The Newton High School football team will face a familiar opponent at 7 p.m. Friday in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.
The 2-6 Railers face the 7-1 Hutchinson Salthawks at Gowans Stadium in Hutchinson.
In the first meeting, the Salthawks held off the Railers for a 54-42 win.
Newton enters the playoffs on a two-game winning streak, edging Salina South 42-41 and downing Campus 42-15 last week.
After a 14-7 loss to Andover in week five, Hutchinson has won three straight, stopping Salina South 42-17, Campus 42-28 and Maize 32-28. The Maize win gave Hutchinson the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I title.
Entering the game, Newton is among the Class 5A leaders in passing offense at 286.6 yards a game, while Hutchinson is among the leaders in rushing offense at 305.1 yards a game. Both teams are among the leaders in total offense.
Newton’s Ben Schmidt has hit 156 of 275 passes for 2,287 yards with 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Kenyon Forest has 156 rushes for 752 yards and seven touchdowns. Peyton Maxwell has 57 catches for 1,067 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns.
Schmidt has broken the single-season passing yards record, while Maxwell holds the single-season receiving yards record.
Schmidt’s yardage this year alone is third all-time in career passing. Schmidt broke the single season mark by more than 1,000 yards. Maxwell broke the single season receiving record by almost 200 yards.
On defense, Dehann Nelson has 61 total tackles, 11 for a loss. Nick Antonowich has 59 total tackles.
Other AV-CTL I
teams in the playoffs
Wichita Southeast (1-5) at Derby (4-2)
Derby is the two-time defending Class 6A state champions, but the Panthers will be facing a tough road for a third. The Panthers are the fourth seed in the West side of the bracket, while Southeast is 13th. The Panthers downed Maize South 48-10 last week, while Southeast fell to Wichita Heights 56-21.
Campus (1-5) at Wichita East (5-1)
Campus enters the playoffs seeded 14th on the West bracket, while East is third. Campus fell to Newton 42-15 last week, while East downed Wichita West 22-8.
Liberal (2-5) at Maize (7-1)
Maize will look to get past the semifinal round this season. The Eagles were knocked off the top spot in both the district and the league with a 32-28 loss to Hutchinson last week. Maize fell to the third seed on the West bracket. Liberal fell to Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 13-0 last week.
Maize South (4-3) at Hays (5-2)
Maize South was a state quarterfinalist last season, while Hays fell in the second round to the Mustangs 41-10. South beat Hays 21-20 earlier this season to knock Hays out of the ranks of the unbeaten.
South fell to Derby 48-10 last week, while Hays fell to Salina Central 24-6.
Salina South (2-5) at Kapaun-Mt. Carmel (6-1)
Salina South is the 13th seed, while Kapaun-Mt. Carmel is seeded fourth. South is coming off a 34-28 win over rival Salina Central last week. Kapaun-Mt. Carmel downed Hays 24-6 last week.