NEWBERRY — A crowd of over 2,000 Newberry fans gathered at Setzler Field on Saturday to witness the defense earn a 49-37 win in the annual Spring Game.
With a modified scoring system for the defense where they could earn points for three-and-outs, pass breakups, tackles for loss, sacks and forced turnovers, that side of the ball started off hot.
On the game’s first drive, Alstevis Squirewell had a tackle for a loss and Sharon Irwin broke up a pass to force a three-and-out, putting the gray team up 5-0.
With Raleigh Yeldell at the offensive controls on the next drive, the scarlet team was bogged down and settled for a 38-yard Kyle Clark field goal to cut the lead to 5-3.
For most of the first half, the defense controlled scoring opportunities, pushing the lead to 22-3 thanks to another three-and-out, tackles for loss from Jerry Sanders, Craig Steedley and Jalen Hunter with a Hunter sack forcing a three-and-out. Tyron Mikell and Laquan White also broke up passes.
W.T. Murden got the offense on the board towards the end of the first half with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Byron Dickerson, making the halftime score 25-10.
The offense fared better in the second half and got on the board first on a 4-yard touchdown carry by Braxton Ivery. An Arnez Gray pass breakup forced a three and out and Shaq Bates intercepted a pass to push the defense’s lead to 33-17.
Romelo Doctor rushed for a 35-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 33-24 before another defensive run. Corey Dover and Jaquille Oden broke up passes, Brett Borders picked up a tackle for loss and another three-and-out made it a 39-24 score.
Murden completed a 31-yard touchdown pass to Cole Watson to bring the offense within striking distance at 39-31, but the defense surged again with a Craig Steedley pass breakup, a Zach Beaty sack and a Terrell Johnson fourth down stop.
C.J. Frazier completed a 40-yard touchdown pass to hometown product Tovaris Cureton on the game’s final play to wrap up the scoring in another exciting conclusion to spring practice.