Generals can’t get offense going on roadBy ROBBIE ROBERTSON,
Newton County Academy’s offensive struggles continued this week as they dropped a 20-6 decision to Pickens Academy.
The Generals managed only 143 yards of total offense as they threw three interceptions against a stingy Pirate defense.
“We have got to cut down on our turnovers,” NCA coach Rob Roberts said. “I believe we had four interceptions and a lot of stupid penalties. We fumbled the ball a lot as well. I don’t think we lost any of them but it hurt us on offense. We couldn’t get anything going. You can’t turn the ball over and beat good people.”
The Generals fall to 3-4 on the season and have lost three straight and will have to hit the road this week to Ben’s Ford, La., their second straight trip out of state.
“Basically, we have two district games left against Ben’s Ford and Benton,” Roberts said. “We have to go to Ben’s Ford this week and that’s another long road trip for us. Then we get Benton at home for homecoming on Friday the 13th. I think we have to win both of those games to make the playoffs. If we win those two games, we will win the district and get to host a first-round playoff game. So we still have a lot to play for.”
The first half was slow as Pickens scored the only points of the half on a 6-yard-run early in the second quarter. The try for two was good and Pickens led 8-0, a lead they kept through the half.
“I think we had like 12 penalties in the first half and they had one,” Roberts said. “It just wasn’t good on offense. We didn’t play that bad on defense. We gave up one long run but other than that we kept them in check. We just couldn’t get the ball in the end zone.”
The Generals got the ball to start the second half and put together their only scoring drive of the game, driving 58 yards in 12 plays. Braxton Rose capped off the drive with a 3-yard run. Sage Gunn’s two-point conversion attempt fell short and Pickens held a slim 8-6 lead.
But Pickens bounced right back as they needed just five plays to drive 69 yards, scoring on a 21-yard touchdown pass. The try for two failed and Pickens led 14-6.
From there, the Generals struggled on offense as they punted and Little threw three interceptions while Pickens added another touchdown in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
“I don’t know what we are going to do but we are going to do something different,” Roberts said. “We threw it four times and had three interceptions. We won’t be spreading out and throwing it this week.”
Rose led the NCA offense with 52 yards rushing on 19 carries while Eli Finnegan had 35 yards on eight carries. On defense, Logan Tadlock led the Generals with nine tackles, including two tackles for loss. Finnegan had nine tackles while Austin Pippin and Kemp Alderman each had seven tackles apiece. Rose also had an interception on defense.