Late goal-line stand lifts Newton County to 3-0 win over Pass Christian in MHSAA 4A football playoffs

DECATUR — It came down to one final stop.

Newton County was able to get it.

The Cougars mounted a goal-line stand at their 2-yard line with 5:26 remaining and held on to beat Pass Christian 3-0 in the first round of the MHSAA Class 4A football playoffs on Friday night.

Newton County (5-5) will travel to North Pike next week in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs on Nov. 12. The Jaguars beat the Cougars in the second round of the playoffs last year.

“They have a great offense and we put some things in this week and we had to stop some key players. I couldn’t be prouder of the kids and how they responded,” said Newton County coach Bobby Bass. “On the goal line the message was get after them – and they did.”

On the pivotal play of the game – fourth down and goal from the 1-yard line – Pass Christian quarterback Kam White took the snap, faked the hand-off and ran towards the nearest pylon. A Newton County defender knocked him out of bounds at the 2-yard line.

“Defensively we’ve talked all week about making big plays no matter where we’re at on the field and we went all in,” said Newton County linebacker Wilson Jackson. “We’re all about doing our assignments and discipline and we contained really well tonight.”

The game’s only scoring came as time expired in the first half as Cade Mangum connected on a 37-yard field goal to give Newton County a 3-0 lead.

The Cougar defense held Pass Christian to 236 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers. 

“This is playoff football and this is what we expected,” Bass said. “It’s all about how you finish and in the playoffs it’s all about taking care of the football and causing turnovers and we did that.”

L.T. Phillips had 128 yards rushing to lead Newton County offensively.

White had 99 yards passing and 87 yards rushing to lead Pass Christian (5-5).

“We left it out there on the field, but they stopped us a lot too,” said Pass Christian coach Chase Carmody. “Both teams played their tails off and we just couldn’t find a way to get the ball in the end zone.”

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