DISTRICT 11-3A DIVISION II

Newton Eagles (2-4, 1-0)

vs.

Crockett Bulldogs (4-2, 1-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Monte Jack Driskell Stadium, Crockett

Coaches
  • Newton: W.T. Johnston
  • Crockett: Jimmy Thompson
Last week
  • Newton: def. Deweyville, 58-0
  • Crockett: def. Corrigan-Camden, 71-22
Next week
  • Newton: vs. Corrigan-Camden, Oct. 23
  • Crockett: at Garrison, Oct. 23

Playmakers

Newton

 

  • LB Tanner Holmes, Sr., 6-2, 220 (65 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT; 2 catches, 53 yards; committed to ULL)
  • RB/DB Gabe Foster, Sr., 6-3, 185 (79 carries, 556 yards, 7 TDs, 12 receptions, 127 yards; 18 tackles, )
  • OL Hunter Flanigan, Sr., 6-1, 180
  • OL Keenan Myers, Sr., 6-0, 210
  • RB/LB Jaron Hanks, Sr., 5-9, 165 (105 carries, 649 yards, 5 TDs; 1 INT)
  • DB Blake Kelley, Jr., 5-9, 155 (44 tackles)

 

Crockett

 

  • QB Case Robinson, Sr., 6-2, 190 (91-141, 1,371 yards, 20 TDs, 3 INTs, 57 carries, 331 yards, 5 TDs)
  • WR A.J. Phillips, Sr., 5-8, 190 (37 catches, 488 yards, 12 TDs)
  • RB De'Anthony Epps, Sr., 5-10, 183 (52 carries, 497 yards 3 TDs)
  • OL Tim Riley, Jr., 6-0, 305
  • RB Xavion Dixon, Jr., 6-1, 200
  • WR/DB Lucky Daniels, Jr., 5-11, 160 (22 catches, 553 yards, 7 TDs)
  • DL Vunterrious Leonard, Sr.
  • DB Adarius Watkins, Sr., 5-11, 150

 

Just the facts
  • Friday's game pits two of the three unbeaten District 11-3A Division II teams against each other.
  • Newton's 2-4 record isn't impressive on the surface, but it played a non-district schedule exclusively of teams from Class 4A. The Eagles were 2-4 this time last season and went all the way to the Class 3A Division II state championship game.
  • Newton has only played one Class 3A opponent all season in Deweyville last week. It won the game, 58-0.
  • Crockett was 2-4 at this point last season. It is 4-2 entering the game and also played a 4A-heavy non-district schedule.
  • Bulldogs quarterback Case Robinson currently ranks eighth in passing yardage among East Texas signal callers and is No. 1 among Class 3A players with 1,371 yards.
  • Robinson also has a ratio of 20 touchdowns thrown to just three interceptions.
  • The Eagles have star power. Linebacker Tanner Holmes is committed to Louisiana-Lafayette while athlete Gabe Foster's list is headlined by Purdue from the Big Ten Conference.
  • Through six games, Crockett has scored 38 more points than the next closest district competitor -- Corrigan-Camen. The Bulldogs have scored 264 points while allowing 209.
  • Newton has been outscored 150-143, but consider the competition.
  • The winner of Friday's game could earn first place outright in the district standings if Garrison loses to Deweyville. That's not very likely though.
  • ETSN.fm projected the Eagles to finish first in the district back in August. Crockett was picked to finish in second place.
  • Newton defeated Crockett, 55-19, last season.

Key matchup: Crockett's passing attack against Newton's defense.

Like the Eagles, the Bulldogs mostly played Class 4A competition in their non-district portion of the season and were only held to less than 30 points once. Diboll, a 5-1 team in 4A Division II, did the disservice.

Crockett quarterback Case Robinson and receivers A.J. Phillips and Lucky Daniels all have monster numbers for their positions.

Robinson's 20 touchdowns to three interceptions is a testament to the offensive line. Teams just have not been able to rattle him inside the pocket.

But Newton might have the answer with Louisiana-Lafayette linebacker commitment Tanner Holmes anchoring the Eagles' defensive front. Holmes has a team-best 65 tackles along with an interception.

Furthermore, the Eagles have a very athletic secondary for the 3A Division II level. The group doubles as offensive skill players.

Newton has four sacks and seven takeaways this season as a team.

If the Eagles can't pressure Robinson, they're going to have a tough time keeping up in the game. Newton plays at its best when it can execute its methodical power run game.

Don't be surprised if: This season's meeting between Crockett and Newton is much closer than last year's 55-19 decision in favor of the Eagles. The Bulldogs turned a corner after the loss to Newton last season for five straight wins and a trip into the regional quarterfinals. From there, Crockett performed much better in its non-district slate this season and then handled a usually strong Corrigan-Camden team last week in its district opener. This should be one of the Eagles' toughest games all season against 3A competition.

Newton's defense swarms Henderson running back Lynn Freeney during the two team's game on Sept. 18 (Trey Bell, ETSN.fm)