Railers looking to reverse fortunes

Mark Schnabel

The second half of the season starts Friday for the Newton High School football team with the Railers still seeking their first win of the season.

The next foe in that quest is the Maize South Mavericks at 7 p.m. Friday at Fischer Field for homecoming.

Maize South is 2-1, 1-1 in AV-CTL I play, while Newton is 0-4, 0-3 in league play.

It will be the first meeting between the two schools.

All four Railer losses were by 12 points or less.

South downed Great Bend 56-0 and Salina South 62-6 before falling to Hutchinson 34-33.

South was supposed to play Campus last week, but that game was called off because of COVID-19 cases at Campus.

“The kids are working hard,” Newton coach Chris Jaax said. “The kids are banged up in some spots. We’re trying to get kids healthy too. I think the kids’ attitudes are good. We’ve got to correct mistakes. The only game where we didn’t lose the turnover battle was Derby. We lost the turnover battle pretty badly against Hutch. We had a couple of errors in the game. A fumble returned for a touchdown. We had a personal foul on a punt that gave them a first down. We threw an interception. We dropped the pass and tipped it to them in the third quarter. Those aren’t plays they really earned. We gave it to them. If we start correcting those things, we’ll do a lot better.”

Jaax expects Maize South to come out in a spread on offense and run a 4-3 defense.

“They’re pretty good,” Jaax said. “They have a good quarterback. They have a good offensive line. They have a good running back. A really good receiver. They’re known for their defense. They play a really sound defense. They’re going to be a good team. … They blew some teams out of the water. What they do, they do well. We have to make sure we follow our assignments. If we miss assignments or don’t do our job, it’s going to hurt us offensively and defensively.”

Newton is led by Ben Schmidt, who has hit 89 of 145 passes for 1,321 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Kenyon Forest has 35 carries for 321 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Forest also has 100 yards receiving with two touchdowns. Peyton Maxwell leads the receivers with 641 yards on 35 catches with six touchdowns. Xzavion Martin has 16 catches for 322 yards and two touchdowns.

Dehann Nelson and Nick Antonowich each have 40 total tackles, 29 solo each.

Around the AV-CTL I

Salina South (1-2) @ Maize (4-0)

South was supposed to play at Derby last week, but that game had to be canceled. Maize downed Arkansas City 53-8 to remain unbeaten.

Maize’s Avery Johnson has 750 passing yards and five touchdowns. Josh Sanders has 640 rushing yards and 122 receiving yards.

Hutchinson (4-0) @ Andover (2-2)

Hutchinson was supposed to play at Derby, while Andover was supposed to play at Campus. Both Campus and Derby had to cancel because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Hutchinson edged Newton 54-42 last week, while Andover fell to Goddard Eisenhower 16-7 in AV-CTL II play.

Hutchinson is off to its best start since 2009. The Salthawks racked up 352 yards rushing last week behind Alec McCuan’s 166.