EMPORIA — The Newton High School football team put on a display of offensive fireworks, but struggled to make the stops on defense, ending the season with a 41-29 loss to Emporia Friday in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs at Welch Stadium in Emporia.
Emporia, 6-3, advances to the round of 16 Friday.
“The kids fought hard,” Newton coach Chris Jaax said. “We did a lot of good things. We just made more mistakes than they did. We had a couple things we gave away. We’ll live and learn. I’ll give it to them. They ground it.”
Emporia was led by Beau Baumgartner with 20 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown. He added a 43-yard touchdown reception. John Miller hit five of 11 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 41 yards and two touchdowns.
For Newton, Ben Schmidt hit 31 of 45 passes for 386 yards and two touchdowns. Peyton Maxwell caught 12 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Josh Edson rushed for a touchdown and threw a touchdown pass. He had nine catches for 90 yards receiving.
Newton opened the game with a long drive that stalled out on the Emporia 4, where Xander Valdivia hit a 22-yard field goal. Emporia countered with a long drive that ended on a one-yard Miller run.
Newton regained the lead on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Schmidt to Maxwell. Emporia replied with a long drive that ended on a five-yard Miller run. The PAT kick was deflected.
A Newton drive ended on downs in Emporia’s side of the field, setting up a four-yard Conner Hoyt run. Newton fumbled on its next possession, setting up a 43-yard inside screen pass from Miller to Baumgartner with 55 seconds left in the half. The PAT kick was blocked.
Newton needed just 22 seconds to get back in the game, scoring on a 23-yard pass from Schmidt to Maxwell. A pass from Edson to Schmidt for the two-point conversion was stripped away.
The Newton defense opened the second half with a three-and-out to force a punt. The Railers needed six plays to go 56 yards, scoring on a one-yard Edson run.
A bad pitch killed the following Emporia drive, giving Newton the ball on the Spartan 44. Newton got to the 16, but a fake-field goal attempt lost four yards. The play set up a 36-yard Baumgartner touchdown run. On a bad snap, holder Kadyn Willams ran in the two-point conversion.
Newton replied with a long drive that ended on a two-yard pass from Edson to Austin Wondra with 6:54 left in regulation. The two-point conversion pass was short.
“The kids just came out and played with intensity,” Jaax said of the third quarter defense.
Emporia came back with an eight-play, 67-yard drive that ended with a nine-yard Wendling run with 3:17 in regulation.
Newton got to the Emporia 30 before losing it on downs with 1:03 to play.
Newton ends the season 3-6. The Railers have 17 seniors listed on the roster.
“We’re really thankful for their leadership,” Jaax said. “I don’t think people understand how much sacrifice the kids put in. They meet every morning before school and they practice every day after school. They work it. They have to be at weights all summer. They go through conditioning.
“(For the underclassmen,) we have to continue to do the things we’ve been doing. We push the kids hard. They have to buy into it. They have the talent.”
A long term goal will be to build up the numbers. Newton didn’t play a JV schedule for much of the season and combined the freshmen and sophomores on a team.
“Our freshman class last year was small,” Jaax said. “Our freshman class this year was small. Our freshman class next year might be OK sized.”
1q. N Valdivia 22-yd. field goal 7:29
1q. E Miller 2-yd. run (Hoyt kick) 1:08
2q. N Maxwell 41-yd. pass from B.Schmidt (Valdivia kick) 10:26
2q. E Miller 5-yd. run (kick failed) 7:44
2q. E Hoyt 4-yd. run (Hoyt kick) 2:34
2q. E Baumgartner 43-yd. pass from Miller (kick failed) :55
2q. N Maxwell 23-yd. pass from B.Schmidt (pass failed) :23
3q. N Edson 1-yd. run (Valdivia kick) 8:30
4q. E Baumgartner 36-yd. run (Williams run) 11:09
4q. N Wondra 2-yd. pass from Edson (pass failed) 6:54
4q. E Wendling 9-yd. run (Hoyt kick) 3:17
RUSHING — Newton: B.Schmidt 2-(-4), Forest 7-39, Edson 7-12. Emporia: Baumgartner 20-156, Miller 13-41, Beatty 1-3, Trujillo 2-18, Wednling 4-18, Hoyt 1-4.
PASSING — Newton: B.Schmidt 30-43-0, 386 yards; Edson 1-2-0, 2 yards. Emporia: Miller 5-11-0, 111 yards.
RECEIVING — Newton: Maxwell 12-210, Wondra 4-23, Cusick 2-25, Edson 9-90, Forest 3-15, Botterweck 1-25. Emporia: Hoyt 1-13, Wendling 1-3, Trujillo 2-52, Baumgartner 1-43.
Missed field goals — none.