Indian football team holds spring game

Indian football team holds spring game
Saturday, April 12, 2008 | by Tindal steals show with pair of touchdowns

NEWBERRY, S.C. - Coach Zak Willis and the Newberry College football team held their annual Spring Game Saturday morning at Setzler Field. With all offensive players wearing white and defensive players wearing red, the offense tallied 27 points on 18 drives.

The lead quarterback for the Indians was rising junior Brandon Gantt (Lexington, S.C.). Gantt, part of the three-headed monster at quarterback for the Indians in 2007, was the signal caller for seven drives, including three of the offense's five scoring drives. Newcomers Michael Rentz and Dushawn Davis also took snaps for the Indians at quarterback.

The White started the morning with a bang, as Gantt completed a 45-yard pass to Kelton Tindal (Sumter, S.C.) on the game's first play. But the offense stalled and was forced to punt.

Two drives later, Gantt again moved the White into scoring position, leading a five-play drive that stalled at the Red 35. But the march ended without points as Todd Moon (Anderson, S.C.) came up short on a 45-yard field goal attempt.

The White finally put points on the board the next time Gantt took the field, on the game's fifth drive. Starting at the White 22, Tharry Salley (Blackville, S.C.) began the march with a 76-yard run that ended at the Red 2. Two plays later, Tindal took a reverse handoff the final two yards to the end zone for the first points of the game. Britt Blackmon (Kershaw, S.C.) added the point after to make it 7-0.

Gantt's next drive, the seventh of the game, also produced points. Starting at his own 11, Gantt marched the offense 79 yards on 10 plays. Included in the drive was a 23-yard scramble from Gantt on third-and-6, and a 22-yard reception by Tindal. Nick Kinney (Goose Creek, S.C.) capped the drive off with a 20-yard field goal, giving the offense 10 points.

With Rentz at quarterback, the White's next drive put them in position for more points. Conner Hilton (Hickory, N.C) hauled in a 31-yard pass from Rentz to start the drive, but again Newberry came away without points, as Moon missed a 42-yard field goal wide to the right.

Two drives later, with Davis at quarterback, James Heyward (Charleston, S.C.) jaunted 57 yards to set up a 27-yard field goal from Blackmon, giving White 13 points.

Rentz took over the next drive and fumbled the snap on the first play. Defensive end Jim Page (Clinton, S.C.) fell on the loose ball to set up the next drive at the Red 16. But the White could not capitalize, as the offense went three-and-out and Kinney shanked a 29-yard field goal attempt wide left.

The White added to the scoring column on the 16th drive. Starting at his own 46, Gantt led a 5-play drive that included a 35-yard run by Gerald Legree (St. Helena Island, S.C.). The White ended the drive with a touchdown, as Gantt completed a screen pass to Tindal, who raced 25 yards for the score. Moon added the extra point, making the score 20-0.

The 18th and final drive also produced an end zone visit. Derek Young (Wellford, S.C.) took a Davis hand-off 43 yards to paydirt, making the final score 27-0.

Despite the final score, the defensive players in Red dominated for much of the game, allowing points on only five of 18 drives.

Brooks Burnette (Bonneau, S.C.) paced the Red with five tackles, while Ron Parker and Nick Boulay (Hilton Head, S.C.) added four each. Newcomer Kenny DeStefani was a force at the defensive end position, recording two sacks, while Donkay DeGraffenreid, Stewart Good (Rock Hill, S.C.), and Jareth Bailey (Lancaster, S.C.) also brought down the quarterback.

The Indians will announce their 2008 regular season schedule in the coming weeks.