The Valdosta Daily Times
The Lowndes Vikings look to continue building momentum early in the season when the Newton Rams travel to Martin Stadium.
Newton (0-1) is hoping to fare a little better against the Vikings this season after losing to Lowndes 31-0 a season ago.
Despite the convincing victory over the Rams last year, Lowndes’ head coach Randy McPherson knows that his team can’t afford to take anyone lightly if his team has true championship aspirations.
After a disappointing end to the 2012 season, the Vikings were able to take out some of their frustrations last Friday night when the Luella Lions came to town.
Lowndes’ defense was stellar in the contest; they allowed only 61 total yards all night in the 42-2 victory. The only points Luella scored came on a sack of quarterback Austin Dixon right before halftime.
“Defensively, I thought we played hard,” said McPherson. “We had a couple of breaks in coverages, but anytime you get a shut out it’s a good thing.”
The Vikings defensive line and linebackers shut down the Lions' running game which they ran through the wing-T offense The biggest plays on offense for Luella were the few passes.
This week, Lowndes will face a very different gameplan.
“They’re a throwing team, they run the spread, have an athletic quarterback, they’ve got good skill kids,” said McPherson. “Defensively, they’ve got a lot of speed so we’ll have to get better.”
The Rams will most likely use the threat of the pass out of a spread formation to open up the Vikings defense to try to create some running lanes.
On offense, the Vikings should still see plenty of success despite Newton’s speed.
Lowndes used a combination of a strong, physical offensive line and
talented runningbacks to roll up over 200 yards on the ground against the Lions.
The Vikings even got a few big passes from their sophomore quarterback, Dixon. Dixon threw for two touchdowns, but it could have been more if two long gains weren’t wiped out by penalties.
“We got a good start, but we’ve got a lot to clean up,” said McPherson. "We’ve got penalties, we’ve got mistakes, execution mistakes both offensively and defensively. We’re not there yet, but these kids want to be good and are working their tails off.”
This will be the second year in a row the Rams make the trip to Title Town on consecutive weeks to face both the Vikings and the Wildcats.
Newton will run the same gauntlet this season beginning at 8 p.m. tonight at Martin Stadium.