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The Newcomb Skyhawks regained control on both ends of the line, which helped set up big plays en route to a 56-20 win over Lordsburg in today’s 2A playoff opener at Skyhawk Stadium.

“We adjusted accordingly (after last weekend’s loss to Escalante). We really focused on tackling better, blocking better. It set the tone for us in the trenches,” said coach Eric Stovall.

Stovall said effective blocking helped create space for the backfield and created extra chances in the passing game.

Stovall also said Newcomb’s defense created extra pressure and forced additional turnovers once more and more linemen generated tackles. As the linemen pushed up front more often, according to Stovall, it allowed the linebackers to attack the edges more freely.

Newcomb (10-1) will travel to Fort Sumner for next weekend’s state quarterfinals. NHS has reached the quarterfinals in back-to-back season now.

“We’re going to have to match their physicality,” Stovall said.