NEWBERRY – A day after receiving their 2016 South Atlantic Conference championship rings, Newberry concluded its spring practice schedule with the annual Scarlet and Gray Spring Game before a sun-splashed crowd of 1,253 spectators at Setzler Field.
The game was played in a unique, three-segment format. The first segment featured the offense, dressed in gray, beginning each series from its own 25-yard line. The second segment saw all drives start from midfield, while the offense had just 25 yards to traverse in the final period.
The day's most exciting play came during the early going, when Chance Walker broke free for a 75-yard rushing touchdown on the game's second drive. He broke through the line virtually untouched and cruised into the end zone. Walker went on to finish as the team's leading rusher with six carries for 94 yards. He added a 10-yard scamper to cap a 25-yard scoring drive early in the third segment.
Eric Rivers was the offense's most impressive quarterback. He finished 8-for-14 through the air for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Both of his scores came in the final segment, finding a wide-open Kendarius Truesdale from 25 yards out before a three-yard score Frederic Cunningham on the last snap of the afternoon.
Darius Clark finished with 44 rushing yards and a score in eight attempts, with Shemar Hinson and Greg Ruff adding 37 and 30 yards, respectively. Ruff also passed for 25 yards on 5-for-11 through the air, with Nick Jones contributing 35 yards on four completions. Brentley Allen was the team's leading recveiver, catching four passes for 54 yards. Darius Williams finished second with 29 yards on one reception.
Trey Woods and Hampton Smith led the Wolves with five tackles each, all of which were unassisted. Keiron Murphy and Joe Blue contributed four stops apiece. Troy Cunningham had two tackles for loss for eight yards. Nine different Wolves recorded a pass breakup apiece, while Tyrone Kelly and Tyler Lindsay each contributed a quarterback hurry.
Overall, Newberry's offense gained 474 yards on 89 snaps for an average of 5.3 yards per play. They Wolves were fairly balanced, gaining 262 yards and three touchdowns on 46 rushing attempts and netting 212 yards and another three scores on 19-for-43 passing. The defense was unable to come away with a turnover, but recorded a pair of quarterback hurries, nine pass breakups and a forced fumble. Newberry's defenders allowed just eight conversions on 21 third downs in the contest and limited the offense to 0-for-2 on fourth down opportunities.
The defense allowed 191 yards of total offense on six first-segment drives, 75 of which came on Walker's touchdown scamper. The scarlet-clad defense held their gray counterparts without a point on four of their five other possessions and limited the offense to 55 yards on 4-for-10 through the air when the offense began from its own 25. Their 19 rushing attempts
Newberry's offense netted 154 yards on six offensive possssions from the 50-yard line in the second segment. The Wolves managed to connect on field goals of 29 and 23 yards before Forrest Winn found Darius Williams from 29 yards out to close out the period.
The offense scored on all seven of its third-period possessions, scoring four touchdowns and hitting three field goals. The Wolves gained 129 yards on 25 plays, rushing for 69 yards on 12 carries while going 6-for-13 for 60 yards through the air.
Newberry will break for the summer before returning to the practice field in August. The 2017 season kicks off in Charleston's Johnson Hagood Stadium as the Wolves travel to face Division I opponent The Citadel on Sept. 2 at 6:00 p.m.