down. They’re the most physical we’ve played, the fastest on defense. Their quarterback is a bonafide star.”
And Banks does know a little something about playing in that raucous atmosphere. His 2013 squad went down to Valdosta and upset the Vikings 15-14 in the second game of the regular season. He remembers what it was like then, and doesn’t expect much to change now.
“There will be about 150 of my family, our fans and friends down there and 15,000 of them,” Banks said. “But we wouldn’t have it any other way.”