For the first time this season, Newberry High was held to a three and out on its first offensive possession Friday night at Chapin HIgh.
It turned out to be the visitors’ only punt of the evening.
Newberry High never trailed, withholding an 18-13 rally from the Eagles in the process, as the Bulldogs improved to 3-1 on the season after their 25-18 victory.
Newberry’s 145 points in their first four games this season marks the second highest scoring output in the same amount of games in school history. The 2003 team scored 153 points.
The 145 points also is the most points scored by a Phil Strickland coached team in his coaching career in their first four games of a season.
Chapin was held to its first of four three-and-outs on the night but Newberry quarterback Khalil Sheppard would throw his only interception of the evening two plays later.
A 15 yard Newberry penalty put Chapin only 40 yards from the end zone but they would be forced to punt after picking up only three yards.
Running the final 5:05 of the opening quarter off the clock, Newberry would fumble over to Chapin on the first play of the second quarter on a pitch back from Sheppard to Tyon Williams.
Chapin’s first three possessions for the evening were three-and-outs.
On the third play of their next possession, Sheppard aimed for Jalin Alexander at the Chapin 15 on a 2nd down play.
The Eagles were called for pass interference, giving the Bulldogs an automatic first down at the 27.
Four plays later, Eric Gallman scored his first touchdown of the season with a two yard run with 6:34 left until the half.
Due to construction behind one of the end zones, only one side of the stadium could be used to attempt any PAT kicks or field goals.
Having to go to the other side of the stadium, Jose Lozano’s PAT was blocked.
A holding penalty forced Chapin to punt at the 3:52 mark of the first half.
Newberry only needed two minutes to go 85 yards as the drive ended with Williams scoring from 32 yards out with 1:52 until the half.
Newberry’s two-point pass attempt was intercepted in the end zone.
Chapin marched down to the Newberry six in seven plays but a high and wide snap made the intended 33-yard field goal wide left.
Newberry, however, was penalized for roughing the kicker so Zach McCall’s 28 yard field goal split the uprights as the first half buzzer was sounding for the 12-3 Newberry halftime lead.
Chapin’s first possession of the second half saw them punting the ball but a near catastrophe occurred on Newberry’s first play seconds later.
Williams swept to his right side for three yards but a hard Chapin hit jarred the ball loose.
Jaylen Reeder recovered the fumble for Newberry.
Eight plays later, Sheppard scored from nine yards out on the keeper for the 18-3 score after the PAT snap was fumbled with 6:17 left in the third quarter.
“We have some pretty good skill people also but what he’s brought to our offense, it really makes us a pretty good offense when things are clicking,” said Newberry assistant coach Art Boozer of Sheppard.
Bound with determination to score, Chapin did just that as they only saw the 2nd down marker twice in eight plays when Robie Lopez scored from two yards out at the 2:45 mark of the third quarter.
Matt Charpia’s two-point pass attempt to Lopez was good as the scoreboard now read 18-11.
The Newberry fans were hoping that a Bulldog score would send the momentum back their way.
The Chapin fans knew that a turnover and a quick touchdown could see both teams going into the fourth quarter deadlocked at 18 points apiece.
Keeping the ball on the ground for the first five of six plays on this drive, Williams scored his second touchdown of the evening, and 33rd for his career, with a two yard run with 12 seconds left in the quarter.
Lozano’s PAT was good to end Newberry’s scoring.
After Chapin started the fourth quarter with a three and out, the Eagles were forced to punt from deep inside its own territory but Williams would fumble over to Chapin two plays later.
Having only 33 yards to go, Chapin needed three seconds shy of five minutes to score with Alex Young catching a 19 yard pass from Charpia with 4:33 left in the game.
McCall’s PAT made the score a one possession ballgame at 25-18.
With both teams having their full allotment of three timeouts apiece, Chapin attempted an onside kick.
Jared Harmon grabbed hold of the live football at his 49.
Not having any first downs in eight minutes and 40 seconds, Newberry handed off to Williams on a third -and-four from the Chapin 45 as his second effort dive moved the chains for the first down.
Five plays gave Newberry a second down at the Chapin four yard line with 1:01 left in the game.
Sheppard took two knees to give Newberry its first win at Chapin since 2008.
Newberry had 405 yards of offense, the third time they have eclipsed the 400 yard plateau this season.
Newberry won the first down battle, 17 to 12.
Williams got 207 yards on 28 carries, as he now has 1932 yards for his career.
Sheppard had 95 yards on 10 carries while T.J. Boulware garnered 51 yards on seven carries.
Gallman got 10 yards from two carries.
While Gallman and Boulware had nice evenings carrying the ball, Boozer noted that Boulware “might have had the best game he’s played blocking” while Gallman on defense, “found a way to get to the football.”
Alexander caught four passes for 30 yards while Tovaris Cureton made one nine yard reception.
Newberry will have its 74th homecoming on Friday with the hosting of Union County.
The Bulldogs have a 48-22-3 record on homecoming nights.
Before consolidation of their three county high schools, then Union High came to Newberry in 2002 ranked number one in AAA.
The Bulldogs’ 22-14 victory was the Yellow Jackets’ only setback of their 14-1 state championship run that season.
“Coach Steve Tanneyhill has brought some excitement back to Union County,” said Boozer. “It will be a big challenge to our defense and if we can run the ball like have been and continue to get better, then we’ll have a chance.”