|November 18, 2006||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|ALBANY||TD||06:49||Flakes 1 Yd Run (Spencer kick)|
|ALBANY||TD||12:34||Walker 6 Yd Run (Spencer kick)|
|NEW||TD||05:27||T. Zimmerman 26 Yd Pass From J. Stepp (T. Moon kick)|
|NEW||TD||12:28||C. Huger 17 Yd Pass From J. Stepp (T. Moon kick)|
|NEW||TD||06:14||T. Zimmerman 8 Yd Pass From J. Stepp (T. Moon kick)|
|ALBANY||TD||03:25||Ransom 5 Yd Run (Spencer kick)|
|NEW||TD||01:18||T. Zimmerman 20 Yd Pass From J. Stepp (T. Moon kick)|
|NEW||TD||11:52||J. Stepp 1 Yd Run (T. Moon missed kick)|
|ALBANY||TD||03:00||Kyles 5 Yd Pass From Flakes (Spencer kick)|
|Stats at a Glance||ALBANY||NEW|
|3rd Down Conversions||4-17||7-14|
|4th Down Conversions||5-7||0-1|
|Passing (Comp-Att)||114 (13-30)||196 (18-32)|
|Rushing (Att)||131 (41)||114 (35)|
NEWBERRY – The offensive duo of Tymere Zimmerman and Josh Stepp led the No. 12 Newberry Indians to a 34-28 victory over the Golden Rams of Albany State University to advance to the second round of the NCAA Division II football playoffs.
Newberry (11-1), the third seed in the Southeast Region, was hosting NCAA postseason competition for the first time in school history, and will advance to the second round of the playoffs, where it will meet second-seeded North Alabama at Florence, Ala. on Saturday.
The win is Newberry’s first postseason victory since it defeated Appalachian State in the 1954 Palmetto Bowl, and its first appearance in NCAA postseason competition.
Albany State, the sixth seed in the region, ends its season at 7-4.
“It’s a real honor to be the smallest school in the country that plays Division II football to be able to compete with a team like that,” Newberry head coach Zak Willis said. “It was a tremendous football game. That’s the kind of competition that you coach and play for.”
The Golden Ram defense stood strong against a potent Newberry offense in the first quarter, allowing the
Indians to only get off eight plays in the first quarter.
Albany State went into the second stanza with the seven-point advantage, and held the Indians without a
first down in their first four drives.
The Golden Rams extended their advantage on their first drive of the second quarter. Albany State went up 14-0 with 12:34 until the half on a Jimtavis Walker six-yard touchdown run. ASU's Brian Porter set up the short touchdown with a 39-yard rush up the right side on the previous play.
Newberry picked up its initial first down of the game on a 15-yard completion from Harlon Hill Trophy nominee Josh Stepp to Corey Seawell with 8:06 left in the second quarter.
The momentum carried over as the Indians put together a 10-play, 80-yard drive that took 3:01 off the clock.
Newberry capitalized with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Stepp to Tymere Zimmerman with 5:20 remaining in the half. The Todd Moon extra point narrowed the deficit to 14-7.
However, the Indians stole momentum back on the opening kickoff of the second half, when Gerald Legree returned the kick 58 yards to the Albany State 29 to start the drive.
Five plays later, Stepp completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Chuck Huger. The touchdown was Huger's first score of the season, and the Moon extra point tied the game at 14-14 with 12:28 to play in the third.
On Newberry's next drive, running back Hamilton Sims rescued the Indians from a second-and-23 after a personal foul, when he threw a halfback pass to Bryant Blanton for the first down inside the Albany State 30. The reception was Blanton's first of his career.
The Indians used that play to keep a 12-play, 72-yard drive alive. Stepp completed his third touchdown pass of the day with 6:14 left in the third, when he found Zimmerman in the corner of the end zone to give Newberry its first lead of the game.
“Josh did a tremendous job from the middle of the second quarter on of taking what they gave us; which wasn’t a whole lot,” Willis said. “One of the things that sets apart from other teams is that we’re able to drive on people.”
The Golden Rams were able to bring the score level with 3:25 left in the third on an option keeper from Terrance Ransom from five yards out, tying the game at 21-21.
With 1:18 left in the third quarter, Newberry took the lead for good on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Stepp to Zimmerman that ended a six-play, 76-yard drive.
The key swing in the game came with 14:42 to play, when Newberry’s Charlton Grant intercepted a Ransom pass at the ASU 15.
Newberry turned the field position into a five-play drive that was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run from Stepp. After the missed PAT, Newberry led 34-21.
After Albany State failed to convert on fourth down, the Golden Ram defense forced Newberry to punt the ball away.
The Golden Rams took 4:21 off the clock on a 12-play, 65-yard drive that was ended by a touchdown pass from Flakes to Nick Kyles from five yards out to bring Albany State within a score.
With 2:55 to play, Albany State attempted to regain possession on an onside kick, but Newberry’s Chuck Huger fell on the ball.
However, the Golden Ram defense stepped up by forcing the Indians to punt the ball away, giving the Albany State offense one more chance to score.
Newberry’s defense made the stops, putting Albany State in a fourth-and-six situation in Golden Ram territory under a minute to play. On the fourth down play, Newberry’s David Harris forced a fumble that was recovered by Octavious Whiteside, allowing Newberry to kneel the ball on its next play to run out the clock and advance to Florence.
“This is a huge win not only for this team but for Newberry College, and the Newberry community as a whole,” Stepp said after the game. “This is something that we’ve all worked so hard for as a team, and something the whole community deserves.”