It was apparent everything was truly going Newberry High’s way Friday night when even one of its own won the Berea High cheerleaders’ 50-50 raffle as the Bulldogs had a 51-0 victory in Greenville to improve to 2-1 on the season.
The victory was Newberry’s fourth biggest shut-out margin in school history.
Winning the coin toss for the first time this season, the Bulldogs of Newberry elected to receive the opening kickoff from the Bulldogs of Greenville county.
Making his second consecutive start, sophomore Khalil Sheppard needed less than 20 seconds to lead the visitors in for a score as Tovaris Cureton caught the 30 yard pass at the Berea 35, but the senior took it the rest of the way for the 7-0 score after the Jose Lozano PAT.
“We had been working on that play all week,” said Newberry head coach Phil Strickland. “We thought they were going to be in the coverage that they were in. Khalil had a good throw, Tovaris had a good catch and the line kept everybody out.”
With even the coaches wearing cleats due to the soggy field and sidelines, holding onto the ball seemed to wreak havoc on both teams during the night, especially when you add in Berea being thrown off on its timing with high snaps out of the shotgun formation.
Malik Glymph recovered a Berea fumble three plays later 26 yards from the Newberry end zone.
Eric Gallman carried it down to the 15 while the remaining yardage was split between two carries from Tyon Williams as he finished the drive off with a four yard run for the touchdown.
Lozano’s PAT made the score 14-0 with still 9:41 left in the first quarter.
Berea was held to a three and out but Newberry would lose a fumble two plays later.
Glymph sacked Berea for a 10 yard loss while they would soon face a 4th-and-28 after a receiver was tackled for a six yard loss.
A five yard Newberry penalty helped Berea a little but their punt only covered 17 yards.
Sheppard was intercepted one play later.
Berea, who only garnered one first down the entire opening quarter, was held to a three and out.
Only going to the air one time in their seven play drive, Williams scored his second touchdown of the night, and 29th for his career, with a 10 yard run with three seconds left on the scoreboard.
The biggest play on this drive was a five-yard facemask penalty on Berea which turned a potential 4th-and-four into a Newberry first down.
Newberry started their first possession of the second quarter at its 33.
Newberry was penalized three times in the next 10 plays as Lozano turned a 4th-and-goal from the 17 into a 33-yard field goal for the 24-0 lead with 7:14 left until the break.
Berea went on its third straight three and out with Newberry taking over just 54 yards from the end zone.
Sheppard kept the ball for an 11 yard pick up before Williams took the handoff four straight times as he got his third touchdown of the night with a 29 yard carry for the touchdown and the 31-0 lead after the Lozano PAT.
This came with 2:56 left until the halftime ceremonies where Berea had its first ever hall-of-fame induction ceremony.
Newberry had a 299-41 advantage offensively in the first half, including Williams getting 148 yards on 14 carries.
Berea’s furthest advancement in the first 24 minutes was up to its own 41 yard line.
Berea started the second half with another three and out while their offense would return to the field just 36 seconds later after Williams scored his fourth touchdown with his final carry of the night from the four yard line for the 38-0 score at the 10:06 mark before the Lozano PAT.
“He (Williams) is a good quality back. He ran extremely hard but he’ll be the first to admit that the offensive line did a heck of a job on those screwy defenses they ran against us,” said Strickland.
The short field can be credited to a 48-yard punt return by Cureton
“Tovaris is very slippery when he has that ball in his hands,” said Strickland.
Berea sent its punting unit out after its sixth three and out but they in turn attempted a fake on a 4th-and-15 from its 17.
They came up four yards short.
T.J. Boulware scored two plays later with a 25 yard run at the 7:05 mark.
Logan Ransdell converted the PAT for the 45-0 score.
Not having crossed mid-field all evening, the Berea fans got antsy with excitement when a 45-yard pass play moved them down to the Newberry 39.
Jaylen Reeder intercepted the Berea pass in the end zone two plays later as he returned it 18 yards.
Cohanskie Goodson, who came in to the next series with three career carries for 29 yards, scored Newberry’s final points of the evening when he took it 82 yards for the touchdown as the Ransdell PAT was no good with 3:39 left in the third quarter.
Newberry, who had 10 first downs for the night at this point, only made one more for the duration of the evening as their final offensive possessions of the evening saw a failure to convert a 4th down and they had their lone punt of the night with 50 seconds left in the contest.
Berea’s only other time across mid-field saw them come up a yard short on a 4th-and-eight from the Newberry 41.
“This was a total team effort, everybody got to play and I’m real proud of them,” noted Strickland of his players.
Newberry ended the night with 426 yards of offense, including garnering 350 on the ground from 35 carries.
Williams finished with 152 yards from 15 carries while Goodson accumulated 84 yards on two carries.
Sheppard carried the ball four times for 50 yards, Boulware got 39 yards on four carries while Donte Marshall got 14 yards on seven carries.
Elsewhere, Gallman got 11 yards on one carry, and Omar Sims got zero yards on two carries.
Cureton caught one pass for 65 yards while Reeder had one reception for 25.
Newberry travels to Chapin this Friday as the Eagles are also 2-1 on the season.
Chapin has won two-of-the-last three meetings, including a victory at home in 2010 over Newberry.
The last time the Eagles had two straight victories at home over the Bulldogs were the 1972 and ’89 seasons.