By Chris Boothe
CROCKETT – Friday’s district opener against the Newton Eagles was a mixed bag of emotions. Not only were the Bulldogs fresh off a bye week and ready to see the field again, the Bulldogs were also dreading to see the field as it was their first game since losing teammate Tyress Anderson just two weeks ago. Still, the Bulldogs took the field and put forth their best effort against a Newton team that has aspirations of bringing home another state championship.
The Eagles played like a team looking for a state title, rolling to a 71-8 win over the Bulldogs.
To say Newton started strong would be an understatement. The Eagles scored the first 49 points of the night, and held a 30-0 lead after the first quarter. It took Newton just two minutes to find the end zone, while it took Crockett 22 minutes to reach the Eagles side of the 50-yard line.
The Eagles run was started with a four-yard touchdown run by Darwin Barlow to give Newton an 8-0 lead. Newton would score again on their next drive via a 49-yard scamper from quarterback Josh Foster to make it 16-0. The next touchdown would come on a 39-yard pass from Foster to Christian Kellum to make the score 23-0. Newton would finally get their last score of the opening quarter on a fumble return for a touchdown.
The first quarter was all about the fast paced, high-octane Newton offense, and the Bulldogs inability to move the ball. Crockett, who lost quarterback Marcus Smith for the year to a broken collarbone, used their fifth and sixth quarterbacks of the year during Friday’s contest. Numbers that didn’t help the Bulldogs as they looked to gain traction offensively.
Newton wasted no time getting into the end zone to start the second quarter, as on the third play of the quarter, Barlow barreled in from one-yard out for his second touchdown of the night to give Newton a 36-0 lead. After another Crockett turnover, the Eagles converted quickly, scoring on the very next play via the legs of Davien Johnson from 45-yards out. This would make the score 42-0 with 8:58 remaining in the half.
Fortunately, the Bulldogs defense was able to make a couple of stops, including a forced fumble, and keep the Eagles out of the end zone the remainder of the half.
Newton struck first in the second half when Foster connected with Noah Williams for a 19-yard touchdown to give Newton a 49-0 lead.
Crockett would finally get on the board. After quarterback Derrick Sherman connected with LT Tryon for a 28-yard reception, Sherman would heave one deep for Alton Owens for a 52-yard touchdown. After a successful two-point conversion, the Bulldogs were on the board and trailing 49-8.
Newton would return the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, sparking a 16-0 run for the Eagles to end the game on.
While it was a tough night for the top ranked Bulldogs, there were bright spots. Junior Malik Johnson really broke out after several good performances this year. Johnson led the offense with 44 yards rushing, using a bruising and physical style to push the Eagles defense when given the opportunity.
Joseph Porter and Trayvon Sandles each added 20 yards rushing, as the duo showed off some explosiveness in the Bulldogs backfield.
Sherman finished the night with just six yards rushing, but completed eight of 17 passes for 94 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
The Bulldogs will look to rebound quickly as they see a neighboring rival roll into town next week when Corrigan-Camden pays visit. Corrigan is coming off a 22-13 loss to Hemphill, as both teams will look to avoid falling into a dreaded 0-2 hole in district play. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm from Monte Jack Driskell Stadium.