Newton Defense + Darwin Barlow Too Much for Arp
SAN AUGUSTINE – For the past two weeks, Newton had been preparing for this moment.
Arp was on the radar.
The regular season, though still important, took a backseat, coach W.T. Johnston said. The Tigers knocked Newton out of the playoffs in 2016, and the Eagles wanted revenge.
They got it and then some.
They defeated Arp, 58-0 on Thursday at Wolf Stadium in San Augustine, thanks in part to a near-perfect second quarter. They advanced to the area round of the 3A Division II Region III playoffs with the victory.
"Knowing that they beat us in the fourth round last year and we should have had it, coming back out here and getting revenge feels nice," running back Darwin Barlow said. "That was a great football team. We just came out here and showed them why we should be No. 1."
The collective effort of Newton (10-0), especially on defense, was at a maximum.
The stretch in which it pulled away began at the top of the second quarter. Josh Foster hit Darwin Barlow on a screen pass to put the Eagles up by two scores with 11:17 remaining.
The defense took over, but it wouldn’t stay on the field long.
Evander Williams recovered a fumble not even one minute after the touchdown to send Newton’s offense back out.
It scored on the next play.
Noah Williams got separation from the Arp defense, allowing Foster to find him wide open for a 23-yard touchdown along the left sideline. That was only the beginning of a scoring barrage for the Eagles.
A defensive stop on the ensuing drive forced Arp to punt, allowing Barlow to score his third touchdown of the game on a 10-yard run.
The next touchdown would be scored in part on good luck.
Arp was forced to punt again on its next drive. Newton was prepared to receive, but alert for anything. The snap was far out of reach. The ball sailed over the punter’s head and the Eagles pounced on it in the end zone with 4:16 to go in the quarter.
After another fumble, which Jadrian McGraw recovered, Barlow capped off the quarter with another short reception for a touchdown.
At this point, the second half was a formality. The Eagles trotted to the locker room in full command with a 42-0 lead.
In all, the Eagles forced six turnovers -- five fumbles and an interception -- in the victory.
"It's the playoffs, so we had to play like it was our very last game," defensive end James Sylvester said. "We came out here, went strong and got the results we did."
Arp (4-6) did threaten to score a couple of times.
The first drive came with about eight minutes left in the third quarter. DeMarvion Overshown broke free on a 62-yard run to put the Tigers in the red zone. On third down, quarterback Dakota Shores aimed for the end zone.
Tamauzia Brown was waiting for his 11th interception for the season. He snatched the ball and fell, giving possession back to the Eagles.
The second threat came on the last drive of the game. Jakobie Bussey broke free on another big run for Arp, which started on its own 20. Just as Bussey was about to cross the goal line, LaDaminon Beaty came in to knock the ball out of his hands. Newton recovered and Foster took a knee to run out the clock.
"We've been telling him how slow he is all year," Johnston said. "I can't believe he caught him."
Barlow led the charge on offense. He finished with 136 yards rushing and nine receiving with six total touchdowns. Even more impressive, he did so on only 10 carries for an average of 13.6 yards per carry.
Brown also had a good offensive game. He finished with five receptions for 103 yards and a 2-point conversion catch. He also had the interception from the third quarter.
The matchup of Overshown against Brown was touted coming into the game. Both play receiver and defensive back for their respective teams and are highly ranked nationally. Overshown is committed to Texas and Brown, still a junior, boasts an offer from Oklahoma State with more likely to come.
Johnston knows who won the battle.
"Tamuazia, he shined tonight," Johnston said. "He outplayed (Overshown). He really did."
Newton will face Rice in the area round, with the date and time yet to be determined.
The players danced and chanted with fans after the game, exuding confidence. The Eagles are unbeaten this season and rolling at the right time.
It's a long ways away, but they think they have what it takes to make 2017 a year to remember.
"The kids play extremely hard," Johnston said. "They don't think anyone can beat them, which is kind of frustrating to me, but they've never let me down this year. We've got about five really standout guys, but more than that, we have a team."
Newton 58, Arp 0
At Wolf Stadium, San Augustine
Arp 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Newton 7 35 16 0 -- 58
NEW--Darwin Barlow 58 run (Caleb Colon kick), 11:20
NEW—Barlow 4 catch from Josh Foster (Foster to Tamauzia Brown 2-point conversion), 11:17
NEW—Noah Williams 23 catch from Foster (Colon kick), 10:17
NEW—Barlow 10 run (PAT no good), 6:40
NEW—Bad snap on punt, Newton recovers in the end zone (Colon kick), 4:16
NEW—Barlow 5 catch from Foster (Colon kick), 2:52
NEW--Barlow 19 run (PAT no good), 8:14.
NEW--Barlow 33 run (Colon kick), 3:49.
NEW--Colon 35 field goal, 1:22.
First Downs 3 15
Total Yards 149 431
Rushes-Yards 38-155 39-281
Passing Yards -6 150
Comp.-Att.-Int. 1-4-1 9-12-0
Punts-Avg. 4-29.8 2-18.0
Fumbles-Lost 6-5 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-25 7-70
RUSHING--Arp, Demontrae Wade 14-41, Dakota Shores 11-0, DeMarion Overshown 4-67, Jakobie Bussey 2-81, Kajun Horton 2-1, Caleb Wright 2-(-8), Geo Dennis 1-2, Team 2-(-29). Newton, Darwin Barlow 10-136, Valdarion Fowler 8-33, Kevin Watson 6-61, Tamauzia Brown 5-19, Davien Johnson 5-12, Josh Foster 4-15, Team 1-5.
PASSING--Arp, Shores 1-4-1--(-6). Newton, Foster 9-12-0--150.
RECEIVING--Arp, Wright 1-(-6). Newton, Brown 5-103, Noah Williams 2-38, Barlow 2-9.