September 19, 20091st2nd3rd4thFinal
Cumberland (Tenn.)03003
2nd Quarter
CUFG13:35Nick Sasser 41 Yd
3rd Quarter
NEWTD07:08G. Legree 12 Yd Run (B. Blackmon kick)
NEWTD03:41SJ Worrell 13 Yd Run (B. Blackmon missed kick)
4th Quarter
NEWTD05:33A. Sherman 2 Yd Run (N. Toole kick)
Stats at a GlanceCUNEW
1st Downs723
3rd Down Conversions3-157-16
4th Down Conversions0-12-3
Passing (Comp-Att)28 (8-20) 158 (17-29)
Rushing (Att)52 (33) 222 (51)
Total Yards
Fumbles Lost01
Defense leads Newberry to 20-3 win over Cumberland in home opener

Defense leads Newberry to 20-3 win over Cumberland in home opener
Saturday, September 19, 2009 | by Scarlet and gray limits Bulldogs to 80 yards of total offense

NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College football team moved to 2-1 on the season in the team's 2009 home opener with a 20-3 victory over Cumberland (Tenn.) University. The win is head coach Todd Knight's first win at Setzler Field.

4,162 fans saw the 20th-ranked team in the poll allow the visiting Bulldogs only 80 yards of total offense and six first downs in the win. It was the first time a Newberry squad held an opponent under 100 total yards of offense since holding North Greenville to 21 yards on September 8, 2001.

The Bulldogs (1-2 overall) held the scarlet and gray off of the scoreboard in the opening half, but Newberry answered with a solid rushing attack in the second half and scored three touchdowns to earn the home win.

The Newberry running backs were the offensive highlight of the game, accounting for all three of the hosts' touchdowns. Preseason second team all-SAC member Gerald Legree (St. Helena Island, S.C.) carried the ball 15 times for 92 yards and a touchdown to lead the way. Alkeem Sherman (Conway, S.C.) had 12 carries for 46 yards and a touchdown and S.J. Worrell (Madison, Ga.) carried the ball five times for 35 yards and a score.

Starting quarterback Brandon Gantt (Lexington, S.C.) was 11-of-22 through the air for 77 yards with an interception, and backup quarterback Bryan Ehrlich (San Antonio, Texas) was 6-of-7 for 81 yards in his first collegiate action. David Smith (Union, S.C.) was the leading receiver with five catches for 63 yards. All told, the Newberry offense amassed 380 yards of total offense.

Defensively, Xavier Wallace (Kingstree, S.C.) had six solo tackles with 2.0 tackles for a loss. Andre Moyd (Andrews, S.C.) and Ron Parker (St. Helena Island, S.C.) each had six total tackles, with Parker also forcing a fumble. Andrew Koszela (Knoxville, Tenn.) had five total tackles and a quarterback hurry. As a whole, the defense recorded 10 tackles for loss with Matthew Kingdom (Summerville, S.C.) notching a sack.

Both offenses struggled to get going in the opening quarter, with Newberry possessions ending on a punt, a fumble and a failed fourth down conversion attempt. Cumberland held the ball for 9:05 in the first quarter and the teams combined for only 92 yards of offense.

Cumberland had possession in Newberry territory to start the second quarter and capped a nine-play, 36-yard drive with a 41-yard field goal by Nick Sasser (Brunswick, Ga.), giving the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead. Newberry had an opportunity to tie the game with 2:25 left in the half, but a 34-yard field goal attempt by Britt Blackmon (Kershaw, S.C.) went wide left. Todd Moon (Anderson, S.C.) excelled on special teams in the opening half, punting three times, with all of them landing inside the Bulldogs' 10-yardline.

Trailing at the half for the third straight game, Newberry went on a methodical drive coming out of the break, chewing up 45 yards in 15 plays. Nick Kinney (Goose Creek, S.C.) got his chance to kick and tie the game from 32 yards out, but was also wide left, leaving the game at 3-0.

After Newberry forced the Bulldogs to go three-and-out on their next series, Newberry got possession at its own 45-yardline. It took eight plays - all rushes - to find paydirt, as Legree's 12-yard touchdown carry put Newberry up, 7-3, after the Blackmon PAT.

Another three-and-out setup a quick Newberry score, as Antonio Patton (Woodruff, S.C.) returned the punt to the CU 26, and Newberry ran the ball three times on the next drive, with Worrell's 13-yard touchdown carry up the middle putting the hosts up, 13-3, after the Blackmon PAT attempt was blocked.

The scoring was completed in the fourth quarter, as Ehrlich led the offense down the field on a 9-play, 47-yard drive that was capped by Sherman's 2-yard touchdown carry on fourth-and-goal. Nick Toole (Barnwell, S.C.) made his first collegiate kick on the PAT attempt, making it a 20-3 score.

Newberry returns to action next Saturday in Jefferson City, Tenn., for the South Atlantic Conference opener against Carson-Newman (2-2). Kickoff at Burke-Tarr Stadium is set for 1 p.m.