Generals win big on roadBy ROBBIE ROBERTSON,
After a rough three-game stretch, the Newton County Academy Generals got back on the winning side of the football last week.
The Generals used a punishing ground game and overcame a severe case of the fumbles to take a 26-6 win over Ben’s Ford on Friday night in Bougalosa, La.
With the win, the Generals improve to 4-4 on the season and will host Benton Academy on Friday for homecoming with a chance to win the district championship and host a first-round playoff game.
For the bruised and battered Generals, it was an important win that put them 2-0 in district play and also snapped a three-game losing streak.
“I thought we had a good game,” NCA coach Rob Roberts said. “We lost four or five fumbles that kept it close or it would have been more lopsided. It should have been 28-6 at the half instead of 7-6. We had dropped three in a row so at this point, any win is a good win. It was a district game and we had to have it.”
Part of the fumbling came at quarterback as junior Sage Gunn had to take over for starter Logan Little who was lost this week with a knee injury.
“Sage had a few fumbles under center but I thought he had a good game,” Roberts said. “It was really his first game to take snaps. I thought we ran the ball pretty good. Eli Finnegan had a good game running the ball. He had a couple of big runs and had almost 200 yards rushing. I thought he really stepped up.”
The Generals got the opening kick and plodded down the field on Ben’s Ford, going 56 yards in 10 plays, behind the hard running of Finnegan and Braxton Rose, who finished off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run. Ethan McDill’s PAT was good and NCA led 7-0.
After forcing a Ben’s Ford punt, NCA went driving again, this time with an 11-play drive before Finnegan fumbled. The Eagles had to punt again but the Generals gave them the ball right back as Rose lost a fumble.
The Eagles then got their only points as they hit an 81-yard touchdown pass with 9:30 left in the first half. The PAT failed and NCA held a 7-6 lead.
The NCA offense committed two more turnovers as Gunn threw an interception and lost a fumble to end the half up 7-6.
“I thought our defense played pretty good except for the one long pass,” Roberts said. “I thought the defense completely shut down their running game. I though their quarterback was pretty good and we kept pressure on him all night.”
The Generals put the game away in the second half with three straight scoring drives. The first was a seven-play, 69-yard drive that Finnegan finished off with a 23-yard run. The try for two failed and NCA led 13-6.
After a Ben’s Ford three and out, the NCA offense put together a nine-play, 69-yard drive as Lincoln Jordan scored on an 11-yard run with 11:50 left in the game. McDill’s PAT was good and NCA led 20-6.
The Generals forced another three and out and this time put together a six-play, 37-yard drive as Finnegan scored on a 21-yard run. The PAT failed and NCA led 26-6.
The Generals had 369 yards rushing on the game as Finnegan finished with 186 yards on 19 carries. Rose had 110 yards on 21 carries while Gunn had 35 yards on eight carries, all on quarterback sneaks. Logan Tadlock had 20 yards on three carries and Jordan had 18 yards and a TD on three carries.