Newton takes 28-27 thriller
By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
November 2, 2002
NEWTON Newton rallied from a 14-0 halftime deficit to knock off previously-unbeaten Scott Central 28-27 Friday night at E.L. Morgan Field.
The stats were as close as the game as Newton finished with 275 total yards to 270 for Scott.
Newton's win left Newton, Scott, and Clarkdale each with 4-1 Division 5-2A records and gave Clarkdale the championship based on point differential. Scott takes second and Newton finishes third.
Trailing 14-0 at the break, the Tigers drew even less than six minutes into the third quarter. Newton covered 70 yards on its first possession of the second half with Laderrian Blaylock scoring from a yard out. The big gain on the drive was a 47-yard pass from Blaylock to Coshune Bingham.
Two plays later, Leroy Bowden recovered a Rebel fumble at the Scott 20. Traveone Evans took a pitch out into the end zone from a yard out with 6:34 showing. Lucas Poole's extra point evened the battle at 14-14.
The Rebels responded with a six-play, 52-yard drive that was capped by MacHandy Bobbitt's 5-yard bootleg around left end as the third period expired. Ivan Garcia's PAT put the Rebels up 21-14.
Eddie Washington set the Tigers up again when he blindsided Bobbitt, forcing a fumble that Torrance Blaylock recovered at the Rebel 14. Three plays later, Evans scored on a 5-yard run to pull Newton to within 21-20 with 8:42 remaining.
Then came the play of the game. Newton was attempting a tying kick, but a high snap sailed all the way to the Scott 35. Poole ran the ball down and heaved a pass upfield where Montez Moore made the catch just behind a Rebel defender in the end zone for a 22-21 Newton lead.
After the Rebels were penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct in arguing that Newton had an ineligible receiver downfield, Newton's Zack Logan recovered an onside kick at the Scott 37. Evans got his third touchdown on a 14-yard sweep. Poole's PAT missed, leaving Newton with a 28-21 lead and 7:42 to play.
Scott then put together the night's most impressive drive as the Rebels covered 81 yards in 15 plays. Cedric Gray scored from a yard out two plays after Rebel tight end Justin Shoemaker left the field in an ambulance after breaking his leg.
The Rebels went for two with 19.6 seconds remaining, but Tony Lyles was stopped short of the end zone.
Scott got a 6-yard touchdown run from Lyles in the first quarter after the Rebels recovered a muffed punt by Logan at the Newton 30.
Bobbitt teamed with Roderick Loper on an 8-yard scoring toss with 2:57 to go before halftime.
Newton had the ball at the Scott 11 in the closing seconds of the first half, but Lyles picked off a Blaylock pass to end the threat.
Both Newton, 8-2, and Scott, 9-1, will be in the Class 2A state playoffs next week. Newton will be on the road, while Scott will host in first-round play.