COVINGTON - If history is any indication of future events, Newton is in for a long 48 minutes of football against M.L. King this evening.
The Lions, who are ranked No. 8 in Class AAAAA in the Georgia PrepCountry.com coaches poll, have outscored Newton 122-19, including a 56-0 loss last season, over their last three meetings.
However, this is a different Newton team hoping to get different results.
"It's true we've never really done well against them. We haven't matched well," Newton coach Nick Collins said. "I don't know how well we match up now, but the attitude here is different than it used to be."
Even though the Rams may be feeling good about their game, there is no denying that the Lions are a tough team, with or without their two star players.
M.L. King running back Mack Brown and quarterback Cameron Myers are questionable for today's game with injuries.
Brown, who has rushed for 458 yards and five touchdowns on 62 carries, has an ankle injury. Myers, who has thrown for 440 yards and eight touchdowns, is suffering with lower back ailments. Both star athletes were sidelined against Douglass, a game M.L. King won 28-0, last week.
"I don't know how much they'll play against us. Anytime he (Brown) is out it has to give you some type of advantage," Collins said. "I don't know if they have a weakness, but for the first time in a couple of years there are some places that we match up well with them."
Newton will try to do to M.L. King the same it has tried to do in every other game - strike first and strike fast.
"Can we go out and give them the ball, let our defense hold them? Can we block a punt? Can we get a deep return? Can we get the ball in good field position and can we get a big play early?" Collins asked. "If we can get the big plays on offense and win the kicking game and play solid defense, I think our chances are pretty good.
"They're a solid football team. For us, we have to be more concerned with what we do. You have to look at the teams they've played before and you see things they didn't do well that you think you can do well. That's really what it comes down to, making sure we do what we do best and not try to outcoach ourselves because this is a very good football team that we haven't played well against. We just have to figure out how to be successful in what we do."
SideBar: At a glance
· Who: Newton (3-2) at M.L. King (5-0)
· Where: Hallford Stadium
· When: 5:15 p.m., today
· Last week: Newton defeated Redan 36-16; M.L. King beat Douglass 28-0
· Series: M.L. King leads 3-0
· Last season: M.L. King won 56-0