Newton County eyes shot at 3A title game
TOUGH RUNNING Newton County's Jermaine Smith drags some Collins players along with him in the Cougars playoff win last week. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
DECATUR It's not every day that a team gets a do-over after a loss, but to a certain degree the Newton County Cougars will get that opportunity when they host Magee for the Class 3A South State Championship Friday night.
Kickoff at East Central Community College is set for 7:30 p.m.
Magee ended the Cougars' 11-1 season last fall with a 14-7 loss in the second round of the playoffs at ECCC.
Holloway has scored 14 touchdowns this year while Hobbs has 13.
Magee, 11-2, has shut out five of its 13 opponents. After starting the year 1-2, the Trojans have reeled off 10 straight wins. The victims are Lawrence County (34-25), Heidelberg (40-0), Prentiss (48-20), Collins (30-7), Forest (26-13), Newton (43-0), McLaurin (47-0), Raleigh (40-0), Mendenhall (21-20), Velma Jackson (42-0), and Wilkinson County (32-18). The losses were to Columbia (14-8) and Biloxi (31-6).
Newton County, 10-2, also lost two of its first three games before going on a nine-game win streak. The Cougars' wins were over Union (49-6), South Leake (49-14), West Lauderdale (21-20), Choctaw Central (35-15), Southeast Lauderdale (45-8), Carthage (32-11), Velma Jackson (23-16), Kemper County (44-12), Collins (7-0), and Tylertown (10-3). The losses were to Newton (21-16) and Northeast Lauderdale (21-14).
Magee comes in averaging 32.1 points per game while allowing 11.4. Newton County is scoring 28.8 points per game and giving up 12.3. The Cougars have allowed only a field goal in two playoff wins.
The Cougars should have the edge in the kicking game as Magee goes for two after scoring touchdowns. When on, Newton County kicker David McConnell is a threat from nearly 50 yards. McConnell averaged 39 yards on four punts last week at Tylertown.
Leading the Cougar offense are running backs Darryl Mapp and Germaine Smith, both who went over the 1,000-yard mark last week. Quarterback Brian McDonald has passed for 928 yards with Justin Smith making many big plays on the receiving end of McDonald's tosses this year. Tight end Kody Comans had the only touchdown in the win at Tylertown.
The Newton County-Magee winner will face the Amory-Ripley winner on Dec. 2 for the Class 3A State Championship in Jackson.
Marty Stamper is a sports correspondent for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.