The Covington News - - SPORTS -

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.”

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