Photo: EJ Holland/TexasHSFootball

SAN AUGUSTINE, Texas — It didn’t take long to see why Newton is a state title contender.

On the second play of the game, junior running back Darwin Barlow took a handoff and sprinted 56 yards for a touchdown. It was one of four first-half scores for Barlow as Newton raced past Arp, 58-0, in a 3A DII Region III bi-district clash.

“We’ve been looking forward to this game for three weeks,” Newton Head Coach W.T. Johnston said. “Our kids played well. They just couldn’t block us tonight. We played so hard. I’m proud of our kids and our coaches.”

Barlow scored on a 5-yard run early in the second quarter and added two more touchdowns before halftime — one on a 10-yard run and the other on a 4-yard reception — to give Newton an overwhelming lead.

Barlow finished the night with more than 200 yards on the ground and six total touchdowns as he made big play after big play for Newton, which fell to Arp in the state quarterfinals last year.

“We just executed our plays, man,” Brown said. “Knowing that they beat us in the fourth round last year, we knew we had to get it done. And we got it done. The line did a great job, and the coaches pushed me.”

Arp kept things close in the first quarter by using clock management to its advantage and tough defense. In fact, Newton held just a 7-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

But Barlow and turnovers ruined any type of chance for Arp to keep pace.

EJ Holland/TexasHSFootball

Arp turned the ball over four times in the first half, including a bad snap on a punt that led to a touchdown recovery in the end zone by senior safety Bryson Thomas. The special teams’ miscue allowed Newton to take a commanding 35-0 lead.

At that point, the game was well out. Newton finished with seven forced turnovers.

“Did we really finish with seven turnovers? Wow,” Johnston said. “We knew they were going to play well, but we just played great up front. We had some great plays from our defensive line.”

With the win, Newton moves onto the area round of the playoffs, where it will take on Rice, which defeated Bruceville-Eddy on Thursday night.

If tonight’s performance is any indication, Newton should fulfill its high expectations and make a deep run in the postseason.

“These kids can be as good as they want to be,” Johnston said. “It’s all up to them. They can play as long as they want to play in the playoffs. I really believe that.”

Brought to you by: