COVINGTON -- Newton is hoping that they will be able to continue their winning ways following their 49-7 Rockdale scrimmage game win in their on-the-road season opener against Shiloh at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
"Last week was a confidence boost, first and foremost. We were very proud of the effort the guys gave, Going into the first game we feel good, we're practicing well. I tell my assistants all the time that the guys look pretty good for where we are in the season," Newton head coach Cortez Allen said. "We kind of, I hate to say it, we look in mid-season form in some areas. Then in some areas we have a lot of improvements to do. But going into this first ball game we're excited. Right now, things are looking on the up and up for us."
When Newton takes the field against the Generals one thing the Rams will notice is that they are a totally different team than the one they beat 24-6 last year.
If Newton is to start their season opener with a win, the Rams' defense will have to be on their toes against Shiloh's newly-formed option offense.
Trying to keep the offense from getting too much time to allow Shiloh to develop a play are Newton rushers Treyvon Richardson, Kingsley Ejike and Damon Gresham. At linebacker, Antonio Williams will be the key to setting up the defense, making sure that everyone is in their place.
"He's our computer chip. He's the guy that gets us where we need to be and in the defense we need to be in. He makes a lot of our calls for us," Allen said.
"Right now the secondary is a work in progress. That's the area where we're still trying to get some things fixed and trying to solidify some spots. But look for David Comer to step up. Nick Hardeman played some significant time for us."
In order to keep the Generals from maintaining a steady rhythm Newton's defense is going to have to move around to keep the offensive line guessing as to where they're coming from.
When the Rams have the ball, they plan to keep their balanced scheme with about a 60-40 attack. Running the offense will be returning quarterback Gmatreian Brown. Even though Newton lost a good amount of their offensive threat from last year, Allen does not think that there will be a big drop in production with junior Darius Dean stepping in.
During the times when Brown drops back and passes, his two main targets will be Treshawn Curry and Deshawn McKenzie.
While the Rams have a plan for moving the ball, everything will come down to how the offensive line can handle what the Generals throw at them.
"Defensively, we'll see some of the similar things from last year," Allen said. "They're mixing it up between a 3-4 and a 4-3. That will give our offensive line the opportunity to get different looks and make adjustments on the move."