[By Colby Fleet, Special to ETSN.fm]

LUFKIN -- Newton running back Kevin Shorter put on a show Friday night.

The junior running back ran for 335 yards and four touchdowns, leading Newton to a 49-13 rout of Franklin in their Class 2A Division I Region III final Friday night at John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium.

Newton (13-0) will play Cameron Yoe (13-0) in the state semifinals next week. Franklin finished its season at 10-3.

Shorter rushed for 255 yards and three scores in the first half alone.

Newton needed only three plays on its first possession, which ended with Shorter’s 59-yard burst up the middle for the game’s first touchdown.

Newton scored on three of its next four possessions. Shorter added touchdown runs of 34 and 53 yards. Quarterback D.J. Dean completed two passes for 45 yards, the first hauled in by Roney Elam and the second by Jace Thomas, setting up Dean's 3-yard TD run that extended the Eagles' lead to 28-0 at halftime.

Franklin failed to get a drive sustained in the first half, punting on three of its seven possessions. Franklin was also intercepted once and failed to take advantage of a Newton fumble.

Shorter opened the third quarter with four runs for 39 yards that set up a Dean 28-yard touchdown pass to junior Keyaun Seastrunk.

On Newton's next possession, Shorter took the handoff 31 yards to paydirt. But on the way to the end zone, he dropped the ball with no one around him and it just bounced right back to him and he continued on his way to the end zone.

Darius Floyd’s 19-yard touchdown gave the Franklin crowd something to cheer about with 2:09 left in the third quarter, putting Franklin on the board 42-7.

Franklin senior Hayden Luhn ran 24 times for 121 yards and found his way to the end zone from 2 yards out for the game’s last touchdown.


(Retha McClinton, ETSN.fm)


Class 2A Division I Region III

Newton 49, Franklin 13

John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium, Lufkin

Rushing --  Newton: Kevin Shorter 14-335, Brandon Johnson 13-59, Calum Foster 4-43, D.J. Dean 6-33, Roney Elam 2-1, Bo Woods 1-1. Franklin: Hayden Luhn 24-121, Darius Floyd 26-114, Morgan Brewer 2-10, Luke Lowry 4-5, Dylan Elliott 1-2.
Passing -- Newton: D.J. Dean 4-6-0 88. Franklin: Dylan Smitherman 0-3-1 0.
Receiving -- Newton: Keyaun Seastrunk 1-28, Roney Elam 1-23, Jace Thomas 1-22, C.J. Myers 1-15.