October 10, 20091st2nd3rd4thFinal
Mars Hill6714734
1st Quarter
NEWTD04:55B. Gantt 1 Yd Run (B. Blackmon kick)
MHCTD02:26Jonas Randolph 7 Yd Run (M. Pinkerton missed kick)
2nd Quarter
MHCTD11:28Jonas Randolph 4 Yd Run (M. Pinkerton kick)
NEWTD06:39B. Bostick 5 Yd Run (B. Blackmon kick)
3rd Quarter
MHCTD13:41D. Smedley 43 Yd Pass From Jon Richt (M. Pinkerton kick)
NEWTD07:10T. Salley 2 Yd Run (B. Blackmon kick)
MHCTD03:55Jonas Randolph 17 Yd Run (M. Pinkerton kick)
4th Quarter
MHCTD14:28Jonas Randolph 5 Yd Run (M. Pinkerton kick)
NEWTD06:03K. Tindal 25 Yd Pass From B. Gantt (B. Blackmon kick)
Stats at a GlanceMHCNEW
1st Downs2019
3rd Down Conversions3-146-13
4th Down Conversions3-30-1
Passing (Comp-Att)136 (9-20) 209 (21-35)
Rushing (Att)262 (49) 91 (30)
Total Yards
Fumbles Lost00

Newberry falls to Mars Hill on Homecoming, 34-28
Saturday, October 10, 2009

NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College football team lost to Mars Hill College, 34-28, on Homecoming night at Setzler Field. Mars Hill jumps to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the South Atlantic Conference, while Newberry falls to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in SAC play.

Mars Hill outgained Newberry offensively, 398 yards to 300, and was a perfect 4-for-4 in the red zone with all four red zone score coming on touchdown carries by running back Jonas Randolph (Daleville, Ala.). Randolph carried the ball 40 times for 248 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Lions to victory. Starting quarterback Jon Richt (Watkinsville, Ga.) was 9-of-16 for 136 yards and an interception, with a 43-yard touchdown pass to Demetruis Smedley (Decatur, Ga.).

For Newberry, quarterback Brandon Gantt (Lexington, S.C.) completed 21-of-34 passes for 209 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He also carried the ball 14 times for 28 yards and a touchdown. Kelton Tindal (Sumter, S.C.) caught five passes for 55 yards and a touchdown, while Brandon Bostick (Florence, S.C.) caught six passes for 64 yards and also had a 5-yard touchdown carry. Tharry Salley (Blackville, S.C.) also had a short touchdown carry.

Defensively, Newberry's Ron Parker (St. Helena Island, S.C.) flew to the ball, making 14 tackles and breaking up a pass. Kamaal McIlwain (Van Wyck, S.C.) had six tackles and blocked an extra point attempt in the first quarter. Mars Hill's Keadran Pinckney (North, S.C) led the Lions with 10 tackles and a forced fumble, while Maurice Harris (Hendersonville, N.C.) had eight tackles, five of which came behind the line of scrimmage.

Newberry got on the board first, thanks to methodical running, a pass interference penalty and a 14-yard completion from Gantt to Tindal that put the scarlet and gray at the Mars Hill 1. Gantt's 1-yard plunge put Newberry up, 7-0, with 4:55 left in the opening period after an extra point by Britt Blackmon (Kershaw, S.C.).

Mars Hill answered with a touchdown drive of its own, spurred on by a 44-yard Randolph carry that put the Lions at the Newberry 7. The sophomore was rewarded with another carry, which he punched into the endzone to make it 7-6. McIlwain blocked the extra point attempt and tried to run it back for two points, but made it near midfield before being pushed out of bounds.

The Randolph train kept rolling into the second quarter, but the Mars Hill drive stalled at the Newberry 31. On 4th-and-14, Richt went for the endzone and cornerback Antonio Patton (Woodruff, S.C.) was called for pass interference after tripping into the receiver. Four carries later, Randolph found the endzone and gave the guests a 13-7 lead.

Newberry marched down the field on the ensuing drive and reclaimed the lead at 14-13 on a 5-yard TD carry by Bostick. Newberry got the ball back with 38 seconds left in the half and a 34-yard pss from Gantt to Bostick on the first play put Newberry in Mars Hill territory. However, the drive ended empty with an interception in the endzone as time expired, leaving the score at 14-7 at the half.

Mars Hill burst out of the gates on the first drive of the second half, taking the lead on a 43-yard touchdown pass from Richt to Smedley on the third play of the third quarter to go ahead, 20-14. Newberry responded with a 13 play, 66 yard drive that benefitted from a spectacular 31-yard reception by David Smith (Union, S.C.) on a 3rd-and-30 play. Mars Hill intercepted a Gantt pass in the endzone a few plays later, but the turnover was nullified by a pass interference penalty on the Lions.

With the ball placed at the 2-yardline, Salley punched the ball in for the score, putting Newberry back up by one point at 21-20. However, Randolph spurred the Lions' offense on the following drive that was capped by a 17-yard touchdown carry to put MHC back up, 27-21

Darin Baldwin (Florida City, Fla.) made a game-changing play on the third play of the next drive to break serve. Baldwin intercepted a Gantt pass on the sideline at the Mars Hill 44 with 2:17 left in the period. Newberry forced a three-and-out, but the MHC drive stayed alive after a roughing the kicker penalty on fourth down. The drive rolled into the fourth quarter, and Randolph's fouth touchdown carry of the night put Mars Hill up, 34-21 with 14:28 left in the game.

Newberry went three-and-out on the next drive and Patton intercepted Richt at the Newberry 16 on the next drive to give the scarlet and gray new life. Gantt completed three short passes to get to the NC 48, and a 27-yard Gantt carry followed quickly by a 25-yard Gantt-to-Tindal touchdown pass brought Newberry back to within one score at 34-28 with six minutes left to play.

But the Mars Hill offense held on to the ball for the rest of the game to drain the clock and win the game. Two Randolph carries gave the Lions a first down, but a Richt third down incompletion and an MHC false start penalty put the guests in punt formation at their own 42. But one of the boldest moves in recent memory kept the Lions' drive on the move as Josh Crumpton (Pickens, S.C.) carried the ball 23 yards on a fake punt on 4th-and-14. Crumpton's only previous touch of the ball this season had been a 2-yard touchdown catch against Carson-Newman. Another fourth down conversion later in the drive allowed Mars Hill to hold onto the ball until the end of the game.

The loss was only Newberry's second at Setzler Field since installing the artificial surface prior to the 2006 season. Mars Hill becomes the first SAC team to beat Newberry on the turf.

Newberry moves on to take on co-SAC leaders Wingate at 1:30 on October 17 in Wingate, N.C. Mars Hill visits a surprising Brevard team.