COVINGTON -- Last season, Newton's football team was where Westlake's team is this season -- needing to win out to make the playoffs. It was the Lions that ended their playoff hopes beating Newton 33-13. Now the Rams are hoping to return the favor when the two meet at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Homer Sharp Stadium.
"That's what I talked to the guys about (Tuesday), to go and return the favor," said Newton head coach Cortez Allen. "It also goes to one of our secondary goals, to have a winning season and we have that opportunity now."
The Lions (3-4 overall, 1-3 in Region 2-AAAAA) put themselves in playoff contention with a 33-21 upset win over previous unbeaten in region play East Coweta. Westlake did it by using its athletic ability to score points off East Coweta mistakes. A lesson that Allen hopes his team has learned.
"It was a situation where Westlake was able to beat them using team speed and taking advantage of some mistakes," said Allen. "I feel like we match up better with them then East Coweta. It's going to be a pretty good game."
Westlake is averaging 21 points a game running an array of offensive teams keeping the defense's off balance. The Lions run a multiple type of offensive schemes including spreads, power formation and Wing-T. But Allen feels that the defense can make the proper adjustments since they have seen these offensive lineups in the past.
Offensively, Newton (3-4, 0-4) should be able to gain some yardage over undersized Westlake defensive line. As long as the Rams do not turn the ball over and stop themselves, they should be able to score the average amount of points that Westlake has given up this season at 27 points.
"There are some opportunities for teams to take advantage of some things they do on defense. Offensively, we had our greatest offensive output last week (against M.L. King) with 330 yards of offense. Our offense is clicking," Allen said. "We were able to put up some yards now we have to put up some points."
Even though the Rams are not in playoff contention, this game is important if Newton is to achieve one of its goals of ending with a winning season.
Newton started the year winning three games in a row before losing their next four.
"This program has been a program of streaks," said Allen. "We're on a four-game losing streak so we would like to finish the season on a three-game win streak. I told the seniors it would leave them with a good taste of their high school football career and the underclassmen, it would give them the motivation to continue to work hard on the offseason."