South Caldwell scored 16 first-half points, and the Spartans’ defense shut down Newton-Conover in the second half to beat the Red Devils 16-13 on Friday in Newton. With the win, the Spartans improved to 3-0 on the season.

The Red Devils (0-2) opened the scoring with a 1-yard run by Demarcus Beatty, and the extra point gave Newton-Conover a 7-0 lead with 3:28 left in the first quarter.

South Caldwell took the lead with 12.7 seconds remaining in the opening period when Jaxson Wilkerson hit paydirt from 5 yards out, and Joe Bolick ran in the two-point try to give the Spartans an 8-6 lead.

The Spartans struck again just before halftime as Bolick hit JB Robbins with a 14-yard touchdown pass with 21 seconds left in the second quarter. Will Connor’s two-point run gave South Caldwell a 16-7 halftime lead, and that would be all the Spartans would need.

The Red Devils drew closer when Jason Brawley recovered a South Caldwell fumble in the end zone midway through the third quarter to pull Newton-Conover within three with the extra point pending. The kick was no good, and the score stood at 16-13 through the remainder of the third period and the entirety of the fourth quarter.

Connor led the Spartans with 87 yards rushing on 17 carries; Wilkerson had 13 carries for 77 yards. Bolick was 5-for-7 for 56 yards through the air, and Connor hit three of his nine attempts for 31 yards, and he threw an interception. Tyler Eggers had three catches for 35 yards to pace South Caldwell, followed by Robbins with three grabs for 31 yards. Wilkerson had one catch for 19 yards.

South Caldwell is scheduled to visit Hibriten on Friday for the first of two matchups this season. The Spartans and Panthers are both members of the six-team Northwestern 3A/4A conference, and Friday’s contest will be counted as a non-conference game. South Caldwell and Hibriten will meet again in the regular-season finale on Oct. 29.