Battle for the Bishops’ Trophy set for Saturday

Newberry took the trophy back with a 52-14 win last year.

NEWBERRY — The Wolves enter Saturday’s game with Lenoir-Rhyne riding a seven-game winning streak, the second-longest winning streak and fourth-longest unbeaten streak in school history.

Newberry’s eight consecutive South Atlantic Conference wins are a school record. Both of those streaks will be on the line Saturday afternoon as Newberry seeks to retain the Bishops’ Trophy after breaking a four-year run of dominance in the series by Lenoir-Rhyne with a 52-14 win in Hickory last season.

The game will be played on Setzler Field. Kick-off is at 4 p.m.

Lenoir-Rhyne is 2-6 with a 2-2 mark in the South Atlantic Conference. Newberry enters the contest at 7-1 and a perfect 5-0 in the league.

The Bishops’ Trophy was created in 1987 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and is presented to the winner of the annual game between the two Lutheran colleges in the Carolinas, Lenoir-Rhyne and Newberry. The Bears have a 16-13 edge in the series since the trophy’s creation.

Saturday marks the 83rd all-time meeting between Newberry and Lenoir-Rhyne and 71st consecutive season with at least one matchup between the two schools.

Newberry has faced Lenoir-Rhyne more times than any school except Presbyterian, which has squared of against Newberry 95 times.

The series with Lenoir-Rhyne is Newberry’s longest current uninterrupted series, with the schools facing off every season since 1946 (including twice in 1955 with a postseason matchup in the Palmetto Shrine Bowl in Columbia), and second longest uninterrupted series in program history behind playing Presbyterian in 91 straight seasons from 1915-2006.

Newberry is ranked fifth in Super Region 2 in the first official NCAA regional rankings, which are used to select the seven playoff participants from each region at season’s end.

Newberry is ranked in this week’s AFCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25, checking into the poll at No. 23. This marks the 28th week all-time that Newberry has been nationally ranked and the team’s first appearance in the rankings since the final poll of the 2013 season.

Wide receiver Cole Watson is the reigning SAC Special Teams Player of the Week after punting, returning punts, and holding against Brevard. He needs 138 yards to move into the top 10 in school history in receiving yards.

• Newberry has outgained every opponent this season in both total and passing yardage.

• Raleigh Yeldell is third among all active Division II players and 10th across all NCAA divisions with a .656 career completion percentage.

• Yeldell ranks ninth in Division II and 33rd in all NCAA divisions in total yardage by players with at least 4,000 passing and 1,000 rushing yards (6,303 total: 4,818 pass, 1,485 rush).

• Jamarcus Henderson is 15th among all active Division II players with 1.0 solo tackles for loss per game.

• Lenoir-Rhyne has been outscored 98-6 in its last two games in defeats at Wingate (49-6) and vs. Mars Hill (49-0).

• The Bears are led by first-year head coach Mike Kellar, who was 31-12 in four seasons at California (Pa.) before taking over the Lenoir-Rhyne program.

• Saturday is the 103-year anniversary of the second recorded football game in Newberry history, a 51-0 blowout over rival Presbyterian at a neutral site in Columbia.

Newberry took the trophy back with a 52-14 win last year. took the trophy back with a 52-14 win last year.

This release was provided by Newberry College.

This release was provided by Newberry College.

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