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Newton to open home slate against Maize
The Railers try to snap an 11-game losing streak to the Eagles.
On Friday, the Newton High School football team will play its first game at Fischer Field Stadium in 2023 when it hosts Maize (1-1) in the second AVCTL-I matchup for the Railers and the first for the Eagles.
In 2022, Maize — led by current Kansas State quarterback Avery Johnson — defeated Newton (0-2) in a 49-0 rout. This time around, both teams will be playing fresh off a loss: the Railers lost to Hutchinson, 50-7, and the Eagles lost to AVCTL-II foe Andover Central, 24-21.
“We’ve been talking to [our players] about the importance of the fine details in preparing for another team,” Railers head coach Greg Slade said on this week’s Railer Report Coach’s Show. “We had to clean some things up in practice to make sure we’re taking care of the little things in the weight room and on the practice field.”
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Newton’s home opener.
Location: Fischer Field Stadium at Athletic Park
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Weather: 71 degrees. Cloudy. 9% chance of rain.
Spread (via the Esch Index): Maize (-21)
What’s at stake?
Newton is seeking its first win of the season as it meets Maize on the gridiron for the 19th time since 1992. The Eagles are looking to bounce back from just their second loss since Nov. 27, 2021. With a victory, the Railers would snap an 11-game losing streak to Maize that stretches back to 2012.
After an impressive showing week one against Valley Center, the Newton defense suffered a setback week two against Hutchinson. The Railers struggled to set the edge, keep containment, and tackle in the open field. How defensive coordinator Ray Boese’s group — especially the front seven led by senior DL Logan Buchanan — performs this week will be the difference in whether Newton can remain competitive for all 48 minutes.
Players to watch
Newton: CB Titan Claussen. After suffering a season-ending injury in 2022, the senior has established himself as a leader on the Railer defense. He was named team MVP after his performance in the season opener, per Slade.
Maize: WR Bryson Hayes. The junior recorded 161 yards receiving and two touchdowns on eight catches in his team’s loss last week. The Eagles are expected to sport a balanced attack (30 passes to 21 rushes in week two).
Facts and figures
Newton is 5-13 against Maize in 18 meetings since 1992. … Maize is averaging 32 points per game in 2023. Newton has scored 13 points total. … Maize has allowed 24 points total. Newton has allowed 35 points per game. … Newton went 1-1 in sub-75-degree weather and 2-2 in homes games in 2022.
Esch Index projection: Maize 36, Newton 15