ADEL — Who would've thought?
The Newton football team made the trip out to Adel Friday night to take on No. 8 Adel-DeSoto-Minburn knowing what everyone said its chances were: slim-to-none.
That's why they play the game.
The Cardinals played right with the Tigers from the first snap to the last, and in the end, came away with an improbable 17-13 win in non-district action. It was their biggest win of the season by far, and one of the biggest in head coach Ed Ergenbright's tenure.
Newton senior Andrew Clements caught a 52-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Tyler Wood that gave Newton the winning score with 2 minutes and 37 seconds left to play, and senior Collin Reynolds intercepted a pass in the Newton endzone on ADM's ensuing possession with 57 ticks left, and the Cardinals knelt on the ball for the upset win.
The win improved Newton to 3-4 overall, while it remains 2-2 in Class 3A District 4, while ADM lost its second-straight game and fell to 5-2 overall.
The way the game started, it looked like it was going to be a long night for Newton on a cold fall night even by Iowa standards. The Tigers intercepted a Newton pass at their 1-yard line, and senior running back Jordan Grove followed it with a 33-yard run right before a 66-yard touchdown run that put ADM up 6-0 early after a blocked extra point.
After that, Grove was completely shut down by the Newton defense. He gained just 11 yards the rest of the night, finishing with 110 on 12 carries. He entered the game as Class 3A's leading rusher with 1,414 yards on the ground.
Two Cardinal possessions later, Newton struck back in a big way as senior running back Dakota Hills ripped off a 46-yard TD run — by far the team's longest run of the season — to put the Cards up 7-6 with 1:47 left in the first quarter. Hills finished with 109 yards on 17 carries.
ADM muffed a punt early in the second, and Newton cashed in with a 35-yard field goal from sophomore Nick Easley to go ahead 10-6. The first half ended with that score after the teams traded punts the next four possessions
With 1:53 left in the third quarter, the Tigers re-took the lead after a 48-yard pass gave them a first-and-goal at Newton's 1-yard line, and they punched it in three plays later on a quarterback sneak to go ahead 13-10.
Newton's first drive of the fourth quarter ate up time and ended with Easley missing a 35-yard field goal wide left, and it seemed the Cards were starting to run out of chances to tie or take the lead with 5:50 left to play.
But Newton's defense forced ADM to punt again, and on the next play, Rose hit Clements for the go-ahead touchdown. Reynolds then essentially ended the game with his interception after the Tigers had a first-and-goal at the Cardinals' 10.
After a 1-4 start, Newton has now won three of its last four games. If they win their next two, they'll be guaranteed a playoff spot. Next Friday is a home game vs. winless Saydel (0-8, 0-5), which will be coming off a 46-0 loss to Dallas Center-Grimes (2-5, 1-3) and has been outscored 300-8 in district games this season. That game will be Senior Night for the Cardinals.
Newton 7 3 0 7 — 17
ADM 6 0 7 0 — 13
ADM — Grove 66 run (kick blocked), 9:38
N — Hills 46 run (Easley kick), 1:47
N — FG Easley 35, 7:44
ADM — Herrick 1 run (Heimann kick), 1:53
N — Clements 52 pass from Wood (Easley), 2:57
Rushing — Newton: Hills 17-109; ADM: Grove 12-110, Norton 7-53.
Passing — Newton: Wood 10-17-1-113; ADM: Herrick 13-28-1-207.
Receiving — Newton: Clements 4-72; ADM: Jensen 4-92, Plowman 2-59.