NEW­TON vs HER­ITAGE

New­ton routs Her­itage for 48-17 bounce-back win

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - MATTHEW GRIMES sports@cov­news.com RAMS, B2

Com­ing off a tough blowout loss at the hands of No. 2 Lown­des last week, the New­ton Rams were in need of a big win to pro­pel them into re­gion play.

They got it on Fri­day night as New­ton raced out to a big first half lead and kept the mo­men­tum to a 48-17 route of Her­itage in a re­gional ri­valry matchup dubbed, “The Buddy Bowl.”

New­ton coach Ter­rance Banks said the win was like a heal­ing salve to his team af­ter last week’s loss.

“Well, we got some things as coaches we still gotta go back and fix,” Banks said. “But a win is a win. Af­ter last week, the kids needed to ex­pe­ri­ence good things, and so did the coaches.”

New­ton was paced by run­ning back Nuru Tinch’s 210 rush­ing yards and four touch­downs, and strength­ened by a stingy de­fen­sive ef­fort that fea­tured forc­ing of four Her­itage turnovers.

The Rams started the game off on the right track as the de­fense forced a quick three-and-out. The of­fense fol­lowed suit as scram­bling Rams’ quar­ter­back, My­ron Mid­dle­brooks found an open Robert Lewis across the mid­dle for a 39-yard touch­down.

Af­ter an­other staunch de­fen­sive se­ries, the Rams marched down the field on an 84-yard touch­down drive, punc­tu­ated by a Tinch’s eight yard score to ex­tend New­ton’s lead to 14-0 in the first quar­ter.

This quick-strike trend con­tin­ued for New­ton dur­ing the next drive, as it would most of the night, as the Mid­dle­brooks to Lewis con­nec­tion pro­vided a third first quar­ter score.

Her­itage fi­nally got on the board when se­nior quar­ter­back, Caleb Pruitt found re­ceiver Jor­dan Young for an 18-yard TD.

But the Rams an­swered back promptly on a more me­thod­i­cal, run-heavy scor­ing drive that ended when Tinch snuck through an open­ing on the left side of the line and strolled into the end zone from six yards out

for his sec­ond score of the game, putting the Rams up 27-7.

This is when the New­ton de­fense started forc­ing turnovers. First, it was se­nior de­fen­sive back, Rod Kirk­land who slid into an un­der thrown Pruitt pass for an in­ter­cep­tion. The Rams failed to cap­i­tal­ize on the take away, and punted. But on the third play of the Pa­tri­ots’ next drive, safety Khalil Wil­cox hauled in an­other awry Pruitt pass for an­other pick.

“Our de­fense did some good things,” Banks said. “Not a lot of blown as­sign­ments tonight. But most im­por­tantly, our de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor preaches all 11 guys to the ball. He preaches take­aways, and they did a lot of what he preached about, so that’s good to see.”

This turnover would not be in vain as a few plays later, Tinch ex­ploded through the line and flew un­touched into the end zone from 59 yards out, ex­tend­ing the Rams’ lead to 34-7 at half­time.

Open­ing the sec­ond half, Tinch made a rare mis­take and fum­bled, giv­ing the Pa­tri­ots the ball in Rams ter­ri­tory. But the ball would not stay away from the Rams for long as se­nior Elija God­win in­ter­cepted a would-be touch­down pass for the team’s third pick of the night.

Tinch would quickly re­deem him­self from the pre­vi­ous drive’s mishap as he popped off a 60-yard run, set­ting up a one-yard score, his fourth touch­down of the night.

Banks said he was pleased at the way Tinch ap­proached Fri­day’s game, af­ter be­ing lim­ited to less than 50 yards at Lown­des the week be­fore.

“Nuru, he’s our horse,” Banks said. “We give him the ball a lot. Tonight, the line gave him creases and he did the rest. We saw him get­ting his legs back af­ter last week. He was real hun­gry, and I’m proud of the way he at­tacked and how the of­fen­sive line blocked for him. It was real good to see those guys get back into sync, and we knew they could, and we did that.”

Mid­dle­brooks would put up the Rams’ fi­nal points of the night with a 26-yard pass that in­creased the score to 48-10. Mid­dle­brooks fin­ished the night with 175 pass­ing yards and three scor­ing tosses to go along with 81 yards on the ground. The ma­jor­ity of his passes went to re­ceiver Robert Lewis, who had six catches for 95 yards and two scores.

The Pa­tri­ots scored a late touch­down, to pro­vide the fi­nal mar­gin, but it was a game where the out­come never seemed to be in doubt, which was the kind of per­for­mance Banks hoped his team would have as Re­gion 8-AAAAAA play be­gins next week with a trip to South Gwin­nett. He seemed un­will­ing to al­low his team to be com­pla­cent with its Fri­day not per­for­mance, how­ever.

“We got some stuff to work on to get ready for next week,” Banks said.

Cassie Jones | The Cov­ing­ton News New­ton’s Adar­ius Thomas finds a run­ning lane against Her­itage Fri­day night. The Rams rushed for over 300 yards, in­clud­ing Nuru Tinch’s (not pic­tured) 210 rush­ing yards and four touch­downs.

Cassie Jones | The Cov­ing­ton News Bran­don Green wraps up a Her­itage ball car­rier dur­ing New­ton’s 48-17 win over the Pa­tri­ots. The Rams’ de­fense forced four Her­itage turnovers Fri­day night.

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