CEDAR RAPIDS — Reese Hammons got Newton’s football team off to a great start during its Class 4A District 4 road game against Cedar Rapids Washington on Friday night.
But the Warriors broke loose from a close game with a big fourth quarter during a 43-23 win at Kingston Stadium.
The game was tied at 6-all after one quarter and Washington led 15-13 after three but outscored the Cardinals 28-10 in the fourth to pull away.
“The game got away from us a bit,” Newton football coach Andy Swedenhjelm said. “We definitely made some key errors in the fourth quarter. We gave them a short field a few times and they were able to take take advantage of it.”
The Warriors snapped a four-game skid because it held Newton’s offense to 193 yards, sacked quarterback Zay Arguello six times and collected 11 tackles for loss.
Newton was 3-of-15 on third and fourth down, lost two fumbles and averaged just 3.2 yards per carry.
Washington had an 18-10 advantage in first downs, rushed for 248 yards and had the ball five minutes longer than the Cardinals.
“Offensively, we were just a little out of sync all night,” Swedenhjelm said. “We were close to having quite a few explosive plays, but a couple of misses and drops are usually the difference between a good day and a poor day.
“If we connect on a couple of the big plays we missed on, it’s a whole different ball game.”
Arguello threw for 96 yards and a TD and rushed for 66. Brody Bauer was 1-for-1 through the air for a 24-yard TD to Turner Williams.
Williams hauled in a career-high five catches for 62 yards and the score and Keith Moko had two catches for 40 yards and a TD. Cody Klein rushed for 37 yards and had four catches for 18 yards.
Hammons had a 33-yard pick six to open the scoring in the first quarter. Washington (3-4 overall, 1-2 in the district) tied the game two minutes later and then took a lead on a 30-yard field goal in the second.
Williams’ touchdown catch from Bauer put the Cardinals (5-2, 1-2) back in front, but the Warriors led 15-13 at halftime after a touchdown with 32 seconds left in the half.
The 10 points in the fourth quarter from Newton came on a 37-yard field goal by Nate Lampe and a 10-yard TD pass from Arguello to Moko.
Washington scored four times in the fourth, three of which came on rushing TDs.
“I think our guys started pressing a bit and that led to some untimely mistakes,” Swedenhjelm said. “Our guys just need to trust in themselves and not try to do too much.”
Braydon Chance led the defense with a career-high 13 1/2 tackles and Brendon West had 10 1/2 tackles. Chance finished with 13 solo tackles.
Adam Mattes chipped in 5 1/2 tackles and an interception, Hammons had 4 1/2 tackles and a pick six and Blake Schilling collected four tackles. Caleb Mattes also recovered a fumble.
Watts McBride led Washington with 64 rushing yards and two scores, 21 receiving yards on four catches and 43 passing yards and a TD.
“Defensively, we kind of ran out of gas a bit toward the end,” Swedenhjelm said. “They went on a nice run with some momentum at the end and we struggled to put a stop to it.
“A lot of it comes back to pressing and trying to do too much. We were trying to make plays that aren’t necessarily ours to make and it came back to bite us.”