Newton Eagles (4-3, 2-0)

Vs.

No. 4 Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs (7-0, 2-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Bulldog Stadium, Corrigan

 

Coaches
  • Newton: W.T. Johnston
  • Corrigan-Camden: Seven Armstrong

 

Last week
  • Newton: defeated Crockett, 55-19
  • Corrigan-Camden: defeated Hemphill, 52-0

 

Next week
  • Newton: at Garrison, Oct. 31
  • Corrigan-Camden: at Deweyville, Oct. 31

 

Playmakers

Newton

  • ATH Roney Elam, Sr., 6-3, 170 (13 of 37, 308 passing yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs, 48 carries, 147 rushing yards, 3 TDs; 40 tackles, 2 INTs; committed to Texas A&M)
  • RB/DB Calum Foster, Sr., 5-11, 175 (69 carries, 601 yards, 6 TDs; 30 tackles)
  • OL Brent Simmons, Sr., 6-3, 287
  • DB Kirkland Foster, Soph., 5-11, 155 (28 tackles, 1 INT)
  • ATH Jace Thomas, Sr., 5-8, 170 (103 carries, 812 yards, 9 TDs)
  • OL/DL Dave Lewis, Sr., 6-0, 265 (32 tackles, 2 sacks)
  • DB Tanner Holmes, Jr., 613, 215 (65 tackles)

 

Corrigan-Camden

  • RB Keegan Mitchell, Sr., 5-6, 172 (76 carries, 1,268 yards through six games, 18 TDs through seven games; offer from Lamar)
  • RB Malyk Johnson, Jr., 5-11, 195 (82 carries, 1,086 yards through six games, 20 TDs through seven games)
  • FB/LB Sammy Martinez, Sr.

 

Just the facts
  • Corrigan-Camden and Newton, with 2-0 league records, share the lead with Garrison for first place in District 11-3A Division II.
  • Corrigan-Camden is ranked by the Associated Press as the No. 4 team across Class 3A. Newton received two votes in the latest poll release.
  • The bottom three teams in the league are all 0-2, so the Bulldogs and Eagles playoff prospects are very bright.
  • Friday's game will have a major say in the district championship competition.
  • Corrigan-Camden has outscored opponents 438-202.
  • Newton dropped three of its first four games, including defeats against Tatum and Henderson, but rallied out to 4-3 overall.
  • Carrigan-Camden's Keegan Mitchell and Malyk Johnson are East Texas' most productive rushing tandem.
  •  Newton has the highest-rated college football prospect in the game. It's Texas A&M commitment Roney Elam. He'll play both ways and is projected to be a defensive back for the Aggies.
  • Elam holds other offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, LSU, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech.
  •  Newton is also a heavy running team. Jace Thomas leads the Eagles with 812 yards and nine touchdowns, but 14 players have combined for 2,216 yards on the ground opposed to 319 total passing yards.
  • Newton is 1-2 on the road.
  • The two teams last met in 2009, a 49-7 win for Newton.

 

Newton athlete Roney Elam, a Texas A&M commitment, gives the Eagles the best chance to eliminate big Corrigan-Camden runs. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Corrigan-Camden's running game versus Newton's defense. Friday's meeting between the Bulldogs and Eagles is easily one of the best in East Texas this week. Seven Armstrong's team has torched teams with running backs Keegan Mitchell and Malyk Johnson while Newton appears to be settling in nicely to District 11-3A Division II.

Mitchell and Johnson have combined for 38 touchdowns and have done even more damage on two-point conversions in addition to generally wearing down opponents. They have met their match though.

Newton has a defense with no glaring weaknesses for Class 3A Division II competition. Tackles are evenly distributed. Its defensive front has combined for 17 sacks, indicating the defense's ability to dominate opposing offensive lines at the snap.

The Eagles probably won't add sacks to the count Friday. Corrigan-Camden is a run-oriented team based out of tight formations like the veer and I-formation. The Bulldogs will, however, receive a good push back from the Newton defenders.

Johnson, at 5-11 and 195 pounds, is the workhorse for Corrigan-Camden. He's a load to bring down and is a straight forward runner.

Mitchell is shifty in open space and possesses excellent on-field awareness. He knows how to reverse field and when to give up ground for a hard turn to throw off defenders with good positioning.

Both Corrigan-Camden primary backs have very good acceleration and hit full speed at the second level of the defense.

But Newton has an answer. Defensive backs Ronnie Elam and Tanner Holmes should be able to chase down the running backs and force the Bulldogs to sustain drives.

Don't be surprised if: one fumble is the difference in the game. Both teams are built to run and are capable of nickeling and diming opponents the length of the field. Running the ball nearly exclusively burns the clock, so it could be up to eight minutes before a team that commits a turnover sees the ball again.

If it wasn't for halftime, it probably would not take more than an hour and a half to play all 48 minutes. The game will be quick with limited opportunities to score.

Corrigan-Camden's Malyk Johnson (2) runs for yardage against Waskom during their Class 2A Division II Region III final Dec. 6, 2013, in Carthage. (Jeff Stapleton, ETSN.fm)