The Newton High School football team hasn’t won back-to-back games since the 2013 season.
For the Railers to do so this week would put Newton at .500 and in position to maybe even get a first-round home playoff berth.
Newton faces Andover at 7 p.m. Friday at Andover District Stadium. Both teams enter play at 2-3 overall. Newton is 1-1 in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division II play, while Andover is 0-1.
Newton is coming off a 42-20 win over Salina Central last week, while Andover fell to Campus 14-10. In the Class 5A, West District standings, Newton is 11th, while Andover is 10th. The top eight teams host. Both Andover and Newton are currently one game out of the top eight.
“This is a good opportunity for the kids to take on a very good Andover team,” Newton coach Chris Jaax said. “They are different on offense and defense from any team we’ve seen this year. On offense, they throw the ball more than anyone we’ve faced. Their defense is a 3-3 stack that brings a lot of pressure. They run blitz after blitz after blitz. Their defense took Andover Central out of anything they tried to do. They do a very good job of disrupting your offense.”
Andover opened the season with a 26-14 win over Salina Central, followed by a 21-0 loss to Kapaun-Mt. Carmel and a 21-17 loss to unbeaten Goddard. A win over crosstown rival Andover Central preceded last week’s loss to Campus.
Salina Central is the sole common opponent between Newton and Andover.
Andover quarterback Eli Fahnestock has hit 80 of 164 passes for 818 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions. Fahnestock leads the AV-CTL II in passing. Fahnestock also leads the team in rushing with 228 yards on 76 carries with two touchdowns. Peyton Henry has 51 carries for 179 yards and a touchdown.
Ben Smith leads the Trojans in receiving, catching 27 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown. Luke Windish has 14 catches for 183 yards and three touchdowns.
“We’re going to have to put kids in the right places to be successful against them,” Jaax said. “We may not be able to be as aggressive as we want to be. We’re going to have to be mentally sound against them. We need to take the run away from them early and force them to be more one-dimensional than they want to be. Our offense is going to have to be versatile and take what their defense gives us.”
For the Railers, Colton Davis has hit 69 of 108 passes for 617 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. Davis also has 65 carries for 216 yards and four touchdowns. Jamieson Jones has 47 carries for 237 yards and two touchdowns. Isaiah Presley has 52 carries for 178 yards and three touchdowns.
Hunter Mapes has 23 catches for 295 yards and three touchdowns.
“I think our kids have made some great strides on defense this season,” Jaax said. “We’ve had some kids make some big plays on defense. Warren Dietz has made a lot of big plays on defense. Having Cailen Valdez back really helps us on defense. The kids know what we are capable of doing when we execute. We have been in every games this season with the exception of Hutchinson. When we have executed, we have done very well, and when we haven’t we have struggled. We just need to come out and be ready to play.”