October 30, 20041st2nd3rd4thFinal
Mars Hill777728
1st Quarter
NEWTD11:08T. Zimmerman 15 Yd Pass From Josh Stepp (R. Lukshis kick)
MHCTD06:57G. Washington 2 Yd Run (C. Williams kick)
NEWTD00:51C. Seawell 9 Yd Pass From Josh Stepp (R. Lukshis kick)
2nd Quarter
MHCTD12:19B. Sims 1 Yd Run (C. Williams kick)
3rd Quarter
MHCTD05:17B. Sims 1 Yd Run (C. Williams kick)
4th Quarter
MHCTD09:57A. Jones 5 Yd Run (C. Williams kick)
NEWTD07:54C. Brandon 5 Yd Pass From Josh Stepp (R. Lukshis missed kick)
Stats at a GlanceMHCNEW
1st Downs2217
3rd Down Conversions9-137-13
4th Down Conversions1-10-0
Passing (Comp-Att)64 (6-10) 185 (16-26)
Rushing (Att)308 (59) 99 (30)
Total Yards
Fumbles Lost11
Stepp sets records in Newberry's 28-20 loss to Mars Hill

Stepp sets records in Newberry's 28-20 loss to Mars Hill
Saturday, October 30, 2004 | by Scott McCain, Newberry Sports Information

NEWBERRY - Sophomore quarterback Josh Stepp (Pelion, S.C.) was a record-setter three times over in Saturday afternoon's game against Mars Hill at Setzler Field, but Newberry could not hang onto an early lead against the Lions' relentless ground attack, falling 28-20 in the Indians' home finale.

Mars Hill (6-3, 3-3 South Atlantic Conference) scored a touchdown in each quarter and gained 308 yards on 59 rushes to dominate time of possession by almost a full 15 minutes.  The visitors took the second half kickoff 88 yards over 19 plays for a touchdown, allowed Newberry three offensive plays, and then chewed up another eight minutes on a second scoring drive.  The two nearly consecutive campaigns consumed more than 17 minutes, wore down the Indian defense, and de-energized the Scarlet offense.

Stepp is now Newberry's record holder in season passing yardage (2,236), season touchdown passes (18), and total offense (2,535 yards) with two games left on the schedule.

Newberry (3-6, 0-6 SAC) had its best first quarter of the season, taking the opening kickoff 72 yards to paydirt.  Stepp hit sophomore receiver Tymere Zimmerman (Bennettsville, S.C.) coming across the middle for a 15-yard touchdown reception.  On Mars Hill's first offensive play, quarterback Brandon Sims (Spartanburg, S.C.) threw a hanging pass for senior Rod Dewalt (Prosperity, S.C.) down the left sideline that senior defensive back Jonathan Lyles (Camden, S.C.) corralled.  Lyles blanketed Dewalt, the Lions' top receiving threat, all day, holding him to no receptions, breaking up two passes in addition to the interception, and making four tackles.

The Indians could not capitalize on the turnover and punted back to Mars Hill.  The visitors used six plays, the key play being an Antoine Jones (Orlando, Fla.) 53-yard dash to the Newberry two-yard line to set up George Washington (Warner Robins, Ga.) for the score on the next play.

After Newberry and Mars Hill exchanged turnovers on back-to-back plays, the Scarlet and Gray marched 63 yards downfield and cashed in with a nine-yard Stepp-to-Corey Seawell (Columbia, S.C.) touchdown to tie the single-season record of 17 touchdowns.

The Indians led 14-7 after one quarter, but Mars Hill answered on the following drive with Jones coming up big again.  The junior running back broke a 34-yard run to put MHC on the six, and Sims crossed the goal line three plays later to tie the contest at 14 where the score would stand at intermission.

Sims ran in his second touchdown from a yard out on the third quarter's initial drive that ate 9:35 off the clock.  The Indians then ran three plays that lost 11 yards before punting back to the Lions.  Mars Hill consummated a 15-play series with a five-yard Jones touchdown, this drive burning a shade under eight minutes.  In the two campaigns, Mars Hill rushed 28 times and completed three passes.

"They did a tremendous job all game controlling the line of scrimmage," Newberry head coach Zak Willis said after the game. "They drove the ball down the field three yards at a time.  That drive was almost ten minutes long.  You rarely see that kind of drive in college ball.

"We played well at times, especially in the first half, but you can't do that in the SAC.  You have to be consistent the whole game, and we didn't do that."

Jones finished the game with 215 yards on 28 carries and a touchdown.  Washington had 66 yards on the ground and a score, while Sims ran for 28 yards and found the endzone twice.  Mars Hill had only 64 yards through the air.

Down 28-14, the Indians took little time to recover, using only two minutes to move 73 yards for the game's final score.  Stepp ran for 39 yards and threw for 24 more, including the five-yard scoring pass to Charles Brandon (Union, S.C.).  The extra point was blocked, however, leaving Newberry eight points down.

Newberry's defense held Mars Hill without a score, but the Lion drive left Newberry with under two minutes to work.  Mars Hill provided terrific pass coverage, leaving Stepp with no option but to run for minimal gains.  Newberry drove into Mars Hill territory on a 25-yard catch by Antwan Surratt (Spartanburg, S.C.), placing the Indians on the MHC 38 with 38 seconds remaining.  On first down, Stepp scrambled right and slipped under pressure from Lion Xavier Jordan (Tifton, Ga.), and fumbled while trying to regain balance.  Jordan fell on the ball, Sims took a knee, and the Lions secured the road win.

Six Newberry receivers caught passes Saturday, with Surratt being the high man with five receptions and 56 yards.  Zimmerman caught three passes, one for a score, for a total of 45 yards, putting him only 20 yards away from breaking the single season receiving yardage record.  Raphael Masters set the standard in 1938 with 814 yards, and Zimmerman stands at 795 with two games left.

In addition to Lyles' stellar defensive effort, fellow senior Charlie Miller (Camden, S.C.) had a career-best 14 tackles.  Terrance Leverett (Ware Shoals, S.C.) made 12 tackles and forced a fumble.

Newberry will have its last chance at a conference win next weekend at Presbyterian.  Mars Hill hosts Tusculum in what should be a battle for fifth place in the conference.