Newton Holds Off East Bernard With Last-Second Touchdown
PORTER – With just more than two minutes to go, Newton found itself tied at 14 and needing to score if it was going to have a chance at getting back to the state finals.
After marching down the field, the Eagles had the ball on the East Bernard 1-yard line with 13 seconds left to go in the game. That’s when running back Darwin Barlow plunged into the end zone for the touchdown, giving the Eagles the win over East Bernard Brahmas 21- 14 on Friday night in a 3A D-II state semifinal.
One of the most talked about things going into this match-up, was Newton’s high-powered offense, and how badly it was going to crush East Bernard.
“We just came out too confident,” Barlow said. “We talked about all week that they weren’t at our level and we were going to come in here and light the scoreboard a lot. In the second half we just cooled down, got it together, and started putting plays together.”
East Bernard's defense was one of the most impressive things to watch tonight, keeping the Eagles offense at bay for most of the game.
Newton came into the contest averaging 505 yards per game, but the Brahmas held the Eagles to only 253 yards.
Newton held the Brahmas to a total of 114 yards of offense, making this a battle of defenses throughout the game.
The game started with East Bernard winning the toss and deferred, giving the Eagles the ball and a chance to score first.
The Brahmas’ defense set the tone early, forcing the Eagles to go three and out.
The first points of the game didn’t come until 26 seconds left to go in the first quarter, when East Bernard quarterback scored on a 1-yard keeper, giving the the Brahmas a 7-0 lead going to the second frame.
Early in the second, Newton put up its first points of the game off a 9-yard rushing touchdown by Valdarion Fowler, tying the game at 7 with 8:28 remaining in the half.
After a handful of defensive efforts made by both teams, the half would come to an end tied 7 a piece.
With 6:43 remaining in the third quarter, Newton looked like Newton as Barlow went 36-yards in for the touchdown, giving the Eagles’ their first lead of the night up, 14-7.
In the fourth quarter, both teams continued to make strong defensive stands but, with just over two-minutes remaining in the game, Kameron Matthews went into the end zone from 4 yards out, tying the game, 14-14.
The Eagles were not done with their season just yet.
They forced their way down the field and finished the job in dramatic fashion with seconds remaining, coming away with 21-14 victory, and punching their ticket to Arlington.
“One the coaches gave me the headset and coach said this is the one we need, this is the one that the whole season is on, you need to get in the end zone,” said Barlow on scoring the game winning touchdown. “That made me feel good about myself and gave me the confidence to getting it in.”
Barlow finished the night with 108 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.
Newton will face the Canadian Wildcats (14-1) for the 3A Division II State Championship at 3 p.m. Thursday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.