A look at the stat sheets and one would think the Newton High School football team had won easily against Salina South, but turnovers and other miscues put it the other way as the Cougars downed the Railers 47-24 in the regular season finale for both teams at Fischer Field.
South improves to 2-6, 2-4 in AV-CTL I play. Newton drops to 3-5, also 2-4 in league play. It was the second straight year South prevented the Railers from reaching .500 in the regular season.
“They’re a good team,” Newton coach Chris Jaax said. “They are well coached and they have some good players. We can’t have that many mistakes. We have to capitalize on opportunities. We have to punch it in. I’ll give it to them. They threw the ball on us. They ran the ball on us. It was disappointing the way we came out in the second half. We had a make a big difference and we did some things poorly.”
Newton’s Ben Schmidt came on late in the second quarter, hitting 25 of 36 passes for 297 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Peyton Maxwell caught 14 passes for 180 yards and three touchdowns. Josh Edson had 33 yards passing, 72 yards rushing and 106 yards receiving.
“Ben came in well,” Jaax said. “He gave us a chance to move forward in the game. We have to make sure we put ourselves in good spots. When we throw for 300 yards, we should be close.”
For South, Terran Galloway hit 14 of 20 passes for 222 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Galloway added a rushing touchdown. Brandt Cox rushed the ball for 83 yards and a touchdown. South scored twice on Newton turnovers. Caleb Copeland caught two passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
Newton got caught trading field goal attempts for touchdowns early in the game. A 15-yard penalty for fair catch interference gave South a short field, setting up 26-yard pass from Galloway to Copeland.
Newton came back with a drive that stalled out at the South 5, setting up a 20-yard Xander Valdivia field goal.
South came back with a long drive, ending on a 10-yard Cox run. Valdivia then missed a 35-yard field goal attempt.
South scored late in the half on a seven-yard Galloway run with 59 seconds left in the half. Newton got to the South 15 before time ran out.
South held a 183-175 advantage in total offense in the first half.
A bad snap ended Newton’s first series of the second half. A 15-yard face mask penalty against Newton was added to the punt return. South scored on a 22-yard pass from Galloway to Collin Schreiber. A fumble on the kickoff was returned 15 yards by Owen Bulleigh for a score. Colby Bulleigh followed with a 65-yard interception return.
Newton finally finished a drive with a 17-yard pass from Schmidt to Maxwell with 1:28 left in the third quarter. Henry Classsen recovered the on-side kick. On the following play, Schmidt hit Maxwell with a 46-yard pass.
South recovered the high pooch kick at the South 37.
The Cougars ended the quarter with a 50-yard pass from Galloway to Schreiber, putting the ball on the Newton 3. The PAT kick was blocked.
Newton was stopped on downs at its own 15. A South 49-yard field goal attempt was blocked, but the Railers were called for running into kicker. The 44-yard attempt also was blocked but with no penalty.
South came back with a six-yard pass from Galloway to Copeland. The PAT kick was blocked. Newton responded with a long drive that ended on an 11-yard pass from Schmidt to Maxwell.
Newton opens the playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday at 5-3 Emporia, which earned a home playoff spot with a 14-13 win over Junction City. Emporia is the sixth seed, while Newton is the 11th seed.
“It’s about us. It’s not about them,” Jaax said. “We came out in the playoffs last year with a chance to win. Hopefully, we’ll come out with the same mentality.”
1q. SS Copeland 26-yd. pass from Galloway (kick failed) 2:51
2q. N Valdivia 20-yd. field goal 10:08
2q. SS Cox 10-yd. run (Rincon kick) 7:07
2q. SS Galloway 7-yd. run (Rincon kick) :59
3q. SS Schreiber 22-yd. pass from Galloway (Rincon kick) 6:29
3q. SS O.Bulleigh 15-yd. fumble return (Rincon kick) 6:17
3q. SS C.Bulleigh 65-yd. interception return (Rincon kick) 3:11
3q. N Maxwell 17-yd. pass from B.Schmidt (Valdivia kick) 1:28
3q. N Maxwell 46-yd. pass from B.Schmidt (Valdivia kick) 1:15
4q. SS Copeland 6-yd. pass from Galloway (kick failed) 10:37
4q. N Maxwell 11-yd. pass from B.Schmidt (Valdivia kick) 5:22
RUSHING — Salina South: Galloway 7-(-9), Cox 23-83, Nash 5-0. Newton: B.Schmidt 4-(-1), Forest 10-26, Edson 9-72.
PASSING — Salina South: Galloway 14-20-1, 222 yards; Cox 0-1-0, 0 yards. Newton: B.Schmidt 25-36-1, 297 yards; Edson 2-6-0, 33yards.
RECEIVING — Salina South: Garrett 3-17, Varela 3-20, Ollenberger 1-34, Schreiber 3-69, Copeland 4-82. Newton: Maxwell 14-180,, Cusick 2-8, Edson 7-106, Ruth 1-2, J.Schmidt 3-34.
Missed field goals — SS: Rincon 44 (blocked). New.: Valdivia 35 (short).
Class 5A West Regional