CLASS 3A DIVISION II
Region III Semifinal

No. 1 Newton Eagles (11-0)

vs.

Troup Tigers (10-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Homer Bryce Stadium, Nacogdoches

Coaches

  • Newton: W.T. Johnston
  • Troup: John Eastman

Last week

Next week

  • Winner vs. Corrigan-Camden or Daingerfield, 3A Division II, Region III final

Players to watch

Newton

  • ATH Josh Foster, Sr., 6-2, 190 (61-of-103, 1,186 yds, 10 TDs, 5 INTs; 57 carries, 538 yards, 11 TD; 10 catches, 297 yards, 5 TDs; 41 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 PBU)
  • RB Darwin Barlow, Sr., 5-11, 200 (135 carries, 1,870 yds, 33 TDs; 10 catches, 205 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR/DB Tamauzia Brown, Sr., 6-2, 177 (26 catches, 538 yds, 4 TDs; 14 carries, 134 yards, 3 TDs; 10 tackles, 2 INTs)
  • WR Dominique Seastrunk (16 catches, 264 yds, 5 TDs)
  • RB Valdarion Fowler, Jr., 5-9, 170 (46 carries, 500 yards, 10 TDs)
  • DL James Sylvester, Jr., 6-5, 240 (76 tackles, 14 for loss, 7 sacks, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries)
  • LB Jadrian McGraw, Sr., 6-0, 210 (134 tackles, 2 for loss, 2 fumble recoveries)
  • OL/DL Kristian Paulette, Sr., 5-10, 190 (92 tackles, 8 for loss, 1 sack, 4 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumble, 4 blocked punts)
  • DL Christian Kellum, Sr., 5-10, 160 (59 tackles, 9 for loss, 5 sacks, 1 forced fumble)

Troup 

  • QB Weslee Ross, Sr., 6-0, 145 (114-of-199, 2,086 yards, 28 TDs, 4 INTs; 70 carries, 325 yards, 10 TDs)
  • RB/LB Calob Smith, Jr., 5-9, 155 (82 carries, 674 yards, 4 TDs; 3 catches, 27 yards; 74 tackles, 4 for loss, 3 PBUs, 1 INT, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • RB/DL Trent Allen, Sr., 5-10, 145 (128 carries, 1,161 yards, 23 TDs; 92 tackles, 15 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 sack, 2 INTs, 1 defensive TDs, 1 blocked kick)
  • WR Jaden Lewis, Jr. (31 catches, 840 yards, 11 TDs)
  • WR Desmon Deason, Jr., 5-10, 170 (34 catches, 519 yards, 7 TDs)
  • WR/LB Bryce Attaway, Sr., 5-9, 160 (18 catches, 273 yards, 4 TDs; 117 tackles, 27 for loss, 6 sacks, 5 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
  • LB Max Hale, Sr., 5-9, 170 (144 tackles, 10 for loss, 2 forced fumbles, 1 sack, 1 INT)
  • DB Matt Adams, Sr., 6-0, 170 (98 tackles, 24 for loss, 3 INTs, 1 PBU, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 defensive TDs)

Just the facts

  • Since 2004, Newton is 1-0 against Troup. The Eagles won in 2013 by score of 39-0.
  • Newton is averaging 489.7 yards per game (138.2 passing and 351.5 rushing) per game.
  • After a nearly two-month absence, Tamauzia Brown returned against Grand Saline to the tune of 14 catches, 134 yards and three touchdowns.
  • Eagle running back Darwin Barlow is averaging 13.9 yards per carry and scoring on 24.4 percent of his touches.
  • Troup is averaging 44.4 points per game and giving up 22.
  • Tiger quarterback Weslee Ross has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 7:1.
  • Troup receiver Jaden Lewis is averaging 27.1 yards per reception.

Key matchup: Newton's rushing attack against Troup's defensive front. Darwin Barlow is likely the best running back in East Texas. On just 135 carries this season, he has already amassed nearly 2,000 yards and 33 touchdowns. Needing only 130 yards to break 2,000, it wouldn't be a shock if he did so in this game. The Eagles rarely pass, preferring to give the ball to Barlow, Valdarion Fowler and even speedy athlete Tamauzia Brown, who, like Barlow, is committed to play for TCU next season.

Troup RB/LB Trent Allen. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Troup's defense will have a tough task, but has performed fairly well so far. Max Adams and Bryce Attaway have combined for 51 tackles for loss this season. Their ability to reach the backfield will be crucial in this matchup against a Newton team averaging more than 350 yards rushing. After giving up 41 points to Waskom a week ago, the Tigers can't afford a repeat performance. Not only will they likely be unable to keep up with Newton's offense, but they also face a much more talented defense. If Troup can't slow down Barlow -- and so far no one has -- it's going to be a long game for the Tigers.

(© Bud Worley, ETSN.fm)

Don't be surprised if: This one ends up a lopsided affair. Newton has rolled through its first two playoffs games. The Eagles have outscored their opponents 128-5 since the postseason began and allowed only 79 points (8.7 per game) in the regular season. There doesn't appear to be any real threat to Newton's state title hopes until the Eagles reach the state semifinals or championship. Even then, this team appears too dominant to take down.