The Newton High School football team begins the playoffs with a game at 7 p.m. Friday against Bishop Carroll at Bishop Carroll Stadium in Wichita.
The Railers are coming off a 35-13 loss to previously winless Salina South last week, falling to 3-5 and killing the Railers’ chances at hosting a first-round game.
Bishop Carroll is 6-2 and the fourth seed in the Class 5A west bracket. Carroll is coming off a 52-6 win over Wichita South last week, the Golden Eagles’ largest margin of victory this season. After a 2-2 start, Carroll has won four straight. The team’s last loss was to top-ranked Derby 24-6 in week four.
“It was a tough loss for us last week,” Newton coach Chris Jaax said. “The kids were OK in practice Tuesday and we had a better practice today. Hopefully, we can continue to improve this week.”
While complete stats were unavailable, Carroll is led by quarterback Cade Becker. The team’s rushing attack is led by Jackson Nichols. Leading receivers include Mason Baalman, Gunner Lunch and Clay Cundiff.
“They have a very good defense,” Jaax said. “Their offense is pretty consistent. They are a good team. Their defense is probably more aggressive than anyone we’ve seen this year. They are pretty balanced on offense. They have a good quarterback and good receivers. They have been able to move the ball pretty well. They have one of the biggest offensive lines we’ve seen this year.”
Newton’s Colton Davis has hit 82 of 180 passes this season for 913 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. Davis also has 123 carries for 917 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns. Josh Edson has 26 catches for 406 yards receiving and three touchdowns.
On defense, Zachary Garcia has 57 total tackles. Isaiah Presley has five interceptions.
“We have to move the ball more consistently,” Jaax said. “We can’t give up the big play. The biggest thing we need to do is hold onto the ball. Turnovers killed us last week.”
The only new injury Jaax reports is lineman Aiden Kendall is out this week.
The winner faces the winner between Goddard Eisenhower and Salina Central.