|September 04, 2004||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|NEW||TD||08:32||T. Zimmerman 12 Yd Pass From Josh Stepp (B. Sanchez kick)|
|NEW||TD||03:11||C. Brandon 46 Yd Pass From Josh Stepp (B. Sanchez kick)|
|NEW||TD||04:16||Josh Stepp 1 Yd Run (B. Sanchez kick)|
|NEW||TD||01:14||G. Jackson 25 Yd Run (B. Sanchez kick)|
|CU||TD||14:52||Buskey 13 Yd Pass From Pimentel|
|NEW||TD||11:00||D. Rodell 24 Yd Run (B. Sanchez kick)|
|Stats at a Glance||CU||NEW|
|3rd Down Conversions||4-15||6-15|
|4th Down Conversions||0-2||1-4|
|Passing (Comp-Att)||154 (9-27)||135 (10-18)|
|Rushing (Att)||8 (36)||258 (52)|
NEWBERRY - Newberry College scored four first-half touchdowns and held Concord University (0-2) to eight net rushing yards on the evening to win its home opener over the Mountain Lions, 43-12, Saturday evening at Setzler Field.
The Indians (1-0) used a ground attack not present last season, getting 228 net yards from its backfield. Gerard Jackson (Melbourne, Fla.) with 119 yards became the first Newberry running back to amass more than 100 yards in a game since September 14, 2002, when Daniel Gray put 157 on North Greenville College, Newberry's opponent next week.
Josh Stepp's awaited Newberry debut started with a bang. After both teams stalled offensively after four downs, Stepp (Pelion, S.C.) found receiver Tymere Zimmerman (Bennettsville, S.C.) for a 12-yard touchdown on the tenth play of the 69-yard drive.
Newberry would score its second touchdown on its fourth drive. Stepp fired a 46-yard strike to Charles Brandon (Union, S.C.), putting the Indians ahead 14-0 with 2:23 left in the first quarter.
Concord did not pick up its initial first down until its sixth drive. The Mountain Lions moved the ball 64 yards, 46 of those coming from a Ryan Pimentel (Delhi, Calif.) pass to Ron Buskey (Thonotosassa, Fla.). The drive halted at Newberry's 16-yard line, and Concord's field goal attempt sailed wide left.
The Indians responded with a drive of their own. Deshon Rodell (Allendale, S.C.) carried the load for the Scarlet and Gray, accounting for 56 yards on the drive (38 rushing on three attempts and one catch for 18) to put Newberry on Concord's six-yard line. Stepp's third down quarterback sneak put the Indians up 21-0.
Newberry's defense set up the next score. After Tony Ransom (Marion, S.C.) and Emil Gibson (Spartanburg, S.C.) combined on a first-down sack, Stephen Henry (Belle Glade, Fla.) chased down Pimentel in the backfield again, ripping the ball loose where the Indians recovered on the opponent's 34. Facing fourth and one on Concord's 25-yard line, Newberry called a timeout. Newberry head coach Zak Willis needed one yard, but Jackson broke two tackles at the line of scrimmage and gave him 25 yards for the score and a 28-0 lead at halftime.
After halftime, Concord ran five plays before facing a fourth-and-16. A bad snap rolled through punter Chris Harker's legs, and with Indians in pursuit, he chose to allow Newberry two points rather than seven by turning and booting the football out the back of the end zone.
The Mountain Lions found their first touchdown 41 minutes into the contest. Getting the ball on Newberry's side of the field after the Indians failed to get off a punt, Concord moved 43 yards in under three minutes to break the goose egg. On third down at the eight, Terrance Leverett (Ware Shoals, S.C.) popped the ball loose from running back Thomas Blankenship (Princeton, W.Va.) only to see CU's Buskey recover the forward-falling fumble in the end zone. The key play of the drive was a 29-yard, Pimentel-to-Buskey pass that put the visitors in only their second red zone opportunity of the game at the 15-yard line.
Three plays into Newberry's ensuing drive, Stepp underthrew a pass across the middle, and Concord's Eddie Rivers (Fredericksburg, Va.) took the interception 19 yards the other way to set up CU for a six-play, 27-yard scoring drive. The effort was culminated by another Pimentel-to-Buskey combination, this one good for 13 yards. Concord's designed two-point conversion failed, picked off by defensive back Donavin Fludd, but the visitors opened up the fourth quarter with new life, down only 18 points at 30-12 and having scored those 12 points in a shade over four minutes.
Wide receiver Antwan Surratt (Spartanburg, S.C.) put a knife in Concord's comeback with the next play. Surratt fielded the Concord kickoff at his own eight, eluded three tacklers on the left side of the field, and made his way diagonally to the right sideline for what was likely the most exciting play of the game. The touchdown and failed point after put Newberry up 36-12 with almost a quarter of football left.
Concord's next drive stalled and, with Harker's punt partially blocked, Newberry took advantage of a short field for the game's final score. On a crucial third-and-two, Stepp scrambled right, then left, and fired a throw off the hop to a diving Daren Vaughn (Belton, S.C.) 16 yards downfield to prolong the drive. Two plays later, Rodell turned on the burners for a 24-yard touchdown run. Rodell totaled 84 yards on 8 rushes, but would have had 75 more yards save a penalty flag for an illegal block that brought the play back.
Stepp completed nine of 15 passes for 128 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions while being sacked twice. His counterpart, Concord's Pimentel, threw 24 times and completed nine for 154 yards and a score.
Zimmerman, Newberry's All-SAC wide receiver, tied Buskey with six catches and led all Indians in receptions and yardage (52). Brandon had the longest reception with the 46-yard touchdown strike from Stepp. Buskey had a game-high 93 receiving yards.
No Mountain Lion netted more than 22 yards rushing.
Leverett picked up where he left off last season by leading the team in tackles with ten, 2.5 of those for loss. Ransom, also named to the 2004 All-SAC first team, proved he belongs with the league's best by recording eight hits and 5.5 tackles-for-loss with 3.5 sacks on the evening. Gino Polastri (Folsom, Calif.) continued to lead CU on defense, sacking Stepp twice and tackling eight other ball carriers.
Newberry travels to North Greenville for a 1 p.m. game next Saturday, while Concord hits the road its second straight week headed to Western Kentucky University for a 7 p.m. affair.