PEACHTREE CITY - Led by senior quarterback Tyree Williams and an opportunistic defense, Newton overcame an early deficit to even its record at 1-1 with a convincing 42-14 win over McIntosh on Friday night.
The Rams fell behind suddenly when McIntosh's Daniel Price returned the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown. The Chiefs maintained their 7-0 lead through the remainder of the opening quarter despite Newton moving the ball on offense behind the passing of Williams and the hard running of Akeem Hunt.
Still struggling to put all of the pieces together on offense, Newton's defense got the momentum turned the Rams' way with a blocked punt for a touchdown in the second quarter. That big play proved to be the pivotal point in what developed into a rout for Newton when the evening was done.
After Newton's defense stopped a McIntosh drive late in the first quarter, holding the Chiefs to a missed field goal attempt with 35 seconds left, senior Bart Lindsey blocked a McIntosh punt that was recovered by Devon Mann for a touchdown with 9:23 left in the second quarter. The PAT attempt failed, but Newton's spirits were lifted.
The Rams got the ball back with another defensive play when a defensive line led by Cornelius Hudson and Derek Clark forced a fumble from McIntosh quarterback Cam Porter at the Chiefs' 39-yard line.
Newton drove the ball and scored after a big play. Hunt took a cutback run 21 yards down to the McIntosh one yard line. Hunt slashed over left tackle for the go-ahead touchdown and even bulled his way in for the two-point conversion moments later to give the Rams a 14-7 lead.
The Rams' defense struck again when a strong pass rush forced Porter to hurry a pass that was picked off by DJ Hill at McIntosh's 42 yard line and returned for another score with 1:03 left in the first half. Escobar Brutarius kicked the extra point for a 21-7 Newton lead at the half.
The second half began with Hunt returning the favor to McIntosh with a blazing 90-yard return of the second half kickoff for six points. That was the beginning of a Newton onslaught that saw the Rams up their lead to 42-7 before McIntosh scored again late in the third period.
Leading 28-7 after Hunt's score on the kickoff return, Newton scored again when Williams passed nine yards to Caderius Hunt. Bruterius added his third consecutive extra point kick for a 35-7 Newton lead with 9:17 left in the third quarter.
Defensive standout Deandre Rashada, who earlier had caused a McIntosh fumble, returned an interception from his own endzone to midfield to spark another Newton drive for a touchdown. Williams hit Trey Scott on a 29-yard strike with 7:02 left in the third and another kick by Bruterius upped the Rams' lead to 42-7.
Williams' only blemish on an otherwise-brilliant performance led to McIntosh's score late in the third. Picking off an errant pass, McIntosh set up its scoring drive at Newton's 14 yard line. The Chiefs scored on a 12-yard pass moments later to cut the final margin to 42-14.
Newton tangles with crosstown rival Eastside next week.