Things looked under control for the Newton High School football team in the final minute of Friday’s Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division II game against Valley Center.
With a tie score, the Railers were forced to punt with 1:10 to play and that punt went 63 yards for a touchback. Valley Center’s first play was stuffed for a two-yard loss. On the second play. Larry Wilson broke free for an 82-yard run to hand the Hornets a 21-15 win over the Railers.
Newton drops to 1-3 for the season, 1-1 in AV-CTL I play. It was the third game Newton has played that was decided by six points or less.
“It was just a well-executed play,” Newton coach Chris Jaax said of the winning score. “Our kids worked hard. Our defense did a phenomenal job of bending and not breaking in the game. Our offense really struggled in the first half. We get down to the goalline and turn it over. We turn it over at about the 30. The second half, they came out and played really well. They played with a lot of confidence. We had a lot of mistakes on offense in the first half, but played much better in the second.”
Newton blocked two field goals late in the game. The Hornets failed to convert on extra points on both touchdowns.
Wilson finished with 29 carries for 188 yards. Two of those runs accounted for 122 yards. Hornet quarterback Parker Scharter hit six of 13 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown.
Newton was led by Colton Davis, who hit 12 of 24 passes for 141 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Davis added 53 yards rushing. Jamison Jones had eight carries for 71 yards. Hunter Mapes had six catches for 60 yards and a touchdown.
The Railer defense made a stop early. After trading fumbles, Newton got to the Valley Center 1, where the Railers fumbled it back. The Hornets moved the ball deep into Railer territory, where Aaron Coash hit a 28-yard field goal.
Newton gave the ball back to the Hornets on downs at the Railer 27. The Hornets got to the Railer 1. After three stops on the goalline, a Hornet touchdown was called back for holding on fourth down, setting up a 29-yard Coash field goal.
A personal-foul penalty on a punt return gave Valley Center another drive in Railers territory. Again Newton stopped the drive, where Coash nailed a 32-yard field goal.
Valley Center held a 146-85 advantage in total offense in the first half.
A running into the punter penalty deep in Newton territory kept a Railer drive alive, setting up a 20-yard pass from Davis to Hunter Mapes.
Valley Center came back on a third-and-long play under pressure, when Schrater hit a 65-yard touchdown pass to Kadin Pearson. The two-point conversion pass was knocked away. The play was the Hornets first first down of the second half.
A Railer turnover set up a 37-yard field goal attempt by the Hornets, which was blocked by Warren Dietz. Roberson finished the 75-yard Newton drive with an eight-yard run. Davis stuck in the two-point conversion run to tie the game with 7:54 in regulation.
Another long Hornet drive ended with a blocked field goal with 2:46 to play.
After Valley Center’s go-ahead score, Newton had two plays to try and tie or take the lead. The first was an 18-yard pass complete to the sideline. The second was a Hail Mary that went over both the offense and the defensive coverage as time expired.
Newton plays at 7 p.m. Friday at Fischer Field against Salina Central, which is 0-4 after a 55-37 loss at home to Campus.
“It’s just the little things, and we keep coming back to that,” Jaax said. “The kids need to keep focus. We need to keep learning. We need to keep growing. We need to keep getting better. We have to get stronger. We can get frustrated, but we have to grow up and get better. If we do that, the results will take take of themselves.”
2q. VC Coash 28-yd. field goal 11:10
2q. VC Coash 29-yd. field goal 5:55
2q. VC Coash 32-yd. field goal :17
3q. N H.Mapes 20-yd. pass from Davis (Gutierrez kick) 7:56
3q. VC Pearson 85-yd. pass from Schrater (pass failed) :59
4q. N Roberson 8-yd. run (Davis run) 7:54
4q. VC Wilson 82-yd. run (kick failed) :17
RUSHING — Valley Center: Wilson 29-188, Cross 1-1, Boone 1-1, Schrater 6-(-4). Newton: Presley 2-1, Davis 24-53, Jones 8-71, Roberson 2-13, Gautschi 2-1.
PASSING — Valley Center: Schrater 6-13-0, 140 yards. Newton: Davis 12-24-1, 141 yards; Dietz 0-1-0, 0 yards.
RECEIVING — Valley Center: Pearson 1-85, Wilson 1-19, Cross 4-58, Gillen 1-8. Newton: Dietz 3-17, H.Mapes 6-60, Roberson 4-23, Pfannenstiel 2-39, Essliner 1-2.
Missed field goals — VC: Coash 37 (blocked), 22 (blocked).