October 24, 20091st2nd3rd4thFinal
1st Quarter
NEWTD11:09B. Gantt 1 Yd Run (B. Blackmon kick)
TCTD08:07Nate Binder 32 Yd Pass From Bo Cordell (Gareth Rowlands kick)
NEWTD02:21B. Gantt 2 Yd Run (B. Blackmon kick)
2nd Quarter
NEWTD14:47K. Tindal 76 Yd Pass From B. Gantt (B. Blackmon kick)
TCTD12:35Hunter Adams (Gareth Rowlands kick)
NEWTD00:44B. Gantt 1 Yd Run (B. Blackmon kick)
TCFG00:00Gareth Rowlands 49 Yd
3rd Quarter
TCTD08:02Marcus Foster 39 Yd Pass From Bo Cordell (Gareth Rowlands kick)
NEWFG01:33B. Blackmon 28 Yd
4th Quarter
TCTD12:26Nate Binder 5 Yd Pass From Bo Cordell (Gareth Rowlands kick)
TCFG07:19Gareth Rowlands 44 Yd
Stats at a GlanceTCNEW
1st Downs1420
3rd Down Conversions4-148-15
4th Down Conversions1-21-1
Passing (Comp-Att)320 (19-32) 230 (15-28)
Rushing (Att)21 (28) 174 (41)
Total Yards
Fumbles Lost11

Newberry can't hold off Tusculum charge in 34-31 loss
Saturday, October 24, 2009 | by Gantt accounts for all four TDs, but second half turnovers spell defeat for scarlet and gray

NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College football team built up an 11-point halftime lead but visiting Tusculum College charged back to take a 34-31 victory from the scarlet and gray at Setzler Field on Saturday.

With the loss, Newberry drops to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in South Atlantic Conference play. Tusculum jumps to 2-6 overall and 1-4 in SAC action.

Newberry outgained the Pioneers, 404-341, but only gained 59 yards of offense in the second half. The hosts had 345 yards of total offense in the first half to TC's 99, but big plays and a long drive by the Pioneers in the fourth quarter handed Newberry the loss.

Individually, senior quarterback Brandon Gantt (Lexington, S.C.) accounted for four first half touchdowns with scoring rushes of 1, 2 and 1 yards and a 76-yard touchdown pass to Kelton Tindal (Sumter, S.C.). On the night, Gantt completed 15-of-28 passes for 220 yards and the touchdown pass to Tindal, but also threw three interceptions - all of which came in the second half.

S.J. Worrell (Madison, Ga.) was the leading rusher for Newberry with 20 carries for 74 yards. Tindal had two receptions for 76 yards and a score, while David Smith (Union, S.C.) had six catches for 66 yards.

Apollo Stretch (Columbia, S.C.) was the leading tackler with nine tackles - three of which totaled a loss of seven yards. Brandon McCall (Sumter, S.C.) recovered a TC fumble that led to a Newberry field goal.

Britt Blackmon (Kershaw, S.C.) was a perfect 4-for-4 on PAT attempts and was 1-for-2 on field goal tries, missing a 34-yard attempt in the second quarter and connecting from 28 yards out in the third quarter for Newberry's only score of the second half.

The first half was a polar opposite from the second, with the Newberry offense starting out on fire. A 57-yard completion out of the backfield from Gantt to Worrell put Newberry at the Tusculum 16-yardline on only the second play of the game, and the first of Gantt's three touchdown carries put Newberry up, 7-0, with less than four minutes gone in the game.

Tusculum responded in kind with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Bo Cordell (Cincinnati, Ohio) to Nate Binder (Maidstone, Ontario, Canada) to complete a 7-play, 65-yard drive to tie the game at 7-all.

Newberry scored again on its next drive, methodically chewing up yards on an 11-play, 57-yard drive that was capped by a Gantt 2-yard touchdown plunge to make it 14-7 in Newberry's favor with 2:21 left in the first quarter.

After forcing TC to punt, Gantt connected with Tindal for an explosive 76-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to make it a 21-7 game.

But the first of many scale-tipping plays came at the end of the next drive. Tusculum got one first down before being forced to punt. John Gregory (Ooltewah, Tenn.) blasted a 55-yard punt that Antonio Patton (Woodruff, S.C.) could not contain. He touched the ball in the field of play and it was recovered in the end zone by Hunter Adams (Middlesboro, Ky.) for a touchdown to narrow the margin to 21-14.

The Newberry offense seemed unfazed by the mishap and once again drove into the Tusculum red zone, but Blackmon's 34-yard field goal attempt missed just inches to the right to leave the score the same.

After a Pioneer three-and-out, Newberry put together another long drive, trekking 81 yards on 14 plays over the course of six and a half minutes, with Gantt's third touchdown of the evening putting Newberry ahead 28-14 with just 44 seconds until halftime.

Tusculum answered quickly though, with two Cordell passes quickly getting the Pioneers down to the Newberry 32 yard line. On fourth down, Gareth Rowlands (Wales, Great Britain) connected on a 49-yard field goal as time expired to make it 28-17 at the half.

From there, Tusculum used big plays to turn the tide in their favor. After a TC punt, Gantt was intercepted near midfield by Miles Washington (Concord, Calif.), who returned it to the Newberry 39. It only took one play for Cordell to connect with running back Marcus Foster for a 39-yard touchdown pass to cut it to 28-24.

Newberry pulled away slightly in the third quarter after McCall's fumble return into the TC red zone on a failed pitch attempt by Cordell. However, Newberry could only convert it into three points when Blackmon's 28-yarder made it a 31-24 game.

The teams traded punts as the game entered the fourth quarter, but a fake punt by the Pioneers helped tie the game as Gregory connected with Rashaad Carter (Stone Mountain, Ga.) for a 43-yard pass that put TC inside the Newberry 5. Cordell found Binder in the back of the end zone two plays later to tie the game at 31-all.

Newberry went three-and-out on the next drive, setting up TC at its own 20 after a Todd Moon (Anderson, S.C.) punt. Newberry appeared poised to hold the Pioneers on third down, but Cordell found Deonte' Gist (Wellford, S.C.) on a 56-yard completion that put the Pioneers on the Newberry 23. Newberry pushed Tusculum backwards, but Rowlands put the visitors ahead, 34-31, with a 44-yard field goal.

The scarlet and gray defense found themselves back on the field quickly, after Antonio Johnson (Olive Branch, Miss.) picked off Gantt at the TC 26 when the quarterback had to launch away a pass under heavy pressure.

Newberry once again drove the Pioneers backwards on the first two plays, but Foster busted a 40-yard rush on third-and-19 to keep the drive alive. From there, a 25-yard completion to Binder and six penalties kept the clock going and the ball in Tusculum's hands. Rowlands connected on a field goal, but the points were taken off the board on a roughing the kicker penalty. Newberry did keep Tusculum from scoring though, getting the ball back at its own 3-yardline after the six minute drive.

But it was the Pioneers' Javon Forsett (Cedar Hill, Texas) who clinched the victory for Tusculum picking off Gantt on the next play to send TC home with its first SAC victory of the season.

Cordell completed 16-of-28 passes for 240 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, while Foster was the leading rusher for Tusculum with 14 carries for 73 yards. Sam Broadwater (North Augusta, S.C.) and Jason Muehling (Calhoun, Ga.) tied for the team lead in tackles with seven apiece.

The loss marks the first time Newberry has lost consecutive games at Setzler Field since back-to-back losses to Lenoir-Rhyne and Carson-Newman to start the SAC slate in 2005.

Newberry will look to get back on the winning track next week in the annual battle for the Bishops Trophy against Lenoir-Rhyne. The Haloween matchup in Hickory will be the 75th meeting between the two Lutheran schools and will kickoff at 2 p.m. Tusculum hosts Mars Hill for a 2:30 p.m. start.