12-under Rams frustrate opponents

COVINGTON -- There are those that say there is no quitting in football. It could be because those people have never played against the Newton County Rams 12-under team.

In 12 games, which they won, the Rams have made three teams quit. Two quit before the start of the first half with the third team refusing to step back on the field before the fourth quarter began. In all their games, the Rams have been winning by at least 30 points before the other team said no more.

"We just didn't score, we beat teams by at least 30-0 or more. In the championship game in Macon, we played one of the best teams in Atlanta and they quit on us in the third quarter also. We were winning 36-0," Newton County Rams assistant coach Arsenio Nolley said. "I've never seen that happen in football. They basically surrendered. They had so many players who didn't want to play anymore."

The Rams' defense has been so dominating that they have only given up 14 points in 12 games. It wasn't that the other team found a way past their unpredictable wall, it was that they were up by 42 points so they decided to take their regular starters off the field.

"In the six games at Winder, we gave up two first downs," Nolley said. "Our 10-under team won in Macon while we were in Winder but no one has won the fashion which we have. I've been coaching football for about seven years and have not seen anything like it."

It was about the time that Nolley, who coaches the defense while head coach Fred Hardeman takes care of the offense, started coaching that he had been waiting for this group to get under his watch.

"We've been watching this group since they were 5- or 6-years old. They've been doing this good their whole time," Nolley said. "They're incredible and just coming to their own."

A main reason that the Rams defense has been so dominating and why the three teams have said enough is because of middle linebacker Chavis Franklin.

"Everybody thinks that he's like 15 years old. He's the reason a lot of teams quit," a proud Nolley said. "We had a coach when we were in Macon that was from UGA that was asking about Chavis."

Offensively, behind quarterback Tiaje Thomas, the Newton County team is fairly balanced as they run the ball around 60 percent of the time. Not surprising when you have a running back that averages 10 yards per carry and three touchdowns a game

"Without a doubt we have the best running back (Darvin Jones) probably in the state," Nolley said.

The Rams have a tournament at Earl O'Neal Park in Conyers starting Saturday where ticket are $7.50. If they continue their winning ways they will play in the championship game on Dec. 18 at the Georgia Dome.

While most people usually end their season after the championship game, Nolley feels that they will continue to put on their gear afterwards.

"I don't know if it's going to end because we've (gotten) a lot of invites to go to a lot of places. We heard on the radio that a lot of people were asking about our team," Nolley said. "It was crazy that they heard there was another team that was making other teams quit. People want to see us play."