Newton football coach Zach Grady said before the season that the Tigers needed to run the ball better to be successful this season.
The Tigers finally got the running game going as they had 419 yards rushing and pulled away late to take a 37-27 win over Heidelberg Friday night at E.L. Morgan Field.
Newton moves to 2-2 on the season and will travel to Yazoo County on Friday night.
Despite the win, Grady said his team still has to improve to get to where they want to be.
“We still have a long way to go,” Grady said. “We are still making a lot of mistakes, but I saw some positive things. We were finally able to run the ball, and I think we did a good job of that. Tyreke and Cory did a good job of running the football. We are still giving up too many big plays and have to clean that up.”
In a game of big plays, Newton struck first as they capped off an eight-play, 65-yard drive as Tyreke Snow scrambled and hit Craig Craft on a 19-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was good, and Newton led 7-0 early in the first.
But Heidelberg answered right back as they returned the ensuing kick 70 yard for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.
Newton ripped off a 60-yard gainer on its next drive, but the drive stalled at the Heidelberg 5. After swapping punts, the Oilers hit a 17-yard touchdown pass to take a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.
Newton responded with an 11-play, 68-yard drive as Snow hit De’Traun Brown on a 25-yard touchdown pass. The try for two failed, and Heidelberg led 14-13 at the half.
“We simplified some things on offense and said we have to be good at something,” Grady said. “We ran it a lot better and probably had 300 yards rushing. We were able to hit some big plays. We didn’t throw it as much as we have been.”
Newton came of the dressing room running at the half as they scored on the first play from scrimmage on a 46-yard run by Corey Taylor. The try for two failed, and Newton led 19-14.
Newton then recovered an onside kick at the Heidelberg 30. Three plays later, Snow scored on a 9-yard touchdown run. The try for two failed and Newton led 25-14.
The Oilers answered right back with a 47-yard run and hit the PAT to cut the lead to 25-21.
That score held until late in the third period when Heidelberg scored on a 51-yard run to take a 27-25 lead.
Newton then drove to the Heidelberg 13 before turning the ball over on downs. The Oilers then went to the Newton 5 before losing a fumble to give the Tigers life.
Newton then went 95 yards in three plays when Taylor scored on an 83-yard run. The try for two failed and Newton took a 31-27 lead.
The Oilers then threw an interception and Snow finished off the game with a 26-yard run for the final score of 37-27.
“We are giving up too many big plays and missing too many tackles,” Grady said. “We are taking bad angles and just not tackling well. We have to get better on defense. But Heidelberg is getting better at the wing-T. They put some athletic guards in there and are getting better at it.”
Newton had 498 yards of total offense with 419 yards rushing and 79 passing.
Snow was 7-of-20 passing for 79 yards with two TDs and an interception. Snow also had 188 yards rushing on 16 carries with two TDs.
Taylor had 209 yards on 20 carries with two TDs.