Newton on verge of worst season since '97
Rams shut out by Douglass 47-0

ATLANTA - The Douglass Astros made a good impression on the alumni for homecoming at the expense of the Newton Rams on Friday at Lakewood Stadium.

The Astros (6-3 overall, 4-2 Region 2-AAAAA) found the end zone in seven of their nine possessions while holding the Rams (1-8, 1-5) to fewer than 130 yards of total offense in the 47-0 shutout.

If the Rams lose next week against Union Grove, it will be their worst season since 1997 when they went 1-9 under coach Joe Brasfield.

The two times the Astros did not score was because of a missed 37-yard field goal in the second quarter and when they decided to down the ball on a first and goal from the 2-yard line in the final minute of the game.

The Astros' success, according to Newton coach Nick Collins, had to do with his team rather than with what Douglass was doing.

"This did not have anything to do with them, we quit. We quit the minute we got off the bus," Collins said. "At some point, they have to learn that if they want to play good football, they can't let the band intimidate them."

The tone of the game was set in the first series by the Astros as they went 50 yards on two plays, a 13-yard run by Joshua Gilliam and a 37-yard pass from Ronald Holiday to Reggie Slaton, to make it 7-0 in less than 40 seconds.

The Astros got the ball at midfield after a failed onside kick to start the game.

Newton ran five plays and got one of its two first-half first downs before punting the ball. Of Newton's 10 possessions, five ended on punts, three on interceptions, one on a fumble and one by the end of the half.

Holiday had a good day against the Rams, going 9-for-12 for 237 yards and two touchdowns in less than three quarters of play.

The Rams threw the ball 22 times and had nine completions for 95 yards, including a pass by Josh Cloer on fake punt for 30 yards.

Not only did Douglass throw the ball well against Newton, the Astros ran well, too. The Astros gained 296 yards on the ground on 30 carries.

Leading the pack was Jaquan Robinson, who gained 106 yards on four carries in the third quarter after replacing Holiday.

Kenneth Patrick went 7-for-17 for 41 yards with three interceptions .

"When you're like him and you try to make plays, sometimes that happens," Collins said. "If you're going to throw the football the amount of times we throw it, that's part of the game you have to live with."

After the initial touchdown by Douglass, the Astros scored on drives of 74, 67 and 58 yards to take a 26-0 halftime lead.

The Rams started the second half with the ball but fumbled on the first play, allowing Daniel Brown to run the ball six yards to give the Astros a 33-0 lead before their offense stepped on the field.

After Holiday found Christopher O'Neal for a 29-yard touchdown, Robinson came in and scored on a 61-yard run.

He also led Douglass to a five-play, 52-yard drive, which was capped by a Timothy Burney 22-yard run early in the fourth period.

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com