CLASS 3A DIVISION II

STATE SEMIFINAL

Newton Eagles (13-0)

vs.

Boling Bulldogs (9-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Texan Drive Stadium, Porter

Coaches

  • Newton: W.T. Johnston
  • Boling: Kevin Urbanek

Last week

Next week

  • Winner faces either Canadian or Gunter, 3A Division II state championship game, 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, AT&T Stadium, Arlington

Playmakers

Newton

  • WR/DB Tamauzia Brown, Jr., 6-1, 170 (49 catches, 802 yards, 14 TDs; 38 carries, 355 yards, 4 TDs; 34 tackles, 1 for loss, 11 INTs)
  • RB Darwin Barlow, Jr., 6-0, 190 (176 carries, 1,945 yards, 35 TDs; 13 catches, 126 yards, 3 TDs)
  • LB Corbin Foster, Sr., 6-0, 220 (193 tackles, 7 for loss, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries)
  • QB/DB Josh Foster, Jr., 6-1, 160 (100-of-156, 1,603, 25 TDs, 6 INTs; 65 carries, 473 yards, 12 TDs; 39 tackles, 1 INT)
  • DL/LB Jadrian McGraw, Jr., 6-0, 185 (97 tackles, 7 for loss, 8 sacks, 2 INTs, 2 fumble recoveries)
  • DL James Sylvester, So., 6-5, 215 (72 tackles, 7 for loss, 7 sacks)
  • OL Caiden Walker, Jr., 6-4, 276

Boling

  • RB Vernon Jackson, Sr., 6-3, 240 (committed to Alabama)
  • LB Cash Ricci-Ott, Sr., 5-11, 190
  • DB Korbyn Rolf, Jr., 5-4
  • QB Quincey Hayes, Jr.
  • WR Nick Dube

Just the facts

  • Newton has outscored opponents 492-25 in its past eight games.
  • The Eagles are allowing just six points per game in the playoffs and outscoring teams by an average of 41.3 points.
  • Newton running back Darwin Barlow leads East Texas with 35 touchdowns this season and recently acquired scholarship offers from Baylor and Southern Miss.
  • Eagle receiver Tamauzia Brown has caught a touchdown pass in three of the four playoff games.
  • Boling running back Vernon Jackson is committed to play at Alabama next season.
  • Boling is averaging 34.5 points per game and giving up 20.2 for an average margin of victory of 14.3.
Newton LB Corbin Foster. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Newton's defensive front against Vernon Jackson. The Alabama commit is one of the premier running backs in all of Texas. He is a top 100 player in the state, according to 247Sports.

Meanwhile, Newton has been dominating teams on defense all season. It held Waskom, which was averaging more than 400 yards rushing per game entering the game, to just 87 yards in Week 15.

Jadrian McGraw and James Sylvester have combined for 15 sacks and 14 tackles for loss this season. They have the size to intimidate opposing offenses and are quick to get into the backfield. But they will certainly have their work cut out for them this week. Jackson could be the most powerful back they've seen all season.

At 6-3, 240 pounds, he isn't afraid to lower a shoulder. It will be a true battle of strength in this game and whichever team ends up on top in this battle will likely have a better chance to get to state.

Don't be surprised if: Darwin Barlow has a rushing touchdown. He is the rushing touchdown leader in East Texas with 35. In the game against Waskom, he broke lose for two touchdown runs of 60-plus yards.

Barlow has come on, especially in the postseason and is slowly climbing his way up the leaderboard for rushers in the state. The scary thing is, he is only a junior. The Eagles will get more from their star running back next season.

Look for him to have a big game on Friday as Newton continues down its path to the state championship.