By Mark Schnabel
After a tough two weeks on the road, the Newton High School football team finally gets to enjoy the comforts of home when the Railers host Campus at 7 p.m. Friday at Fischer Field.
Newton is 1-1 after a 49-35 win over Salina Central last week. Newton led by as many as four touchdowns, although the Mustangs mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter.
Campus is 0-2, 0-1 in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I play after a 48-0 loss to Hutchinson.
"Last week was a good opportunity for the kids to see how much they improved," Newton coach Nate Wollenberg said. "It was good that they got rewarded for that. Campus has a new head coach, and they have improved greatly, especially from week one to week two. They are playing a new style of offense and defense, and they are starting to adjust to it."
Campus is led by quarterback John Becker, who has hit 15 of 48 passes for 177 yards and two interceptions. Kaiden Ivy has 48 carries for 187 yards. Gabe Chavez has six catches for 115 yards.
For Newton, Braedon Morrison has hit six of 14 passes for 134 yards. Morrison has 275 yards rushing, followed by Seth Hill with 247, Bradley Million with 158 and Jack Kingsley with 14. All four went over 100 yards last week.
Cory Martens leads Newton in reciving with 75 yards.
"They run a spread scheme, similar to what we saw in week one," Wollenberg said. "They will probably run a different defense than they did last week, because of the wing-T. We're going to have to make some adjustments based on what we see. The normally run a 4-3."
The Newton coach said he'd like to see continued improvement this week.
"We did a good job of blocking and with the speed we ran plays," Wollenberg said. "We need to make sure we sustain blocks and keep playing fast until the whistle. We've had some guys slow down before the whistle."
Wollenberg is excited about the prospects of returning home.
"I think the players are excited, and look forward to finally playing before the Railer Nation," Wollenberg said. "We've had a lot of support from the student body and community. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Linemen Jerod Cooper and Colton Pfannensteil both remain out because of injury. John Jurardo is likely out for the season from a pre-season injury.