Overtime heroics push Newberry past Emory & Henry
EMORY, Va. – Needing to push the game into a second overtime period, the nationally ninth-ranked Newberry College (3-0, 1-0 SAC) football team was able to take home the hard-fought 26-23 win over Emory & Henry in their first South Atlantic Conference contest of the season.
Redshirt-sophomore Mario Anderson (Summerville, S.C.) scampered for 101 yards on the day on 16 carries, including the game winning touchdown in the second overtime. Graduate student Dre Harris (Greenville, S.C.) picked up 52 yards on the ground while accounting for 182 through the air and a touchdown. That touchdown was to graduate student Deshun Kitchings (Aiken, S.C.) who only accounted for two receptions on that afternoon for 77-yards.
Junior Luke Taylor (Summerville, S.C.) led the Wolves defensively with eight total tackles on the afternoon including one sack in overtime for a six-yard loss. Senior Devante Gambrell (Anderson, S.C.) notched seven tackles in the contest and recorded a sack for nine yards. Junior Carson Smith (Abbeville, S.C.) was able to force a fumble while redshirt-junior Melvin Lundy (Sumter, S.C.) led the defensive backfield with a pair of pass breakups.
The Wolves waited no time getting on the board as after a near first-down gaining rush by Anderson, Harris found Kitchings in one-on-one coverage down the left sideline and hit him in stride for a 62-yard strike to give the Wolves the 7-0 lead just 38 seconds into the contest. The two teams would trade three-and-outs before Emory & Henry was able to methodically drive down the field to pull even with the Wolves at seven.
Newberry would put three more points on the board on their next drive as redshirt-senior Lawson Reel (Johnston, S.C.) was able to hit from 23-yards out and give the Wolves the 10-7 lead. Reel would be called upon for the first score of the second quarter for Newberry as well as in their second drive of the he would knock a 25-yard attempt through the uprights and extend their lead to 13-7. The Wasps would convert on their field goal attempt on the next drive to pull the score to 13-10, a margin that would hold to the halftime break.
The Wolves would force the Wasps to turn over the ball on downs on their first drive of the second half as a sack on fourth down by redshirt-senior Craig Barksdale (Easley, S.C.) gave the Wolves the ball on their own 36. A deep pass from Harris to graduate student Bryson Woodruff (Roebuck, S.C.) for 49-yards set the Wolves power formation up on the one-yard line where Harris would punch in it in and extend the Newberry advantage to 20-10.
The Wasps responded again with a touchdown of their own on their next drive and would kick the fourth quarter off with a field goal conversion to level the game at 20. The two teams traded scoreless drives before the Wolves would set themselves up in prime position to win the game with the ball and just over two minutes left in the contest. However, a forced turnover in the red zone brought that drive to a halt and forced the overtime period.
Both sides set-up for field goals in the opening overtime period with the Wasps having the opportunity to win the contest, however both sides missed their conversions and they moved into a second overtime period. This time a three-and-out for the Wasps would set-up a 40-yard field goal attempt that they would knock through the uprights to take the 23-20 lead. Newberry however would only need to run three plays in the second overtime period, all three rushes by Anderson that was capped off by an 11-yard touchdown run up the middle to secure the 26-23 win.
Newberry returns home next weekend after their two-week road trip as they welcome in the Flying Fleet of Erskine College to Setzler Field for a 6:00 p.m. kick.