ATLANTA - Redemption has never felt so sweet on a warm, rainy night for Newton as it snapped a five-game losing streak to Douglass, 24-7 at Lakewood Stadium on Friday.
"It feels good," said Newton coach Nick Collins, "It's good to go on the road, come into an hostile environment and come out with a win."
The Rams (5-3 overall, 3-2 in Region 2-AAAAA) defense set the tempo in the first quarter with great hits for losses from Antonio Williams and Torrian Hunte slowing down any momentum that Douglass tried to generate with their very first possession of the ball game.
Newton began its possession from the 38-yard line as D.J. Hill took his very first hand off from Tyree Williams and rumbled 41-yards until he was brought down to the Astros 3-yard line.
Newton, unable to capitalize inside its own 5-yard line, had to settle for a 25-yard field goal by Albert Zachary putting the Rams on the board first with 5:16 left in the first quarter.
Douglass (1-6, 1-4) began to show some life in its offense as the Astros put together a five-play drive that was quickly diminished as Joshua Thurston threw an ill-timed pass that was intercepted by Bart Lindsey, who took it 30 yards for the Rams' first defensive score of the night.
With the point-after by Zachary, Newton began to pull away with a 10-0 lead with 4:08 in first half.
Then with 3:20 before the half, Newton's defense again slowed down another Douglass drive forcing the Astros to punt.
Lindsey fielded the punt and with great blocking by the special team, he took it in 35 yards for another touchdown. After another point after, the Rams led 17-0 with 2:43 before the half.
In the second half, Newton's offense took over and put together a 10-play drive dominating the Astros defense as Williams began to connect with Deshawn McKenzie for much of the drive. The drive was capitalized as Williams found with a wide open Chris Dickerson for a 6-yard touchdown pass allowing Newton to score its first offensive touchdown of the night with 4:53 remaining in the third quarter.
The Astros would not go away into the night as they put together a 9-play, 76-yard drive that was capped off with a one-yard fullback dive by Cameron Collins to put Douglass on the board. With the point-after by Billy Taylor, the Astros avoided being shut out by the Rams with 33.4 seconds ending the third quarter.
With seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Thurston attempted one last chance to score but was picked off by Trevail Hicks, which sealed the victory for the Rams.
"I am proud of the kids, I am proud of the effort and we did it without four starters," Collins said. "It shows that if the system keeps going and if one (player) goes down, it's up to someone to pick up the slack and keep it moving."