ROCK HILL – Newberry's entire defense has been named the AstroTurf SAC Defensive Player of the Week after a shutout victory over Mars Hill that defies explanation.
Newberry limited Mars Hill to 8-for-25 passing with six interceptions despite the Lions entering the game averaging 329.6 yards per game through the air, the sixth-highest total in Division II. The six interceptions tied an all-time South Atlantic Conference record that was last accomplished in 1993 and are tied with Appalachian State (Division I FBS) and Trine (Division III) for the most interceptions in a single game in 2017 at any level of NCAA football.
Mars Hill's team passer rating of 5.2 is the lowest on record for any Newberry opponent in school history. The Wolves had six different players with one interception apiece and terminated all five Mars Hill drives in the second half with interceptions.
The Wolves also ended their day with three sacks, including a pair by Jamarcus Henderson, and seven total tackles for loss. Henderson forced a fumble and recorded one of Newberry's five quarterback hurries on the day. Newberry also was credited with a pass breakup and had 126 interception return yards.
Mars Hill finished the day 2-for-9 on third downs and 0-for-3 on fourth down and averaged just 3.1 yards per play while being outgained 385-187 by a team that rotated seven quarterbacks and did not complete a pass on the day.
The defense is joined by Tusculum junior quarterback Alex Ogle and Lenoir-Rhyne freshman kick returner Xzavion Huff as SAC Players of the Week. Newberry's defense is believed to be the first unit or position grouping to win a SAC weekly award since the 2012.