IF YOU GO
• Who: Newton Rams (3-4 overall, 3-0 Region 2-AAAAAA) at Lovejoy Wildcats (7-1,4-0)
• When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
• Where: Twelve Oaks Stadium, Hampton
• Last week: Newton defeated Rockdale 27-6; Lovejoy beat Luella 60-0
• Series: First meeting
COVINGTON -- Newton's football team has a chance to do something it has not done since 1987 -- call themselves region champions.
Before that can happen, the Rams (3-4 overall, 3-0 Region 2-AAAAAA) have a hard task on Friday as they take on AP Class AAAAAA No. 9 ranked Lovejoy at 7:30 p.m. at Twelve Oaks Stadium in Hampton.
"We have the opportunity to win the region championship," Newton head coach Cortez Allen said. "We're really excited and hoping for the best."
The Wildcats (7-1, 4-0) have been running roughshod in the region outscoring their opponents 209-3. Since beating Druid Hills 58-3, Lovejoy has held its opponents scoreless while scoring 151 points.
Last week against Luella, the Wildcats quarterback was 10 of 13 throwing for 200 yards and three touchdowns. In limited play considering that Lovejoy was winning 38-0 at halftime, running back Travis Custis, who recently committed to Georgia Tech, ran for 81 yards while crossing the goal line twice.
"They probably feel a little confident coming into the ball game against us. But that's not what football is all about. I think we're going to be better up front. Our defense is pumped and ready to go, they're excited," Allen said. "There are some areas where I feel we have an advantage and there are areas where they have an advantage. So hopefully it will all play out and we'll come out winning."
Even though Lovejoy has only allowed 54 points all season, Allen feels that the offensive line is good enough to outscore the Wildcats and possibly win region. With Lovejoy playing a zero coverage defense, Allen feels that the offensive line can hold off Lovejoy's defenders enough to let James Hardeman and the other running backs ample time to get in the Wildcats secondary.
"Being able to run the ball is going to be key for us. Also, play-action is going to be big as well. We have to do a good job of being able to open up the run and get some key opportunities in the passing game," Allen said.
"This is what seasons are made of. There's no need to talk about what you're going to do or what you could do. Now is the time to put up and give them all you have. That's out attitude this week. We're just going to go out there and lay it on the line."