from staff reports
The Meridian Star
Newton County Academy ended its season somewhere it had never been before. But the Generals still came up just shy of where they wanted to be.
Playing in a state semifinal for the first time, the Generals fell 35-18 to host Wilkinson County Christian Academy on Friday in the MAIS Class A South State championship game. The Rams advance to face Tri-County next week for the state championship game at Millsaps College.
NCA, on the other hand, ends its season 8-5 andequalling the school record for wins for the second straight season.
“I’m proud of them,” NCA coach Robert Roberts said. “They all played good and they all stuck together the entire season and made it easy on us.
“This was a big step for our program and it’s kind of what I told them tonight, ‘Keep your heads up and we’ll be back.’ We’re losing a lot but we’ve got a lot coming back, too.”
The Generals trailed WCCA 14-12 at halftime before the Rams pullwed away after the break by utlizing big plays. WCCA scored on two long pass plays and had a 100-yard kickoff return for a score.
Newton County Academy, meanwhile, had two scores from senior Thomas Jones and one from fellow senior Regan Reiss.
“They played hard,” Roberts said. “We jumped on them early but they fought back. They hit a couple big pass plays and that was it.
“But the kids played hard.”
Last season the Generals’ season ended in the second round with a loss to Cenla (La. Christian, which turned into a win by forfeit after the season for NCA’s eighth win. It was also the second straight year that the Generals’ season ended in the second round before this year’s breakthrough.
Newton County Academy also recorded eight wins in 1993 and 2004.