NEWTON — Marshall squeezed in 11 plays in just more than two minutes to give itself a shot at winning the game from the 11 yard line with three seconds to play, but Newton knocked down a pass to the end zone to cap off its 21-20 win on Friday.
Two plays earlier, Marshall quarterback Travis Adams scrambled outside of the pocket to the one-yard line, but a holding call pushed the ball from the original spot, the six-yard line, to the 11 yard line, and Marshall head coach Todd Evers said he didn't like the call.
“That was questionable,” Evers said. “We had a couple big conversions to get us there, we just couldn't punch it in.”
The Newton defense's stand was one of three in the fourth quarter as neither team scored in the second half after a 21-20 game at halftime.
“The way we put points up in the first quarter, I thought we were going to score the whole game,” Newton head coach Jason Fulton said.
Fulton said he was excited for his players after a win like that, especially after a final minute that included multiple timeouts by each team and a 3rd-and-15 conversion for 25 yards for Marshall. It was a stressful final minute for the Eagles head coach
“My heart is never that great, but we're just happy,” Fulton said. “I'm just thrilled for these kids to get to enjoy this win.”
Adams completed the 25-yard pass to Derick Davidson to convert a first down, before Adams rushed for another conversion on 3rd-and-1 later in the drive.
Adams' last two passes were broken up in the end zone by Newton defenders and Evers said it was tough not to be able to score at the end.
On an earlier drive that started with 3:49 left in the game, Newton had the ball with a 3rd-and-1 and had a chance to get a first down that would melt the clock close to the end of the game.
Instead of running the ball, Fulton said quarterback Brock Mammoser audibled to a passing play because of what the defense looked like.
“We had a run play called and they gave us some coverage to throw a hitch,” Fulton said. “It was a good call on Brock's part. If we pick up the blitz, it's a big completion for a big gain.”
Newton opened up a 14-0 lead in the first quarter of the game with two touchdown passes from Mammoser, including a 62-yard touchdown to Austin Angel.
Newton led 21-6 in the second quarter until Marshall scored two touchdowns to end the half and tighten the deficit to 21-20.
Adams led Marshall in the comeback on both ends of the ball. First, he intercepted a Mammoser pass and ran it 47 yards for Marshall's first touchdown of the night.
In the second quarter, Adams passed for a touchdown and ran for another to bring his team back into the game.
“(Adams) is a sophomore,” Evers said. “I'm proud of the way he played and the way he finished. I'm extremely excited about his progression all season long.”
After the game, Fulton met the opposing quarterback in the middle of the field to tell him to keep his head up after the loss.
“He had a fantastic game,” Fulton said. “Those kids played hard and gave us a scare at the end there. We've been there, on the other side of games like that.”
Adams finished with 296 total yards, but Newton's Allen Taylor had what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown in the second quarter.
Taylor ran in a 47-yard score with 9:53 left in the second quarter, as he finished the game with 127 yards on 18 carries.
With the win, Newton improves to 2-3 this season and 2-1 in the Little Illini Conference Egyptian Division. The Eagles will be at Robinson next week.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or email@example.com.
Marshall 6 14 0 0 20
Newton 14 7 0 0 21
Rushing — Marshall: Adams 22-119-1, Leitch 14-50-0; Newton: Taylor 18-127-1, Huston 8-57-0
Passing — Marshall: Adams 12-21-177 yards, TD; Newton: Mammoser 6-21-108 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Receiving — Marshall: Scott 4-92-0, Mattingly 3-31-1, Davidson 3-43-0; Newton: Angel 2-75-1, Muska 3-29-0