|October 29, 2005||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|MHC||FG||06:00||C. Williams 42 Yd|
|NEW||TD||14:01||D. Fludd (R. Lukshis kick)|
|MHC||TD||12:17||X. Jordan (C. Williams kick)|
|NEW||TD||14:56||A. Haynes 1 Yd Run (R. Lukshis kick)|
|NEW||TD||06:20||J. Stepp 33 Yd Run (R. Lukshis kick)|
|NEW||TD||02:41||T. Davis 2 Yd Run (R. Lukshis kick)|
|Stats at a Glance||NEW||MHC|
|3rd Down Conversions||6-12||4-17|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||2-5|
|Passing (Comp-Att)||89 (12-21)||86 (5-16)|
|Rushing (Att)||199 (42)||121 (48)|
MARS HILL, N.C. - The Newberry College defense recorded its best effort of 2005, allowing only 207 yards of total offense and ten points while scoring a defensive touchdown to roll up Mars Hill, 28-10, at Meares Stadium. With the win, Newberry (5-3, 4-2 South Atlantic Conference) secures its first winning season since 1998 and first winning conference season since 1984. This is also the first time in history that Newberry has won four consecutive South Atlantic Conference games in a season.
Mars Hill drops to 4-5 and 3-3 in the conference, and was held without an offensive touchdown.
Freshman linebacker Will Newell (Columbia, S.C.) created Newberry’s first score, forcing Mars Hill quarterback Brandon Sims (Spartanburg, S.C.) to fumble. Senior safety Donavin Fludd (James Island, S.C.) picked up the loose ball to put Newberry up 7-3 with a minute gone in the third quarter.
Mars Hill followed that defensive touchdown with its own on their first opportunity. Xavier Jordan (Tifton, Ga.) stepped in front of a Josh Stepp (Pelion, S.C.) attempt on first down and took it 53 yards for the 10-7 lead. Newberry used the final five minutes of the third quarter to move the ball to the Mars Hill one yard line, then punched it across the goal line in the initial play of the fourth quarter. Alex Haynes (Summerville, S.C.) was responsible for the touchdown, his ninth of the season.
Trailing 14-10, Mars Hill drove from its own 20 to Newberry’s four, but the Indian defense held on four plays inside the seven-yard line. Newberry responded with a stellar drive of its own, consisting of nine rushing plays and two penalties. One of those penalties was a personal foul on a hard tackle on Stepp when he was well out-of-bounds. Stepp exited for two plays, then sprinted down the right side of the field for the touchdown on second-and-three at the MH 33. Newberry led 21-10 with 6:20 left in the game.
The defense rose to the occasion on its next two opportunities. On the ensuing kickoff, Stewart Good (Rock Hill, S.C.) stripped the return man, allowing Newell to recover the fumble at the 21-yard line. The field goal attempt was missed, but two more precious minutes had escaped Mars Hill.
Fludd made his second big play of the day, picking off Sims on third-and-10 to put Newberry in business at the Lion 16. Three plays later, senior fullback Titus Davis (Cross, S.C.) scored his first collegiate rushing touchdown on his 88th career attempt. Mars Hill was forced to surrender on downs on its last possession.
Newell was a one-man wrecking crew, recording 13 tackles (9 solo and two for loss) to accompany his forced fumble and fumble recovery. Fludd had nine tackles, the defensive touchdown on the 30-yard fumble return, and the interception and 24-yard return to set up Newberry’s final touchdown. The Scarlet defense made 10 tackles for loss, including five sacks of Sims.
"Will had an incredible game for us," head coach Zak Willis praised the true freshman. "Everytime [Brandon] Sims and [Antione] Jones got loose, he was on them.
"It was an ugly win, but the kind of win a coach likes to see. I knew after the first half when we held Mars Hill to three [points], that we're becoming what we need to be to win."
Things could have been much worse than 3-0 at halftime. In the first quarter, Mars Hill employed a strategy of kicking off and punting high and to the near side of the field where the ball would be lost in the sun. It was, three times in fact, and the Indians fumbled all three times, losing two. Mars Hill advanced to Newberry's red zone three times with only one Craig Williams field goal to show for it.
For only the second time this year, Newberry did not put any points on the board through the air. Stepp completed 12 passes for 89 yards and was intercepted twice. The junior quarterback rushed 15 times for 82 yards and a touchdown. Haynes had 15 carries for 63 yards and a score, and Rodell rushed ten times for 55 yards. Davis’ two-yard touchdown run was his only carry. Tymere Zimmerman (Bennettsville, S.C.) was the leading receiver for Newberry with three catches for 41 yards.
Newberry’s defense limited Antione Jones (Orlando, Fla.), Mars Hill’s most prolific back, to 90 yards. Sims gained only 86 yards through the air and 18 on the ground. The Lions’ leading receiver was Tyrea Allen (Murphy, N.C.) with three receptions and 50 yards.
Newberry gears up for the Bronze Derby rivalry game with Presbyterian next Saturday in Newberry at 7 p.m. The Blue Hose wrapped up the conference title today with a win over Wingate, making them 6-0 in league play. Mars Hill travels to Tusculum to wrap up its season next Saturday at 1:30.
A win Saturday would clinch at least a share of second place in the SAC, and outright second if Wingate can defeat Carson-Newman, currently tied with Newberry at 4-2.