After Newton lost to county-rival Eastside last week, the Rams came back to give first-year Newton head coach Terrance Banks his first win beating Class AAAAAA No. 4 ranked Lowndes 15-14 at Martin Stadium on Friday.
“I can’t put into words how big a win it is to beat Lowndes. It’s something to go into Lowndes with 100 of your fans and 10,000 of theirs. It’s still kind of surreal right now,” Banks, a first-time head coach, said. “Lowndes doesn’t invite you down there to put up a fight. They expect you to put up a good effort but not to come out successful.”
The Vikings (1-1) came out and thought it was just going to be another automatic win after scoring on third play of the game on a 39-yard run by Ahman Brown to take an 8-0 run following the two-point conversion.
Newton punted the ball back but the Rams defense stepped up recovering a loose ball giving the ball back to the Newton offense at midfield. The Rams showed that they were not going to be an easy win as Artice Hobbs scored on a 50-yard touchdown run.
“The crowd intensified and they thought this was going to be easy work. But my defense came out and got the ball back. When Artice hit the corner he ran it and that solidified to my boys.
Newton’s defense forced five fumbles recovering three of the loose balls.
Lowndes continued to battle eventually taking a 14-8 lead with nine minutes left in the game. The Vikings tried to put the game out of reach with a field goal with less than a minute on the clock. But the Rams special team got the break they were hoping for blocking the kick and recovering the ball on the 35.
After a 34-yard Romario Johnson run, the Vikings moved the ball 15 yards closer to the goal line as a result of a personal foul. The Rams moved the ball inside the 10-yard line but delay of game and offsides penalty made it third and goal from the 18 with enough time for one play.
Johnson was able to find Davonta Jones in the endzone off a post route for the winning touchdown as time expired.
“Romario put the pass on the money and he (Jones) brought it down,” Banks said. “They did some things to try to rattle Romario. But even with everything they did to rattle him, in the end he did a great job to maintain his composure.
“All week I wondered how Lowndes was going to play us. They’re old school 52 defense and they don’t like to change. That means that they’re going to put seven guys in the box and they believe that we’re going to hit you and we’re going to hit you hard. I said to myself this was the game plan they were going to bring to us and sure enough it was. They put seven guys in the box and said we believe that we can get to you before you get to us. We had some things to loosen them up. It worked because they were committed to stop our running game and putting pressure on our quarterback.”