The Newton High School football team has two games left to try and improve its position for the post season with both games on the road.
The first test will be 7 p.m. Friday against Goddard Eisenhower at Goddard District Stadium.
Both teams are 2-4 and both teams are coming off losses. Newton fell to Salina Central 33-19 last week, while Eisenhower fell to Maize South 28-7.
Eisenhower is 13th in the district standings, while Newton is 14th. Both teams are one game out of eighth place, which is the final home playoff spot.
“We talked to the kids about coming out the way we did and I think we connected with them,” Newton coach Chris Jaax said. “We worked on eliminating our mistakes. We need to make more plays. We moved some kids around a bit and I think the kids responded well.”
Eisenhower is 2-3 in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division II play. The Tigers beat Arkansas City 49-29 two weeks ago. Eisenhower had close losses to Andover (30-22) and rival Goddard (12-3).
“They have been a cursed team,” Jaax said. “They have lost games in weird ways. Against Goddard, they gave up a safety and had a muffed punt that landed on the five-yard line. The punt went off the back of the calf. They are still a very talented team.”
Against Maize South, Collin Mackey rushed for 143 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown and passed for 151 yards, hitting 13 of 36 passes with two interceptions. Chance Omli and Cody Houser each had 58 yards receiving.
“For the past six or seven years, they have been playing the flexbone. The last two games, they have been running a different offense,” Jaax said. “We’re going to have to be ready for both of them. They play a 3-4 defense and are very good at it. That has been the strength of their team.”
Newton’s Colton Davis has hit 60 of 120 passes for 613 yards with three touchdowns and five interceptions. Davis also has 90 carries for 744 yards and 10 touchdowns. Josh Edson has 18 catches for 248 yards.
“It’s important that we come out ready to play,” Jaax said. “The last two games, we made our adjustments and the kids responded well to them, but we have to come out ready to play.”
Newton won last year 31-29. The Railers got off to a strong start and held off a late Eisenhower comeback. The Tigers missed a field goal attempt on the last play of the game.”
Senior lineman Brett Ashcraft will be out the last two games of the season, but Jaax reports no other major injuries.