COVINGTON — Newton came out and were explosive against Berkmar to start the season converting seven plays of more than 25 yards as they won their home-opener 48-21 at Homer Sharp Stadium on Friday.
Despite the 27-point difference, Berkmar fought until the very end all of their points came late in the game.
The Rams (1-0) did not let a block in the back penalty following a Berkmar (0-1) punt keep them down. Newton quarterback Romario Johnson took the ball all the way down the field scoring on an 85-yard run with 9:41 left in the opening period.
Johnson left the game in the start of the fourth quarter but not after rushing for 134 yards on 10 touches and throwing for 281 completing 16 out of 23 attempts.
After scoring quickly, Newton showed that they could move the ball when Johnson had a five-yard completion to Davonta Jones (5-99) capping a 10-play, 61-yard drive.
The Rams continued their scoring ways with Johnson connecting with DeAndre Huff (7-138) for a 79-yard pass on the second play of the second frame giving the Rams a 19-0 edge.
A penalty pinned the Rams inside their own 10-yard line with less than 20 seconds left in the first half. After a 25-yard completion to Sam Johnson and a 10-yard to Artice Hobbs, Johnson unloaded with a 60-yard touchdown pass to Jones giving the Rams a 27-0 halftime lead.
The Rams offense dominated the first half with 131 rushing yard on 11 carries and 210 yards in the air on 14 catches.
Newton’s defense kept the Patriots off balance holding them to less than 75 yards of total offense and three first downs with one coming as a result of a penalty.
Even though the Rams had little trouble stopping Berkmar’s offense, the Patriots hurt themselves with four penalties for 40 yards.
A 40-yard pass from JaDarrius Warner to Omari Sanders gave the Patriots the spark they needed. Berkmar took the ball the final 27 yards in four plays making it a 27-7 game with 3:21 left in the third quarter. Randy Griffin took the ball the final six yards for the score.
The Rams did not stay down for long. Jones was able to break several tackles turning what should have been a modest gain into a 66 touchdown following a Johnson pass.
Newton’s special teams also got into the scoring going 54 yards on a pass from Jones to Taylor Kurt on a fake punt to start the fourth quarter.
Berkmar scored with a 18 yard pass from Warner to Rashard Hunt with 3:31 remaining in the contest only to have Kurt score on an 80-yard run.
The Patriots finished the scoring with a one-yard run by Warner.