Newberry Edges Tusculum 38-31

NEWBERRY (NC SID) — The Newberry Wolves opened South Atlantic Conference play with a 38-31 win over the visiting Tusculum Pioneers at Setzler Field on Saturday afternoon. With the win, Newberry moves to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in SAC play, while Tusculum is now 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the league. Box Score Full Game Book [PDF] Newberry controlled the clock through a fantastic rushing attack, holding on to the ball for 40:42 and gaining 336 yards on 66 carries. That attack was paced by a pair of 100-yard rushers, as Braxton Ivery carried the ball 16 times for 108 yards and a touchdown, while Kevin Miller carried the ball 12 times for 100 yards. The game was fairly evenly contested throughout, but Newberry scord three consecutive touchdowns to pull out the win. Newberry opened the scoring on a 20-yard field goal by Ryan Janssen with 4:44 left in the first quarter, while Tusculum tied the game up at 3-3 on a 25-yard field goal by Will Tommie on the following drive. Tusculum took the lead on a 74-yard scoring pass from Luke Lancaster to Ken Funnye with 7:56 left in the first half. Newberry tied the game up at 10-10 on its next drive when Zach Blair connected with Jalen Cook for a 17-yard touchdown pass with 3:33 left in the half. The Pioneers regained the lead on a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown by Martez Thompkins, but a fantastic punt on the ensuing drive by Newberry’s Kyle Clark pinned the Pioneers deep and then gave Newberry the ball at the TC 24-yardline with 8 seconds left in the half. Ivery then connected with Romelo Doctor for a 24-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the half to send the teams to the locker rooms tied at 17-17. The Pioneers jumped right back on the horse coming out of halftime, as Lancaster and Funnye hooked up for another touchdown pass, this one going for 75 yards and giving the guests a 24-17 lead. Two drives later, Newberry had a drive start in Tusculum territory after a great punt return by Cole Watson. Five plays later, Baptiste Staggers scored from eight yards out to tie the game back up at 24-24. The teams traded punts before Newberry defensive end Alstevis Squirewell made an interception with one hand fully wrapped in a club fashion, then returned the pick 32 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Newberry led 31-24 with 6:35 remaining in the third quarter. The Wolves extended their lead to 38-24 with a great drive, controlling the clock for 6:06 and going 49 yards in 12 plays, with Ivery plunging in from 8 yards out to give Newberry a two-score lead. Tusculum did not go away quietly, trekking 92 yards in 11 plays and cutting the lead to 38-31 on a 4-yard TD pass from Lancaster to Justin Houston with 4:52 to play. Newberry picked up three first downs on its last drive and a Clark punt was downed on the Tusculum 2-yardline with 13 seconds to play. Lancaster launched two passes downfield but was unable to get anywhere near scoring territory to let the Wolves hold onto the win.

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