BLAST FROM THE PAST: A look back at Newton-Conover’s 12-win team in 1988

Published Friday, November 10th, 2017



NEWTON– A trip down memory lane with the 1988 Newton-Conover High varsity football team, the 11th of head coach Don Patrick’s 16 state playoff teams.

That season, the Red Devils went 9-1 in the regular season and 12-2 overall, and it was the fourth team in a six-year stretch where Newton-Conover shared a Southern District 7 2A title in 1984 and then won the league title five consecutive time.

From 1984 through 1989, the Red Devils were 41-2 in SD-7 2A games.

Some highlights for that 1988 team that won three playoff games before being eliminated by eventual state 2A champion Thomasville:


  • St. Stephens beat the Red Devils 10-8 in the third game of the season. They did not lose again until Thomasville won 28-24 in Gurley Stadium in a fourth round game.
  • Other than in the two losses, only four teams were able to stay within eight points of the Red Devils – Maiden (28-20), Albemarle (13-7), Starmount (28-21) and Smoky Mountain (35-29).



Scoring: 29.1 points per game, led the SD-7 2A

Rushing yardage: 260.9 per game

Passing yardage: 77.7 per game

Total offense: 338.6 per game (4,740), led the SD-7 2A

Touchdown passes: 12

Touchdowns rushing: 47, led the SD-7 2A


Scoring: 1.9 points per game, led the SD-7 2A

Rushing yardage: 119.6 per game

Passing yardage: 87.9 per game

Total defense: 207.6 per game (2,906)

Touchdown passes allowed: 4

Rushing TDs allowed: 19


Turnovers by N-C: 20 (13 lost fumbles, 7 interceptions)

Turnovers forced by N-C: 29 (15 fumble recoveries, 14 interceptions)

Turnover ratio: Plus-9, led the SD-7 2A.


Newton-Conover 13, Albemarle 7

At Gurley Stadium, Heath Rogers had two scoring runs as the Red Devils won their first-round game.

Newton-Conover 28, Starmount 21

Playing in Booneville, Gary Robinson scored twice from the 3 and QB Andy Whisnant hit Michael Clarke twice – from 7 and 31 yards – as the Red Devils won a second round game.

Newton-Conover 35, Smoky Mountain 29

Back at Gurley Stadium for the third round, the Red Devils won behind five rushing TDs – two each by Andy Whisnant and Scoop Stockton and one by Gary Robinson.

The other points came on a two-point conversion run by Whisnant and three PATs by Jason Roscoe.

The victory, No. 12 that season, gave Patrick two with a dozen wins over three years, as his 1986 team also went 12-2.

Overall, Newton-Conover has seven teams (since 1974) that won 12 or more games: 1986, 1988, 1995, 2000 (state 2A runner-up) and 2006 each won 12, the 2008 state 2A title team won 15 and the 2009 2AA state runner-up team won 14.

Thomasville 28, Newton-Conover 24

The Bulldogs edged the Red Devils in Gurley Stadium despite three TD runs by Gary Robinson – 65, 2 and 2 yards – and another by Andy Whisnant of 1 yard.

The next weekend, Thomasville nipped previously undefeated Hertford County 13-10 to win the state 2A championship.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *