Cougars stomp Heidelberg
By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
November 23, 2002
HEIDELBERG Three weeks ago, Newton County visited an overflowing W.C. Jones Field and controlled both lines of scrimmage to a 27-6 win over the Heidelberg Oilers.
On Friday night, the same Cougars were back at a once again overflowing Jones Field for another rumble with Oilers. Nothing much was different except for the bone-chilling cold weather. Newton County again dominated both lines of scrimmage and again left Heidelberg out in the cold and out of the 3A playoffs.
Newton County established a new school with its 13th straight win against no defeats following the 18-2 throttling of the Oilers. The Cougars will advance to face defending 3A champion Collins next week in Collins for the South State 3A title.
To illustrate just how dominating the Cougars were this time around was the number of plays. Heidelberg ran just 28 plays for the game. Newton County ran 76, an incredible 3 1/2 to 1 margin. They also had 25 first downs.
Yet the Cougars' problems with the cold weather helped keep the Oilers in it until two fourth touchdowns put the game away.
Newton County head coach Jeff Breland was extremely pleased to gain the win and move to face Collins.
Heidelberg head coach Larry McGill said the Cougars were again too sound and too physical for his team.
The Cougar line, which consisted of as many as seven linemen in the formation, helped ring up 285 yards rushing and 379 yards in total offense. The Cougars converted 5-of-7 fourth down plays, the lone misses coming on the next to last play in the first half and a wayward field goal attempt.
The Cougars' second fourth down conversion resulted in the game's first touchdown. Facing a fourth-and-1 at the Oiler one, Darryl Mapp plowed in over a big block from tackle Josh Yeager in for the touchdown. The score capped a 13-play, 52 yard drive. The actual distance covered was much more than that because the Cougars overcame three motion penalities.
The key plays in the drive were an 8-yard fourth-down conversion pass from Colby Amis to Ken Windham followed later by a 15-yard hookup to David Fielder.
The kick went wide after a high snap leaving the score at 6-0 with 4:54 left in the first half.
The Cougars opened the second half with another long drive that reached the Oilers 30 before stalling. Two more Amis completions including a 26-yarder to Delvion Merrill. The Cougars would have to line up for a 52-yard field goal but the kick never came off resulting in Amis getting sacked.
The switch in field position allowed the Oilers to pin the Cougars deep inside the 11 following a 49-yard punt by Michael Johnson. A bad exchange caused a fumble in the endzone resulting in the Oilers getting a safety. The score made it 6-2 with 4:32 left in the third quarter.
Following the free kick and return, the Oilers were just 40 yards from taking the lead. But the Cougar defense would have none of that stuffing the Oilers in three plays for minus-5 yards. Heidelberg punted it away.
Newton County then answered with a clinching drive to put the Oilers in the freezer. The Cougars covered 80 yards in nine plays.
The march included a fourth-and-one conversion on the Cougars' own 29. And another at its own 42. With a fresh set of downs at the 47, Mapp broke loose sprinting free for a 53-yard touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter. The try for two failed keeping the score at 12-2 with 11:33 left.
Still down 10, the Oilers tried to go for it deep in its own territory but Johnson's fourth down pass fell incomplete. The Cougars took over at the Oiler 20 and covered the distance in four plays. Fielder scored on a 4-yard run. A bad snap foiled the kick leaving the score at 18-2 with 4:17 left.
Amis was 8-of-13 for 94 yards. Merrill caught three passes for 52 yards.
The Oilers, who end the season at 10-3, saw Johnson complete 3-of-11 passes for 66 yards. Doug Ryan had 49 yards rushing and 49 receiving.