NEWBERRY — The Newberry High School Bulldogs stepped onto their home field for the first time this season on Friday, ready to play and pulled out a 28-6 win against the Woodruff Wolverines.
Being back in their home stadium, which has been undergoing renovation, was a great motivator.
Coach Phil Strickland was just as excited as his team after their first win in the reconstructed stadium.
“I thought the whole team played well, the offensive line came out after we made our halftime adjustments. We felt like we had to control the game at the line of scrimmage and we did in the second half,” Strickland said.
“It felt really good to play on our own field tonight. We practiced two weeks and we worked hard. We’re just trying to win all region,” junior Amir Abrams said.
The game was scoreless going into the second quarter until defensive end Adarien Boyd scored the Bulldogs’ first touchdown following a Wolverine fumble.
Woodruff’s Duke Ferguson pushed the ball down the field on a 40-yard kick return to put the team on the 46-yard line.
Strong safety Bradley Love intercepted the ball on the next play with four minutes left in the quarter. Woodruff’s defense kept the Bulldogs away from the end zone for the rest of the half. With 40 seconds left, the Wolverines kicked a field goal, setting the score at 7-3.
On the next possession, Newberry’s Dymitric Ray intercepted the ball with 23 seconds on the clock. The Bulldogs moved the ball down to the 30-yard line and kicked another field goal with only two seconds left in the quarter. The score was 7-6 in favor of Woodruff going into the half.
Newberry opened the second half with their first TD on the night when junior Amir Abrams hauled in a pass in the endzone.
On the Wolverines’ next possession, Newberry’s defense forced a fumble but couldn’t capitalize on the play, going four and out after the quarterback was sacked.
The Bulldogs forced another Wolverine fumble on the kick return and the ball was recovered by outside linebacker RJ Wadsworth with 6 minutes left in quarter.
Woodruff’s defense returned the favor and recovered a Bulldog fumble, taking it to the 42 yard line before being brought down by a defender with five minutes left in the third quarter. Woodruff tried to get down the field but was brought back five yards two times for holding.
Junior Bulldog Willie Young then sacked the Wolverines’ quarterback to make it fourth down. On Newberry’s next possession, quarterback Tyriq Goodman threw the ball to tight end Kaleb Rosemond for a 21-yard run down to the 14-yard line.
With 41 seconds left in the quarter, Amir Abram pushes himself through defenders to score another Bulldog touchdown, making the score 21-6 going into the last quarter.
The Bulldog defense continued to do a great job of keeping the ball out of the endzone. With seven minutes left in the game, LaMarcus Moore scored Newberry’s last touchdown on the night. The final score was 28-6.
Newberry heads to Spartanburg on Friday night to take on the Broome Centurions.
“Broome is a good football team,” Strickland said. “They’ve always been good in the past. They have a really explosive offense and we have to make sure we don’t give them big plays, We’re still making a lot of mistakes but we’re still trying hard and as long as we’re improving, I’m happy.”
JaKaylah Ravenell is a student at Newberry College.