Newberry's Jonathan Lyles seals 18-15 win for East squad at Whataburger Cactus Bowl
Friday, January 7, 2005 | by by Scott McCain, Newberry Sports Information

KINGSVILLE, TEXAS - Although he led the South Atlantic Conference in interceptions on his way to a first team All-SAC selection, Newberry defensive back Jonathan Lyles believes that there can never be too many interceptions.  Ask Neal Philpot, quarterback of national runner-up Pittsburg State and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Offensive MVP.

After the East squad went ahead 18-15 on Catawba quarterback Luke Samples' TD pass, the West started its final drive from its own 40 with just under six minutes left.  Philpot led his troops to two first downs and moved to the East's 34.  On first-and-ten, Philpot fired into the red zone but found a waiting Lyles who picked off the attempt at the 13 and returned it to the East's 23.

Lyles had completed the save.  East's offense picked up one first down and then took successive knees to eat the clock.

The cornerback from Camden, S.C., also picked up three solo tackles on the game, two of those on long kickoff returns that prevented touchdowns by the West's special teams.

For Lyles' defensive prowess, he has earned a handful of national and regional accolades.  The parade started with the Daktronics All-Region second team honor in early December, and continued with the Don Hansen Football Gazette All-Southeast Region third team nod after Christmas.

Most recently, Lyles was named to the College Sports Report's All-Division II second team found at