WINGATE, N.C. — The Newberry Wolves rolled to a 26-0 shutout victory over the Wingate Bulldogs at Irwin Belk Stadium on Saturday afternoon, putting an emphatic stamp on the regular season.
The Wolves finish up the regular season with a 7-4 overall mark and 4-3 South Atlantic Conference record. With a 7-3 Division II record, the Wolves should find themselves in contention for an NCAA Division II Playoff bid, with the selection show at 5 p.m. Sunday on NCAA.com.
Newberry picked up its first shutout since 2013 with the whitewashing of the Bulldogs. The Wolves’ last shutout was a 27-0 win at Catawba. It was Newberry’s first shutout of Wingate in 26 meetings.
Head coach Todd Knight became the first Newberry head coach to have 40 wins as well as a winning record at the school.
The Wolves’ defense limited Wingate to 161 yards of offense, most of which came in the fourth quarter.
Newberry had 426 yards of offense on 72 plays for an average of 5.9 yards per play.
Running back Romelo Doctor had 147 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. He ends the regular season with 1,176 yards, which currently ranks him fourth in the Newberry record books for single season rushing yards.
Quarterback Raleigh Yeldell completed 19-of-28 passes for 212 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed the ball 12 times for 61 yards and two touchdowns.
Yeldell’s passes found seven different receivers, led by four catches for 73 yards by Cole Watson.
Senior punter Kyle Clark had five punts for an average of 39.8 yards with a long of 53.
Taylor McDonnell led the Wolves with nine tackles, including two sacks (one of which resulted in a safety), three tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
Newberry had three sacks in the game and 10.5 tackles for loss.
Wingate did not get inside the Newberry 30-yardline at any point in the game.
Newberry didn’t put the ball in the air on the opening scoring drive, with heavy doses of the running game putting the first points on the board. Yeldell’s 1-yard quarterback sneak around left end with 9:40 left in the first quarter put the Wolves up 7-0.
The next Wolves drive bogged down in the red zone due to a holding penalty, but the scarlet and gray were still able to put points on the board thanks to a 29-yard Ryan Janssen field goal. The boot pushed the lead to 10-0 with 4:03 left in the opening period.
McDonnell made his presence known on the ensuing Wingate drive, forcing a fumble that put the Bulldogs at their own 3-yardline, then sacking quarterback Ja’Shawn Joyner in the endzone for a safety, pushing the advantage to 12-0 with 2:00 left in the opening stanza.
That play resulted in Wingate being limited to minus-7 yards in the first quarter and excellent field position. Newberry charged down the field into the second quarter but couldn’t punch it in, and a short field goal attempt was pushed right.
The Wolves were inside the red zone twice in the second quarter, but two fumbles left the halftime score at 12-0. Newberry held a 244-57 yardage advantage at the break and the defense limited Wingate to 26 first half plays.
The teams traded fruitless drives coming out of the halftime break, but the Wolves managed a four-play, 58-yard drive capped by a Yeldell 4-yard keeper for his second touchdown. The touchdown was set up by a 38-yard Doctor carry which pushed him over 100 yards for the seventh time this season.
Newberry extended the lead to 26-0 just over a minute into the fourth quarter on a Doctor touchdown from four yards out around left end.
This release was provided by Newberry College.