Defense stands tall in football's spring game
Saturday, April 8, 2006 | by Newberry

NEWBERRY, S.C. – Defense reigned on a rain-soaked Setzler Field Saturday afternoon, allowing the Newberry College offense only 294 yards and 10 points in 69 plays in the annual spring game.  The “War Party” combined for 15 tackles for loss, seven sacks, three interceptions, and a 79-yard fumble recovery by Kalif Chavis (Summerville, S.C.) that went for a touchdown.

Roughly 300 fans braved the elements to view the contest, which mostly matched the first-team offense against the second-team defense and vice versa.  Due to the shuffled offensive lineup, those who expected to see a 30-plus point performance (the Indians averaged 30.2 points a game last year) may have been disappointed.  However, the white team did produce several highlights but failed to convert any of its three red zone appearances.

All-American wide receiver Tymere Zimmerman (Bennettsville, S.C.) was the only offensive player to grace the end zone.  On fourth-and-five from the 28-yard line, quarterback Brent Copeland (Anderson, S.C.) threw a slant pattern designed to pick up the first down, but Zimmerman picked up a block and stiff-armed another defender at the five to make his way over the goal line.

Ryan Lukshis (Irmo, S.C.) made both of his extra-point attempts and a 47-yard field goal.  The rising junior clanked a 20-yard attempt off the right goalpost and left another short from 47 yards.

Standouts on defense were: J.R. Richard (Fairfield, Calif.) with four tackles, a tackle for a three-yard loss, and a pass deflection; Will Newell (Irmo, S.C.) with 3.5 tackles and a sack for six yards; and Charlton Grant (Early Branch, S.C.) and Jeremy Bunch (Johnston, S.C.) with three tackles each.  Temarc Thompson (Greenville, S.C.), Travis Anderson and Alton McDow (Westville, S.C.) provided the interceptions for the defensive unit.

Chavis’ touchdown trot came on the next-to-last possession.  A botched exchange in the offensive backfield bounced up to Chavis, and a sea of black jerseys accompanied the freshman defensive end to the end zone.  The 79-yard run and Deion Sanders-style highstep put six on the scoreboard, drew 15 on the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and earned a 7.5 out of ten from the judges.

Offensively, Copeland carried the torch in the absence of All-SAC quarterback Josh Stepp (Pelion, S.C.).  The redshirt freshman completed ten of twelve passes for 115 yards and the day’s only offensive score.  He was the only signal-caller not to throw a pick.  Jare Gault (Jonesville, S.C.), last year’s backup, went seven-for-12 for 67 yards, and Citadel transfer Justin Knox (Union, S.C.) completed three of eight passes for 46 yards.

Zimmerman had the most receiving yards (58), but rising junior Antwan Surratt (Spartanburg, S.C.) had his number called the most, catching five balls for 25 yards.  Deshon Rodell (Allendale, S.C.) caught three passes for 40 yards to go with his 67 rushing yards, making him the only back with more than 100 all-purpose yards.  Carlnel Williams (N. Augusta, S.C.), making the switch from defense to offense, had two catches for 31 yards.  Charles Brandon (Union, S.C.) had two catches for 36 yards.

In addition to the 28-yard Copeland-to-Zimmerman connection, there were three other big aerial plays.  Gault threw a 30-yarder to Brandon on the fifth possession; Copeland completed another bomb to Zimmerman, this one for 32 on a third-down-and-34; and Knox found Williams for 29 yards to help set up the successful field goal attempt.

Rodell broke for 23 yards and had two 19-yard rushes.  Pinckney had a 20-yard run on the game’s last possession.

See the links below for stats.  The first is in Microsoft Excel format; the second is PDF.

Related Item: Box Score