NEWBERRY — In the summer of 1982, a few dozen future Newberry High School freshmen gathered together from the hallowed halls of Newberry Junior High, Newberry Academy, Silverstreet and Bush River schools to become that year’s ninth grade football team.
As a member of that actual team, I remember how proud we were of ourselves as we opened the season with a 32-22 win at Laurens, the first of eight wins in that t10-game season.
We were told at the time but of course didn’t realize it then just how significant of honor we had bestowed upon ourselves until long after we had graduated as Bulldogs.
Some members of that team had sons that came out about 30 years later to be a part of the 2012 junior varsity Bulldogs.
Thursday evening, they knew that the only things separating them from an undefeated ten-win season were forty minutes and a very determined Mid-Carolina High junior varsity team to be a blemish on this accolade.
The Newberry team got a quick realization of this when the opening kickoff from the Rebels traveled 19 yards, as the onside kick was recovered by Mid-Carolina’s Andrew Waters.
Keeping the ball on the ground five straight plays, two straight offside penalties by Newberry gave Mid-Carolina a first-and-goal from the one.
Tra Greene scored on a five-yard run and then converted the two-point play for the 8-0 lead just under three minutes into the game.
Newberry marched 50 yards in four plays with Josh Davis scoring from five yards out before Logan Ransdell cut the Mid-Carolina lead to a lone point after his PAT.
On the second play of the second quarter, Xizabian Sims-Boyd stopped C.J. Wicker on a fourth-and-three just six yards from the end zone.
After a trade of punts, Yafari Werts scored on the keeper from the seven for the touchdown before Ransdell increased the Newberry lead to 14-8 with 1:49 left in the half.
The Rebels took the lead right back with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Chris Lindler to Greene and Corbin Clark’s successful two-point play, sent Mid-Carolina into the locker rooms with the 16-14 lead 51.1 seconds later.
Newberry’s failure to convert a fourth down in the third quarter was preceded by Hunter Hawkins recovering a Mid-Carolina fumble in their first possession of the second half.
Five plays into the fourth quarter, Newberry would have the ball 18 yards from the end zone.
Ryshun Gallman scored from here for the Newberry 20-16 advantage after the failed two-point pass play.
Having the ball and the lead with 5:37 left in the game, Newberry had possession at their 33 but a lateral pass fell incomplete, with the still live ball being picked up by Lindler and returned for the touchdown for their 22-20 advantage with 4:34 left in the final stanza.
Greene was sacked on the two-point conversion.
Zy Towns returned the kick-off 30 yards to Mid-Carolina’s 46.
With 3:27 left on the clock and the Bulldogs facing a fourth-and-four from the Mid-Carolina 40, Werts scrambled seven yards for the first down.
Three plays later, Newberry had a third-and-three from the five as the antsy Bulldog fans were wondering if Ransdell would be sent out in the waning seconds to attempt the winning field goal.
K.J. Fields had other plans as he pushed his way down to the one before Chris Wadsworth scored one play later at 58.7 seconds.
The two-point pass play was successful from Werts to Busby in the left corner of the end zone.
Ransdell’s kick-off landed out of bounds but the Rebels opted for the re-kick instead of taking the ball at the 35.
The Rebels took the next kick-off at their 34 as the return and one rushing play took over 30 seconds off the clock.
Zycorrian Dewalt made an interception one play later with 25.7 seconds left in the game.
Newberry took a delay of game penalty before an untimed down knee by Werts gave the Newberry players an evening to enjoy, although it might be a number of years to realize what they actually accomplished as a team on October 25, 2012.
The Newberry High tenth grade team of 2000 went undefeated and unscored upon while the 1984 tenth grade team also ended their season at 10-0.
In the junior varsity games prior to the Jayvee game, seventh grader Isaiah Johnson scored four touchdowns as his Mid-Carolina Middle School team defeated the Newberry 7th graders 26-14.
Meanwhile in the eighth grade game, the Rebels also won that one, 20-18, as a 65-yard run by Jevon Boyd put Mid-Carolina ahead 20-12 with 6:52 left in the game.
Robert Houston scored from 34 yards out with 3:55 left in the fourth quarter but the potential tying two-point play was no good.