The Newberry Wolves forced the Shorter Hawks to turn the ball over four times and Corey Washington hauled in a 30-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter as the Wolves earned a 17-14 comeback win at Setzler Field on Saturday evening.
Newberry moves to 2-0 on the season and opens South Atlantic Conference play against Catawba at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, at Setzler Field. Shorter (1-1) travels to Chowan.
Newberry quarterback W.T. Murden (West Columbia) completed 17-of-27 passes for 212 yards, with the most important of those the 30-yard grab in the endzone by Washington (North Charleston). Washington finished the game with four receptions for 113 yards and the score.
The Wolves’ other touchdown came on a 1-yard push by Ryan Williams (Gainesville, Fla.) to close out the game’s opening drive to give the hosts a 7-0 lead. Newberry’s offensive rhythm was interrupted by a first quarter lightning delay after a missed field goal. Shorter tied the game at 7-all on an eight-play, 80-yard drive capped by a 25-yard Bradley Moon touchdown carry.
A methodical Hawk drive in the second quarter would give the visitors the halftime lead. Shorter went 44 yards on 14 plays with a 10-yard Moon carry putting them up 14-7. A missed field goal at the end of the half kept the Wolves down by a touchdown, as the Hawks had the ball for 13:12 in the second quarter to Newberry’s 1:10.
Lance Richardson (Ware Shoals) grabbed an interception on the second half’s opening drive and a 53-yard Dureal Elmore (Abbeville) carry on second down set the Wolves up in the red zone. However, the Hawks bowed up and stopped a fourth down attempt just short of the goal line.
After a Shorter three-and-out, Newberry narrowed the deficit to 14-10 on a 41-yard field goal by Kyle Mackey (New Ellenton).
The teams traded punts three times to open the fourth quarter before A.J. Booker (Spartanburg) recovered a failed option pitch to set up Washington’s game-winning score on the next play.
Shorter ate up yards and clock with its option attack, converting on two fourth down attempts, but the their try at the final down resulted in a bobbled snap and failure to convert, sealing Newberry’s win.
Apollo Stretch (Columbia) once again led the Wolves on defense with 13 stops and a tackle for loss, while Jamal Bethune (Gable) tallied 11 tackles and a fumble recovery. Kelton Hall (Clinton) had 10 tackles, with nine of those as solos.
JoJo Morris (Lancaster) had another great punting game, with five kicks for a 38.2 yard average, pinning Shorter inside its own 15 on three punts.
After the Hawks averaged nearly seven yards per play in the first half, Newberry adjusted well and held Shorter to just 3.2 yards per play in the second half.