Newberry’s historic season closes with 13-10 loss to Bowie State
BOWIE, Md. (Newberry) –After upsetting the defending national champions in the opening round of the NCAA Division II playoffs last week, the Newberry College (10-3) football team found themselves on the unfavorable side of a defensive struggle with the Bowie State University Bulldogs (12-1) as they dropped the 13-10 decision on the road on Saturday, November 27.
The Wolves were held to just 214 yards of offense on the afternoon but also held the Bulldogs to just 264 yards. Impressively, the Bulldogs rushed for only 20 yards in the contest compared to 130 on the ground for the Wolves, but Bowie State took the advantage in the aerial attack, outgaining the Wolves 244-84.
Mario Anderson led the rushing attack for the Scarlet and Gray as he rattled off 19 rushes for 79 yards. ZeBrandon Gant was also impressive on the afternoon accounting for 35 yards on 11 carries. Bryson Woodruff, Bobby Irby and Deshun Kitchings each hauled in three catches on the afternoon to lead the receiving core but would not find the back of the endzone.
The defensive was led by AJ Valentine who recorded seven tackles on the day including 1.5 TFL’s for a loss of eight yards. Chase Rogers recorded one of four sacks for the Wolves on the afternoon, which would be a strip sack giving the Wolves fantastic field positioning that led to their first score.
The first half was full of defense stops for both sides as after the Wolves took the opening drive all the way down to the Bulldogs 26-yard line that would start a string of nine straight possession between the two teams in the remaining time in the first half that would all end in punts.
Newberry strung together the three longest drives of the opening half of action as they had drives of seven, eight and 12 plays but weren’t able to put points up on the board and would be shutout in the first half for the first time this season. On the flipside, they held Bowie State scoreless as well, the third time they have done that to an opponent this year.
Both teams opened the second half of action with three-and-outs before the bulldogs would get the ball back on their own 25. After having to bring their back-up quarterback in, the Wolves would turn the tide quickly in their favor as Chase Rogers was able to chase down that back-up to the 17 and strip the ball to give Newberry the first red zone look for either team in the contest.
Five plays later, Anderson took a pitch from Dre Harris around the right edge and put the first points on the board, giving the Wolves the 7-0 edge. Momentum looked to be solidly in the Newberry camp over the next Bulldog drive, forcing another three-and-out, but a short drive for the Wolves would be flipped by a bomb from the Bulldogs, who were able to score on a 68-yard toss and pull the score back level at seven.
That mark would carry late into the fourth quarter where the Wolves were able to take the lead with just under three minutes to play as Ray Cotton hit a season-long 48-yard field goal after a seven-play drive moved them in range to give Newberry the 10-7 advantage.
That advantage was short lived however as they Bulldogs used a 52-yard strike along the sidelines to set-up a red zone opportunity, and eventually a score to put them up 13-10. Bowie State would live up to their turnover causing prone ways as they were able to stop the Wolves on their final drive of the season by forcing a fumble and taking over in victory formation the rest of the way.
Newberry ends the season with a 10-3 record, making only their second ever appearance in a second-round game in the NCAA tournament.