No. 8 Crockett Gets Chance To Test Mettle Against No. 2 Newton’s Dominant Defense
DISTRICT 10-3A Division II
Crockett Bulldogs (5-0, 0-0)
Newton Eagles (5-0, 0-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Singletary Stadium, Newton
- Crockett: Jimmy Thompson
- Newton: W.T. Johnston
- Crockett: Idle
- Newton: Idle
- Crockett: at Corrigan-Camden, Oct. 14
- Newton: at Garrison, Oct. 14
- WR/DB Lucky Daniels, Sr., 5-10, 175 (9 catches, 204 yards, 2 TDs)
- OL/DL Tim Riley, Sr., 5-10, 325
- QB B.J. Anderson, Sr., 5-11, 150 (49-of-87 passing, 707 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs, 32 carries, 199 yards, 1 TD)
- LB Ahmad Brown, Jr., 6-0, 225 (48 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 FFs; Carthage transfer)
- DB Alton Owens, Fr., 5-7, 155 (12 tackles, 4 INTs)
- RB Xavion Dixon, Sr., 6-1, 203 (65 carries, 346 yards, 7 TDs, 6 catches, 77 yards, 1 TD)
- RB/LB Dekeidrian Rollins, Sr., 5-11, 180 (64 tackles, 10 for loss, 4 sacks, 2 FFs, 4 PBUs, 2 defensive scores)
- WR/LB Latavian Jones, Sr., 6-3, 183 (12 catches, 175 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB Broderick Spikes, Sr., 5-8, 162 (62 carries, 396 yards, 5 TDs, 4 catches, 124 yards, 1 TD)
- QB Brock Barbay, Sr., 6-2, 200 (42-of-67 passing, 753 yards, 9 TDs, 1 INT)
- DB/ATH Josh Foster, Soph., 6-1, 160 (33 tackles, 4 sacks)
- OL John Kalafatis, Sr., 6-1, 250
- LB Blake Kelley, Sr., 5-9, 155 (39 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF, 1 blocked kick)
- DL Deviun Kennebrew, Sr., 6-0, 208 (36 tackles, 8 sacks, 6 tackles for negative yardage)
- WR/DB D.J. Seastrunk, Sr., 6-0, 168 (10 catches, 193 yards, 4 TDs, 31 tackles)
- DL Bryson Thomas, Jr., 6-1, 175 (24 tackles, 6 sacks)
Just the facts
- The meeting between Crockett and Newton is the ETSN.fm + Dairy Queen Game of the Week as well as the District 10-3A Division II opener for both teams.
- Newton is ranked No. 1 in ETSN.fm's Class 3A poll and Crockett is ranked No. 3. In between the two programs is Malakoff at No. 2.
- Furthermore, the Eagles are ranked second in the Associated Press' Class 3A poll and have five first-place votes behind Brock in the top spot. The Bulldogs are ranked eighth.
- Newton and Crockett shared one common non-district opponent -- Diboll.
- The Bulldogs beat Diboll at home in Week 2 by a score of 27-14. Newton won at Diboll in Week 3 by a score of 35-7.
- The Eagles have a five-game winning streak at Singletary Stadium dating back to Sept. 25, 2015. Crockett has a five-game winning streak in true road games dating back to Sept. 11, 2015.
- Newton is 2-0 against the Bulldogs in its seniors' time on campus, but last year's game was just a 38-35 decision in Crockett.
Key matchup: Crockett's offensive line versus Newton's defensive front.
The Bulldogs have a deep wealth of offensive skill players this season, but that won't mean much if the Eagles get to the ball before the play even finishes developing.
Newton's defense has created 62 plays for negative yardage this season, an average of 12.4 per game.
If the unit has reached the ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage 62 times in five games, think about how many other frustrations opponents have endured while fighting for yardage. Gains of one or two yards don't even count toward the 62 takedowns for loss, but minimal gains equally put offensives in unfavorable down and distance situations.
It's easy to understand why Newton's defense has only averaged 11.2 points against per game.
Crockett's offense is far from one-dimensional, but that won't translate if Newton breaks down the offensive line at will. It takes a few seconds for the called play to materialize. Particularly when passing, which is where the Bulldogs have generated about 40 percent of their total offense.
This is a big game for Crockett senior offensive tackle Tim Riley, a 300-pounder and four-year starter, as well as the rest of the offensive line. They have to buy the offensive skill players time for anything positive to develop.
But, once the Bulldogs beat the initial rush, they will be working their way into the teeth of a unit averaging two takeaways per game.
Don't be surprised if: Friday's game is decided on turnovers.
Holding Newton's defense at bay is a daunting task, but Crockett is far more opportunistic on defense even when compared against a unit with 10 takeaways to its name. The Bulldogs have forced 26 turnovers, led by freshman defensive back Alton Owens' four interceptions.