District 10-2A Division I

No. 2 Newton Eagles (4-0, 1-0)

vs.

Kirbyville Wildcats (3-1, 1-0)

7:30 p.m.

Wildcat Stadium, Kirbyville

 

Coach
  • Newton: W.T. Johnston
  • Kirbyville: Greg Neece

 

Last week
  • Newton: won 64-8 vs. Warren
  • Kirbyville: won 21-8 at Anahuac

 

Next week
  • Newton: at Winnie East Chambers
  • Kirbyville: vs. Hardin

 

Playmakers

Newton

  • RB Kevin Shorter, Sr., 6-0, 190 (committed to Texas; 43 carries, 519 yards, 7 TDs; 6 catches, 99 yards, 2 TDs)
  • RB Brandon Johnson, Sr., 5-10, 190 (40 carries, 452 yards, 5 TDs)
  • QB/S Roney Elam, Jr.. 6-2, 167 (13 of 28, 308 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs; 27 carries, 145 yards, 1 TD; 2 INTs)
  • RB/DB Calum Foster, Jr., 5-11, 160 (18 carries, 217 yards, 4 TDs)
  • WR/DB Jace Thomas, Jr., 5-8, 170 (6 carries, 64 yards; 3 catches, 156 yards, 2 TDs)
  • LB Anthony Hadnot, Sr., 5-9, 223 (54 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
  • S Carlton Myers, Sr., 5-9, 160 (28 tackles, 1 INT, 1 recovery)
  • LB Chedrick Hanks, Sr., 6-0, 200 (36 tackles, 1 punt block)
  • LB Raylin Davis, Jr., 5-8, 170 (37 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)

 

Kirbyville

  • RB Brycton Hughey, Sr.
  • RB Pat Beaty
  • QB Jackson Gore (9 of 13, 178 yards, 2 TDs vs. Anahuac)
  • DL TyAndre Cooper, Soph.
  • DB Tevin Samuel, Jr.
  • DE Monte Diggles, Jr.

 

Just the facts
  • Kirbyville has won three consecutive games after losing 36-30 to Cleveland in the season opener.
  • Kirbyville averages 23.0 points per game and allows 19.3.
  • Newton averages 43.0 points per game and 11.3.
  • Newton has won 17 of its last 18 games dating to the start of the 2012 season. The lone loss was 39-22 to Cameron Yoe in last year's Class 2A Division I state semifinals.
  • Newton won last year's meeting 40-17.
  • Kirbyville had 357 total yards in last week's win vs. Anahuac: 179 rushing, 178 passing, according to the Beaumont Enterprise.
  • Newton averages 472.5 total yards per game: 395.5 rushing, 77.0 passing.
  • Newton averages 10.3 yards per carry as a team.

 

Key matchup: Kirbyville's run defense vs. Newton's ground game. Kirbyville proved during the non-district schedule that the Wildcats could tangle with the big boys with wins against two Class 3A opponents: Jasper and Buna.

That experience should help Friday night when the 'Cats face Class 2A's No. 2 Newton Eagles, who average almost four bills on the ground.

Newton LB Chedrick Hanks. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Simply put, Kirbyville has no shot of a huge District 10-2A Division I upset if Newton runs the ball successfully. Texas-bound tailback Kevin Shorter averages 12.1 yards per carry, while senior classmate Brandon Johnson gains 11.3 per rushing attempt. They are the big hitters in Newton's longstanding high-powered rushing attack.

Kirbyville has played strong defense during its three-game winning streak, holding opponents to 13.7 points per game in that span. But Newton present the Wildcats with their toughest challenge of the season.

Don't be surprised if: Kirbyville hangs around for a while, but eventually succumbs to Newton's relentless ground game.

The Eagles have shown no signs of slowing down since their single-digit victory against Class 3A Liberty on Sept. 6, outscoring their last two opponents 100-8. While Newton's offense gets a lot of the publicity, the defense has performed equally as well thanks to veterans such as Anthony Hadnot, Carlton Myers, Raylin Davis, Chedrick Hanks, and others.

So far this season, Kirbyville appears to be the strongest team in 10-2A D-I outside of Newton, but that may not help the Wildcats much come Friday night.