Wolves get ready for conference opener with Wasps

NEWBERRY – The Newberry College football team will open South Atlantic Conference play this Saturday at Setzler Field as they will host the Wasps of Emory & Henry College. The game will be set to kick off at 6:00 p.m.

The Wolves are 1-1 as they fell to the Crusaders of North Greenville University last Saturday 24-14.

The Wasps are currently 2-0 as they had a valiant second half effort against the Blues of Bluefield State winning 37-14.

The Coaches
Todd Knight enters his 15th year at the helm of the Newberry program in 2023 season, 21st season coaching at Newberry, having made his mark as one of the most successful coaches in program history. Knight signed a contract extension at the end of the 2022 season to continue leading the Wolves through the 2027 season.

His 90-62 overall record makes him the winningest coach in school history, a feat which he accomplished with his 73rd win in a 24-19 contest over Tusculum in front of the home crowd on September 25, 2021, remaining the only 40-game winner with a winning record in the 105 years of Newberry football. The 2016, 2021, and 2022 South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year has a .589 winning percentage, good for second in school history among coaches with 10 or more games at the helm.

The Wolves’ 31 wins from 2013-16, all under Knight, are the second-most wins in a four-year period in school history. Newberry’s 32 victories from 2006-09, the final six of which came during Knight’s first season as Head Coach following six seasons as Defensive Coordinator, are the current standard-bearer.

Curt Newsome is entering his 10th season year as the Head Football Coach at Emory & Henry College. A 1982 graduate of E&H, Newsome returned to his alma mater in January of 2014 with 15 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience to become the program’s 20th head coach.

In 2022, Emory & Henry joined the South Atlantic Conference as part of its NCAA Division II realignment. The Wasps, who were picked to finish 11th in the league, posted an eighth-place finish overall, and were fourth in the SAC Mountain Division. with a 5-6 (5-4 SAC) record. Eight players were selected to the All-SAC Teams with five earning all-league first-team accolades. Justin Hill was tabbed as the Division Freshman of the Year

The Series
This weekend’s matchup will mark the eighth meeting between the Wolves and Wasps. The Wolves have a 5-2 record against Emory & Henry. Newberry is 3-0 at Setzler Field against the Wasps. In last year’s matchup between the Wolves and Wasps, the Wolves won 26-23 in overtime up in Emory, Va.

Scouting The Wolves

  • The Wolves defense forced three turnovers in the 24-14 loss to the Crusaders last Saturday. Senior cornerback Kevon Gregory had his second interception in two straight games to start the season as he returned an Interception to the NGU 39, which lead to a Wolves touchdown scoring drive. Junior outside linebacker Quez Smith was named the team’s defensive player of the game. Smith had two hard hitting pass breakups along with a fumble recovery against the Crusaders.
  • Offensively the Wolves had 253 total yards in the week two loss. Sophomore quarterback Brayden Phillips went 14-26 for 161 yards and a touchdown through the air. Phillips had a 3 yard touchdown run in the second quarter off of a read option play. Sophomore running back Dwayne Wright had several tough rushing attempts finishing the game with 56 yards on the ground. Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Keith Desaussure had a few plays that sparked the offense for the Wolves. Desaussure had four receptions for 56 yards on the night

Scouting the Wasps

  • Offensively, quarterback Charles Mutter III was just 4-for-14 passing for 87 yards and one touchdown as the wet conditions hampered the Wasps’ air attack. Junior quarterback Kyle Short entered the game late, completing a pair of passes for 24 yards. Abshire was the leading receiver with three catches for 82 yards. Senior running back J’Quan Anderson had an even 100 yards on the ground while Mutter added 49 yards with his feet.
  • Defensively, Junior linebacker Kaleb Lundy  had a game-high 11 tackles and broke up a pass while junior defensive back Shawn Collins posted six stops, an interception and an additional two passes defended. Payne completed the day with a trio of interceptions and two tackles.
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