Class 2A Division I Region III
Semifinal

Newton Eagles (11-0)
vs.
Grandview Zebras (9-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Panther Stadium, Bullard

Coaches
Newton: W.T. Johnston
Grandview: Casey Walraven

Road To Regionals

Newton

  • Bi-district: bye
  • Area: def. Teague, 68-17

 

Grandview

  • Bi-district: bye
  • Area: def. White Oak, 47-32

 

Next week: Winner plays Tatum (9-2) or Franklin (9-2) in the 2A Division I Region III final.

 

Playmakers

Newton

  • RB Kevin Shorter, Jr. (109 carries, 1,405 yards, 23 TDs; 10 catches, 263 yards, 5 TDs; 46 tackles, 3 INTs)
  • QB/DB D.J. Dean, Sr. (36 of 70, 860 yards, 9 TDs, 0 INTs; 63 carries, 777 yards, 16 TDs; 30 tackles, 4 INTs, 1 forced fumble; committed to Utah)
  • RB Brandon Johnson, Jr. (129 carries, 1,004 yards, 15 TDs)
  • LB Corey Jenkins, Sr. (126 tackles, 6 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
  • DE Anthony Hadnot, Jr. (87 tackles, 11 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries, 1 kick block)
  • DB Roney Elam, Soph. (38 tackles, 4 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
  • DL Zach Belcher, Sr. (90 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)

 

Grandview

  • QB Ryan Breton, Sr. (203 of 285, 3,008 yards, 34 TDs, 13 INTs; 129 carries, 558 yards, 6 TDs)
  • RB Jordan Martinez, Soph. (166 carries, 1,389 yards, 27 TDs; 27 catches, 330 yards, 2 TDs)
  • WR Colby Lee, Jr. (90 catches, 1,313 yards, 15 TDs)
  • WR/LB Peyton Mahan, Jr. (17 catches, 289 yards, 4 TDs; 98 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 forced fumble)
  • WR Chase Goldwater, Jr. (32 catches, 576 yards, 7 TDs)
  • WR Bailey Smith, Jr. (32 catches, 431yards, 5 TDs)
  • LB Caleb Armstrong, Sr. (139 tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)

 

Just the facts

  • Newton averages 53.7 points per game and allows 10.0.
  • Grandview averages 45.2 points per game and allows 17.8.
  • Newton averages 459.1 total yards per game (374.7 rushing, 84.4 passing).
  • Grandview averages 486.0 total yards per game (209.8 rushing, 276.2 passing).
  • Newton's smallest victory margin is 23 points, which the Eagles have accomplished twice (35-12 vs. Bridge City, 40-17 vs. Kirbyville).
  • Grandview's two losses came by one point (29-28 to Lago Vista) and eight points (42-34 to Lorena).
  • Newton went 3-0 vs. Class 3A opponents, winning by an average of 33.3 points per game (Bridge City, Liberty, Orangefield).
  • Grandview went 0-1 vs. Class 3A opponents (Lorena).
  • Newton has won six consecutive games by at least 35 points.
  • Grandview has won six consecutive games, three of which came by at least 35 points, but not including any of the last three.

 

Newton QB D.J. Dean. (Courtesy Beaumont Enterprise)

Key matchup: Grandview's defensive front vs. Newton running game. Grandview brings a talented and high-scoring offense into Friday's game in Bullard. The Zebras boast a balanced spread offense that is easily eclipsing the 200-yard mark through the air and on the ground each game. But Grandview needs a huge performance from its defensive line and linebackers if the Zebras hope to advance to the regional final next week. Newton has dominated everyone it has played, overwhelming its opponents with the Eagles' trademark running game. This year, it's QB D.J. Dean and tailbacks Kevin Shorter and Brandon Johnson who have been the key components to a ground attack averaging almost 375 yards and more than six touchdowns per game. Newton is so good running the ball that the Eagles can play ball control if they need to or get big plays for quick strikes. Their play selection is 427-75 run-pass, but they average 9.7 yards per carry ... as a team. That's hard to comprehend. Grandview must now allow Newton to win up front and set the tone, especially early. If the Zebras cannot prevent Newton from doing what it wants on the ground, they'll be in trouble.

 

Don't be surprised if: There are a lot of points scored in this bout, which features two of the most powerful offenses in Class 2A. While both put up huge numbers, they do so in vastly different fashion. Grandview has shown it can succeed throwing or running and has big-time playmakers in both phases, whether QB Ryan Breton, running back Jordan Martinez, or receiver Colby Lee. On the other hand, Newton's traditional run-heavy approach has a slew of playmakers led by the three-headed monster of Shorter, Johnson, and Utah-bound Dean. Newton is the embodiment of the "here it comes, try to stop us" approach because everybody knows the Eagles are going to run the ball, but so far, nobody has come close to stopping them. That's the challenge Grandview faces.