Newton head coach Jason Fulton was worried about Friday's game against Edwards County, but his team erased all concern early and often.
Allen Taylor ran for two first-quarter touchdowns, including a 52-yard run, and Brock Mammoser passed for another to kick start the Eagles' 48-12 win.
Taylor added another rushing touchdown with 2:05 left in the second quarter, while Lucas Huston also got his name on the board with a five-yard touchdown in the quarter.
The Eagles added two second-half touchdowns, from Mitch Bierman and Zack Lewis, to cap off its 36-point victory – its largest of the season.
Newton won its previous three games on the year by a combined 3 points and Fulton said it was nice to win one with some breathing room.
“It was kind of nice to win a game like this after the other three victories we were stressed out,” Fulton said.
Fulton said he didn't want to look past Edwards County, after the Lions beat Cumberland last week, especially coming off of a high-point victory over Olney that the Eagles had last week.
“You don't know how they're going to play,” Fulton said. “Edwards County does a lot of good things. They have some athletes. They made me nervous.”
The Eagles completed a perfect 4-0 record at home and a 4-4 overall record with Friday's win, led by Taylor's 192 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Lewis and Bierman also chipped in, finishing with more than 50 yards apiece in the game, while Huston finished the night with 71 yards on 11 carries.
“The running game right now is really important to us,” Fulton said. “It was good for Allen to get out and have a big game tonight. (Bierman) had a big game last week. Huston gets tough yards. They're good weapons to have.”
The running game will likely be important next week, as Newton plays Paris to try to become eligible for a spot in the postseason with a win. A fifth win would give Newton a chance to get in, depending on playoff points. Newton's games against Olney, Casey-Westfield, Robinson and Lawrenceville could help.
Fulton said he expects Paris to be prepared to host the Eagles next week and said they'll be tough, having experience a “tough” Apollo Conference schedule.
“We have to do everything we can to win this football game,” Fulton said. “This is our playoff game. Our playoffs start this week.”
Fulton said the Eagle's three wins before Friday night's 36-point victory could help his team if the Paris game is close.
“We're well seasoned in the area of close games,” Fulton said. “Those games will carry us into this one.”
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or email@example.com.
Edwards County 0 0 6 6 12
Newton 21 13 7 7 48
Rushing — Edwards County: McKinney 5-40, Moody 1 TD; Newton: Taylor 25-192, 3 TD, Lewis 7-53, TD, Bierman 8-51, TD, Huston 12-71, TD
Passing — Edwards County: Rogers 5-23-95, 4 INT; Newton: Mammoser 6-17-54, TD
Receiving — Edwards County: Moody 2-48; Newton: Angel 6-35, Bierman 2-14, TD