After a 42-22 loss in the season opener last week at Maize, the Newton High School football team will look to rebound against Salina South at 7 p.m. Saturday at Salina District Stadium.
Like Newton, Central took a tough loss last week, falling to Hutchinson 42-31.
"We have a check list of things we need to work on this week," Newton coach Nate Wollenberg said. "There are a number of areas we need to work and improve on. At the same time, we did some nice things last week."
Leading 24-21 after three quarters, Central was outscored 21-7 in the final quarter of play.
"I was a good game between two very good teams," Wollenberg said. "Hutch was able to capitalize on some things late in the game. Those were two of the top teams in the state."
Central was led by quarterback J.W. Maldaner, who rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown, and passed for 187 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Maldaner hit 16 of 25 passes.
On defense, Tanner Robl had 21 total tackles, 17 solo. JaVon Burse had 16 tackles, 12 solo. Austin Huyhn had 14 total tackles.
"They are really good at what they do," Wollenberg said. "Their head coach does a good job with them. Whatever set they are in — 4-3, 4-4 or 3-4, you have to make adjustments that might make you more vulnerable. There are some areas where we can take advantage of what they give us. On offense, they traditionally have been a running team, but their offense is strong in both the run and the pass. Their quarterback is a very talented kid. He really did some nice things against Hutchinson.
"They used to run a lot of I, but now they show more shotgun."
Against Maize, Newton had a near 3-to-1 advantage in time of possession. Newton had 375 yards in total offense, giving up 285 yards. The Railers struggled with completing drives on offense and giving up quick strikes on defense. Maize had several scoring drives that lasted less than a minute. Maize also scored on a kick return and punt return.
"There are three or four things we're going to have to do better this week," Wollenberg said. "On defense, we're going to have to tackle better. There were times where we had the right players on the field, but we were not in the right read. On offense, we're going to have to stay in our blocking. We're going to have to solidify things on special teams. Maize had impressive team speed and we didn't always match up well to that. This week, we're going to have to do a better job of keeping the ball in front of us."
Wollenberg reports two injuries from last week's game that will keep players out — lineman Jared Cooper and receiver-defensive back John Jurado.