The Newton High School football team had one good offensive drive to hang its hat on, along with a couple of decent defensive series, but a slow start on both sides of the ball led to a 44-7 loss to fifth-ranked (Class 5A) Maize Friday night on Newton’s homecoming at Fischer Field.

Newton held a 183-150 advantage in total offense in the second half and made several defensive stops.

“Our offense really struggled so much in the first half,” Newton coach Chris Jaax said. “Our defense did some good things. We’d get them in third-and-long or fourth-and-long and we couldn’t get them off the field. We slowed them down defensively in the first half. We just couldn’t do anything offensively. I was proud of the way we played in the second half. We almost played them 14-13 in the second half. I know it doesn’t mean much, but that game could have gone a lot differently. I’m glad we came out better in the second half.”

Maize, 4-0 overall and 3-0 in league play, was led by Caden Cox, who rushed for 157 yards on 21 carries with four touchdowns. Cox added 71 yards receiving on four catches. Camden Jurgensen hit 12 of 19 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Prevon Criston had seven catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.

Newton was led by Ben Schmidt, who hit 18 of 31passes for 224yards and an interception. Josh Edson had three catches for 86 yards. Kenyon Forest rushed for 45 yards and a touchdown.

Maize scored on its first two possessions, both on passes by Jurgenson. With 37 seconds left in the first quarter, the game was put under a lightning delay.

The Railers did stop Maize on the Eagles third drive, forcing the Eagles to settle for a 24-yard Cole Segraves field goal.

Newton had several chances to stop Maize on the next possession, but Cox broke several tackles to score on a 47-yard run. On the next possession, Cox again broke tackles that would have resulted in a loss, scoring on a 16-yard run.

Meize got one more crack at the end zone in the first half, getting to the Newton 20 before time ran out.

Maize held a 316-25 advantage in total offense in the first half.

Newton opened the second half by going 76 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a five-yard Forest run. The Railers forced a punt on Maize’s first possession of the second half. Another Newton defensive stop was wiped out on a pass interference call, setting up a four-yard Cox touchdown run.

A Newton turnover set up a three-yard Cox run. A Newton touchdown with 30 seconds remaining was called back for holding.

Newton drops to 1-3 overall, 1-2 in AV-CTL I play. Newton plays Friday at 1-3 Hutchinson, which fell to Salina Central 31-12.

“They’re going to be kids fighting for an opportunity,” Jaax said. “We’re just going to have to get better. We have to take advantage of this week and correct what we can correct. We need to keep working at it. It was 31-0 at halftime. Those games are typically running clock sometime in the third quarter. We had a little bit of momentum and that was exciting.”

Maize;14;17;7;6;—44

Newton;0;0;7;0;—7

Scoring

1q. M Criston 37-yd. pass from Jurgenson (Segraves kick) 10:17

1q. M Crockett 4-yd. pass from Jurgenson (Segraves kick) 2:45

2q. M Segraves 24-yd. field goal 9:14

2q. M Cox 47-yd. run (Segraves kick) 6:21

2q. M Cox 16-yd. run (Segraves kick) 4:22

3q. N Forest 5-yd. run (Valdivia kick) 8:23

3q. M Cox 4-yd. run (Segraves kick) :39

4q. M Cox 3-yd. run (kick failed) 6:45

Team stats

;Mai.;New.

First downs;22;12

Rushing-yards;30-195;19-19

Passing yards;271;224

Comp-att-int;22-30-0;18-31-1

Punts-avg.;3-40.0;6-32.3

Fumbles-lost;0-0’;1-0

Penalties-yards;13-115;7-60

Time of poss.;28:03;19:57

Individual stats

RUSHING — Maize: Cox 21-157, Jugensen 6-40, Johnson 2-(-1), Schieffer 1-(-1). Newton: Forest 10-45, Roberson 5-(-5), Maxwell 2-(-4), Schmidt 2-(-17).

PASSING — Maize: Jurgensen 12-19-0, 166 yds.; Johnson 9-9-0, 99 yds.; Stanton 1-2-0, 6 yds. Newton: Schmidt 18-31-1, 224 yds.

RECEIVING — Maize: Criston 7-85, Cox 4-71, Jurgensen 2-39, Crockett 3-32, Carter 4-27, Hampton 1-11, Hanna 1-6. Newton: Edson 3-84, Maxwell  4-42, Forest 1-25, Cusick 5-20, Wondra 3-17, Botterweck 1-8. Ruth 1-26.

Missed field goals — none.