NEWTON — The Newton Eagles' strengths in the 2013 season will center around the rushing attack, in a departure from years past.
A talented stable of running backs highlight the Eagles' attack for the upcoming season.
"For the longest time, we probably had the most sophisticated passing game around, " said Newton coach Jason Fulton. "We had a lot of great quarterbacks come through here, had great receivers and we were able to really distribute the ball.
"It's kind of going the other way at the moment, we've got a lot of good running backs so we're trying to run the ball a little bit more.
The backs are led by seniors Lucas Huston, Allen Taylor and Tanner Shull. Junior Zack Lewis and sophomore Kaleb Wittgan round out the rotation. Senior Brandon Tolliver-Goode started last year, and may see time back at running back if he can shake off some preseason injuries.
The running back corps was impressive at the team's Media Night last week, breaking off a number of long touchdown runs.
That's not to say the passing game will be a slouch, even without graduated signal caller Dylan Johnson. Sophomore Brock Mammoser has been named the starter, and also was sharp at Media Night.
"(Dylan's) going to be hard to replace, but Brock has done a fantastic job in the preseason," Fulton said. "He comes from a very athletic family. If he can be consistent in the short passing game, (we'll do well)."
His receivers are led by senior Austin Angel, who hauled in a long touchdown from the signal caller at Media Night. Sophomore Kyle Muska was impressive that night, despite his youth and small stature (5-foot-6, 130 pounds). Jake Volk, Jacob Lidy, Seth Meinhart and Blake Probst are also expected to contribute in the passing game.