NEWTON — Scott Central has made a living this season throwing the football, averaging 44 points a game.
Against the Newton Tigers on Friday night in the third round of the MHAAA Class 2A playoffs, however, the Rebels got back to old-school football, running for 311 yards and pulling away with 30 second-half points to take a 60-14 win over the Tigers.
Newton ends the year with an 9-4 record, setting a school record for points scored. Scott Central improves to 13-0 on the season and will take on Pelahatchie in the Class 2A South State championship game next week.
“We went about as far as we can go with the resources that we have, Newton head coach Zach Grady said. “We have to do better in the weight room and upgrade some facilities. Next year, we will be back for another round. Scott Central is a great football team. You saw the weight room in the second half. Hopefully, I can campaign to get us a new weight room, and we can be back in this situation again.”
The Tigers got off to a promising start in the game. After getting an early first down, Tyreke Snow hit Isaiah Johnson on a 32-yard pass to get deep in Scott Central territory. Two plays later, Snow found Kezzarian Wash on a 19-yard touchdown pass with 9:35 left in the first quarter. Snow ran in the two-point conversion, and Newton led 8-0 early.
But Scott Central answer back with a quick three-play, 60-yard drive, scoring on a 36-yard speed sweep with 8:41 left in the first quarter. The try for two failed, and Newton held an 8-6 lead.
The two teams then swapped punts, but Newton gave the ball right back to Scott Central when Snow fumbled the snap. Scott Central then went 40 yards in eight plays with six straight runs, scoring on a 1-yard quarterback keeper with 2:34 left in the first. The try for two was good, and Scott Central led 14-8.
The Tigers gave the ball back again with a Snow interception, putting Scott Central at its own 42. The Rebels then went nine plays and scored on a 9-yard run with 9:01 left in the second quarter. The try for two was good, and Scott Central led 22-8.
Newton answered back with a quick three-play scoring drive. After a big 40-yard run by Snow, the junior quarterback scored on a 2-yard run with 7:37 left in the second quarter. The try for two failed, and Scott Central led 22-14.
The Rebels answered with a nine-play, 53-yard drive, scoring on a 14-yard pass play with 4:21 left in the second quarter. The try for two was good, and Scott Central led 30-14 at the half.
“They are a heck of a team up front,” Grady said. “They showed that they could line up and run power right at you, and they did. They are strong and have some big guys running it. If we want to win, we have to get to that point. That’s what they’ve done to everyone the last couple of years.”
The Rebels pulled away in the second half as they scored on an eight-play, 55-yard drive, finding pay dirt on a 4-yard run with 9:18 left in the third quarter to take a 36-14 lead.
The Tigers turned the ball over on downs on their next possession, and Scott Central went 50 yards in three plays, scoring on a 23-yard run with 6:43 left in the third to extend the lead to 44-14.
A fumble by Snow gave the Rebels the ball back, and Scott Central again used a rugged ground game and went 40 yards in eight plays, scoring on a 1-yard run with 1:32 left in the third quarter to take a 52-14 lead.
The Rebels added another score in the fourth quarter, going 56 yards in 10 plays and finishing with a 2-yard run with 3:52 left in the game to go up 60-14.
Newton had just 113 yards of offense with 67 yards rushing and 46 passing. Snow had 64 yards rushing on 13 carries with two fumbles. Snow was just 3-of-13 passing for 46 yards with two interceptions.
The Rebels had 386 yards of total offense with 311 yards rushing and 75 yards passing with 19 first downs.