|October 31, 2009||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|NEW||FG||09:20||B. Blackmon 23 Yd|
|LRU||TD||04:20||James Pone 1 Yd Run (Colin Corpe kick)|
|LRU||TD||10:14||Jasper Thomas 1 Yd Run (Colin Corpe kick)|
|LRU||TD||04:06||Justin Sanders 1 Yd Run (Colin Corpe kick)|
|NEW||TD||02:26||B. Gantt 11 Yd Run (B. Blackmon kick)|
|NEW||TD||05:49||B. Gantt 1 Yd Run (B. Blackmon missed kick)|
|NEW||TD||12:02||G. Legree 73 Yd Run|
|Stats at a Glance||NEW||LRU|
|3rd Down Conversions||1-12||4-13|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||1-1|
|Passing (Comp-Att)||145 (12-24)||13 (2-7)|
|Rushing (Att)||214 (38)||247 (58)|
HICKORY, N.C. - A muddy field and rainy day could not dampen the spirit of the Newberry College football team as the scarlet and gray won the Bishops Trophy for the fourth straight season with a 24-21 victory over the Lenoir-Rhyne University Bears at Moretz Stadium on Saturday.
With the win, Newberry moves to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in South Atlantic Conference play, while the Bears fall to 4-6 on the season with a 1-5 SAC record.
Gerald Legree (St. Helena Island, S.C.) led Newberry offensively with a career-high 153 yards rushing on 22 carries with a 73-yard touchdown carry in the fourth quarter. But it was the Newberry defense that sparked the win as the scarlet and gray held the Bears scoreless in the second half. Newberry scored 21 unanswered points and limited the Bears to 4 yards of total offense in the third quarter to earn the victory.
Senior quarterback Brandon Gantt (Lexington, S.C.) completed 12-of-24 passes for 145 yards, but scored two touchdowns on the ground with scoring plunges from 11 yards out and 1 yard out in the third quarter.
Defensively, Ron Parker (St. Helena Island, S.C.) and Andrew Koszela (Knoxville, Tenn.) tied for the team lead in tackles with 10 apiece. The duo also accounted for both Newberry takeaways in the game with Parker snagging his SAC-leading sixth interception of the season and Koszela recovering a fumble that snuffed out an L-R drive in Newberry territory.
Britt Blackmon (Kershaw, S.C.) opened the scoring on the first drive of the game as he capped a 12-play, 61-yard drive with a 23 yard field goal to give Newberry an early 3-0 lead. The Bears took the lead on their opening drive as James Pone's 1-yard touchdown carry ended an 11-play, 71-yard drive.
The lead was extended on L-R's first drive of the second quarter when the Bears went 48 yards in 11 plays and took a 14-3 lead after a 1-yard touchdown carry by Jasper Thomas. Newberry went three-and-out on its next drive, but Koszela's fumble recovery on the Newberry 34-yardline killed the Bears' next drive. However, Legree was stripped of the ball just two plays later and Lenoir-Rhyne took eight plays to find the end zone and Justin Sanders' 1-yard scoring carry gave the Bears the 21-3 lead.
Senior receiver Kelton Tindal (Sumter, S.C.) sparked the NC comeback on the next touch of the ball as he returned the kickoff across midfield and the Newberry drive started at the L-R 33-yardline after a personal foul penalty. Just five plays later, Gantt scrambled 11 yards to paydirt to cut the margin to 21-10, a score that would carry into the half.
At the break, Lenoir-Rhyne had 212 yards of total offense, but the hosts would only record 48 yards in the rest of the game as the Newberry ground game came to life. Newberry's first score in the second half was set up by a 29-yard carry by Alkeem Sherman (Conway, S.C.) down to the L-R 3-yardline. Gantt punched it in from one yard out tot cut the lead to 21-16 after Blackmon's PAT missed.
That score carried into the fourth quarter, but one big play gave Newberry the lead for good. After a Lenoir-Rhyne punt set Newberry up at its own 27-yardline, Legree found a gaping hole on the left side of the line and sprinted 73 yards for the touchdown. Gantt's two-point conversion pass to David Pressley (Anderson, S.C.) put Newberry up 24-21.
From there, Newberry limited Lenoir-Rhyne to 31 yards and two first downs on its final three drives. An emphatic sack by Apollo Stretch (Columbia, S.C.) on the game's final play sealed the victory and the celebrations in the mud ensued.
The ground attack netted 153 yards on 27 carries in the second half to keep the drives alive and the ball moving down the field en route to the victory.
The win is Newberry's fourth straight and is the scarlet and gray's 29th win in 75 meetings. The four-game winning streak in the series is the longest since a five-game streak from 1995 to 1999.
Newberry will close out the season at Setzler Field on Saturday, November 7 against the surprising Brevard Tornados (7-3, 3-3 SAC). Kickoff on Take A Kid to the Game Day is set for 7 p.m. Lenoir-Rhyne will travel to Catawba (4-5, 1-5 SAC).