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Newton travels to Arkansas City for future AVCTL-II matchup
The Railers will travel farther than they have/will all season.
On Friday night, the Newton High School football team will hit the road, traveling an hour and a half south to square off with Arkansas City.
Both teams enter the contest with 1-3 records, the Railers looking to shake off a 42-14 thumping from Maize South and the Bulldogs hoping to bounce back from two consecutive defeats. Starting next season, Newton and Ark City will see each other regularly with the Railers dropping to AVCTL-II.
“[Ark City] is getting better each week,” Newton head coach Greg Slade said on this week’s Railer Report Coach’s Show. “We told our kids we’ve gotta be ready to play. When we step off the bus … we’ve gotta be ready to strap it on and play football.”
Here’s everything you need to know for this matchup.
Location: Bulldog Stadium (Arkansas City)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Weather: 89 degrees. Partly cloudy. 0% chance of rain.
Spread (via the Esch Index): Newton (-7)
What’s at stake?
With a win on its first trip to Ark City since 2016, Newton would capture its third consecutive victory over the Bulldogs and its fourth of the last five meetings. It would also mark the first time the Railers have won at least two of their first five games in a season since 2019. With an Ark City win, the Bulldogs would improve to 2-1 against AVCTL-I opponents over the past three years (they defeated Maize, 24-17, in 2021).
Both sides of Newton’s roster will be tasked with doing what it takes to build an early lead and maintain it. Offensively, quarterback Colby Gomez’s crew will be looking to eclipse 20 points for the first time in 2023. On defense, the Railers seek more discipline in the secondary and open-field tackling — a lack of both contributed to Maize South’s explosive outing against this unit a week ago. How Newton sets the tone against a scrappy Ark City will be noteworthy.
Players to watch
Newton: S Niko Ramos. The junior nearly set his school’s single-season interception record in 2022 and should have opportunities to create havoc against an Ark City offense that has been statistically near the bottom in 4A.
Ark City: TE Hayden Lucas. At 6-foot-6, the senior has established himself as a matchup nightmare, clocking a 4.8-second 40-yard dash and helping his team rally to a double-overtime win over Andover earlier this season.
Facts and figures
In 71 meetings since 1944, Newton is 27-44 against Ark City. … This season, Newton has averaged 11.5 points per game. Ark City has averaged 15.25 points per game. … The average score between these two teams in their past five meetings is 31-29 in favor of Ark City. … Newton is 0-2 on the road in 2023. Ark City is 1-1 at home.
Esch Index projection: Newton 26, Arkansas City 19