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The Battle of the Best

Story by Jon Meek; Photo by Heather Foster

Newton and West Orange Stark, the two most decorated football programs in Southeast Texas faced off at Dan R. Hooks Stadium.  The two have a combined eight championship wins under their belts.  Both teams compete for a state championship every season and the fans expect nothing less.  The pressure of this game grew more as Friday night approached.  The game had a playoff type atmosphere.  Fans packed out Dan R. Hooks Stadium to watch the #1 (3A) Newton Eagles face the #8 (4A) mighty Mustangs of West Orange Stark.

The field was soggy to say the least.  Heavy rains from earlier that day had greatly affected the field.  The cameras from every news crew in the Beaumont area focused in as the Mustangs kicked off to the Eagles and thus started the Texas game of the week.  Newton and West Orange offenses struggled to move the ball as they tried to adjust to the field conditions.  Both teams would punt after their first possessions.  On West Orange Stark’s next possession a 4th down attempt from the Eagle 38-yard line failed on a bad snap, turnover on downs.  Later on the 3rd down from the 15, Josh Foster took a QB keeper trying to get first down but was hit and tossed for a flip just short.

The Eagles ended up winning the game 21-7.  The pressure of this game was enormous, even though it was just for bragging rights (non-district game).  The pressure to win was undoubtably present.  The Eagles were totally unaffected by it and seemed to have plenty of confidence.  Newton will have a bye week this week and will face Gilmer on Friday, September 28.


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