Wolves Overpower Dragons For First Win Of 2017
Posted: September 17, 2017
A dominant performance on both sides of the ball and its most points scored in three years led Newberry to a 55-7 win over visiting Virginia University of Lynchburg in the 2017 home opener at Setzler Field.
The Wolves (1-2) racked up 480 yards of total offense while allowing the Dragons (0-4) just 82, the fewest by a Newberry opponent since Livingstone managed eight total yards on Sept. 4, 2010. Newberry spread the ball around to 13 different wide receivers on 25 completed passes, racking up 295 yards through the air despite only one receiver totaling more than 36 yards on the day.
Newberry also totaled 185 yards on the ground with 10 different players recording carries.
Newberry scored early and often in the contest, using a 45-yard field goal off the foot of Kevin Weber and a 12-yard touchdown reception by Baptiste Staggers from Greg Ruff, the first of two scorres for Staggers on the day, to move ahead 10-0 after 15 minutes of play.
The lead increased to 31-0 at halftime with a Markell Castle 17-yard reception, an 8-yard catch by Sean Smith, and a Bobby Irby fumble recovery in the end zone. On a second-and 10 play from the 34, Ruff threw complete to Tovaris Cureton inside the 10, but the ball was jarred free from Cureton’s grasp as he neared the 5-yard line.
Trailing the play, Irby sprinted for the end zone and recovered the ball for his first career touchdown. The Dutch Fork High School product and Irmo native finished his day with three catches for 36 yards.
Nick Jones finished his day 14-for-15 for 177 yards and two scores through the air and added eight yards on three carries. His completion percentage of 93.3 is the highest in Newberry history for a quarterback with 15 or more attempts. Ruff was 5-for-7 for 80 yards and two scores, while Sumner Cooler added 38 yards and a touchdown on 6-for-8 passing.
Newberry added three more touchdowns and another Weber field goal in the second half, all before the 13-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Austin Barnes’ first career touchdown came early in the third quarter before a 2-yard blocked punt return by Baylen English extended the lead. Staggers’ second score and Weber’s field goal completed the scoring for Newberry.
The Wolves’ defense saw 26 players record a tackle and stopped the Dragons behind the line of scrimmage eight times with three sacks. The Dragons’ only points came on a 98-yard kickoff return while the offense’s longest drive covered 17 yards. VUL never ran more than six plays in any drive and had two possessions that netted negative yardage. Other than a turnover that gave the Dragons possession into the red zone, the Dragons only advanced past their own 38-yard line on one occasion.
Newberry allowed just four first downs while racking up 27 of their own in moving to 6-3 in home openers in the Todd Knight era. The win was Newberry’s 15th in its last 17 regular season games against non-Division I competition and its sixth in a row in the regular season at Setzler Field.
A unique pregame ceremony delivered the game ball to Setzler Field. Members of the All-Veteran Parachute Team, a group of elite parachutists that all served in our nation’s armed forces, brought the game ball to the stadium from thousands of feet above the Newberry sky. The ball was the same ball used in Newberry’s conference championship-clinching win over Wingate to close out the 2016 regular season. Newberry also unveiled a 2016 SAC Champions flag in the North end zone to go with flags commemorating its 2006 and 2008 conference championships.
Newberry travels to South Atlantic Conference foe Carson-Newman for its first league game of the season next Saturday. Kickoff from Jefferson City, Tennessee is set for 1:00 pm.
Wolves Hang Tough In Loss Against The Citadel
Posted: September 3, 2017
For over 44 minutes, Newberry proved it belonged on the field with its counterparts from The Citadel, the 12th-ranked team in Division I’s Football Championship Subdivision.
But as the clock wound down inside the final minute of the third period, a 74-yard touchdown scamper by Cam Jackson—the first big gain of the day by the Bulldogs’ (1-0) patented triple-option attack—put The Citadel ahead 21-7 and the game out of reach for Newberry (0-1) in an eventual 31-14 decision.
The Wolves’ day was not without its highlights, however. A Will Elm interception at the 40-yard line was returned 31 yards to give the Wolves excellent starting field position. Newberry appeared to go three-and-out on the drive, but a pass interference penalty in the end zone gave the offense new life. Darius Clark called his own number on a direct snap two plays later, tying the game at seven with 10:30 remaining in the second.
Redshirt freshman running back Chance Walker hauled in a 26-yard fourth-quarter pass from Nick Jones in tight coverage in the back of the end zone with 4:28 to play. And the Wolves’ longest play from scrimmage came on a 42-yard catch-and-run from Jones to Markell Castle, who slipped two tackles to give the Wolves their first significant gain of the day.
“I think early on the defense really sparked us,” said head coach Todd Knight. “I thought those guys played well early on, but we sputtered offensively. If we had both come out clicking I think we could have had a little different outcome today. The offense finally found its way and the momentum almost flipped on us.”
The Wolves’ defense turned in a gritty performance, allowing two scores but forcing four punts, a turnover on downs, and an interception in The Citadel’s first eight possessions before notching 17 points over the final 15:37. Newberry’s offense came to life as the game grew longer, outgaining The Citadel 230-222 in the second half.
Castle finished with 78 yards on five receptions to lead the Wolves, the first time since October 2016 he has been held below 100 yards. Joe Blue and Jawanza Adams each finished with nine tackles to tie for the game high and each tallied one-half of a tackle for loss. Elm had seven tackles, two for loss, to go with his interception. And Jones matched his career high with 16 completions on the evening.
The Wolves averaged 5.0 yards per play against a defense that finished the 2016 season eighth in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision in total defense. The win pushed the two-time defending Southern Conference champions to 17-3 in their last 20 games, while Newberry fell to 14-4 in its last 18. The Wolves are 9-12 in their last 21 games against Division I competition.
Knight was upbeat about his team’s performance heading into next week’s matchup with Virginia Union. “This game was a measuring stick. I don’t think anyone outside our locker room thought it was going to be this close. This was a really good team we played today and they’re not ranked No. 12 in the nation for nothing. So there’s no shame in it.
“I think our kids are going to be ready for Virginia Union. They’re hungry for a victory and I have no reason to believe we won’t show up next week.”
Todd Knight Show Moves To Bar Figaro!
Posted: August 23, 2017
The Todd Knight Show will move to a new location this season, originating from Bar Figaro at the corner of Main and Nance Streets every Thursday beginning Aug. 31.
The show will begin at 7:00 p.m. each Thursday night and air live on WKDK-AM 1240, on www.wkdk.com, the free WKDK mobile app (search Google Play or iTunes) or by searching "WKDK" in the TuneIn Radio app. A video broadcast of each show will also be available on Facebook Live, accessible from the Newberry College Athletics Facebook page.
Bar Figaro will run weekly drink specials for the Newberry fans in attendance. An all-you-can-eat Lowcountry boil will be available for $12 at the Aug. 31 show.
All Newberry fans are invited to attend each Thursday evening as Coach Knight and Jimmie Coggins recap each game and preview the week ahead.
Some Scenes From Wolves Practice (08/08/17)
Photos courtesy of TeamQuest
Newberry Picked To Repeat As SAC Champs; Wolves Earn Top Spot In Preseason Poll For First Time In School History!
Posted: August 2, 4:16 PM
Newberry has been picked as the overwhelming favorite to win the 2017 South Atlantic Conference championship by a vote of the league's coaches, marking the first time in school history that Newberry has entered the season as the league favorite.
The Wolves garnered six first-place votes and received 55 points overall, with Wingate earning one first-place vote and 47 total points. Third-place Mars Hill received the final first-place vote.
"It's a great compliment to our program to be picked to win this league for the first time ever," said Knight. "We've got really great coaches in our league and it's an honor to be chosen first by such a great crowd."
Newberry's six first-place votes and five-vote cushion to the next-highest first-place vote total are both tied for the most in the league since 2005. The Wolves' 55 total points are the second-most in the league since 2010.
In 2016, Newberry became the 16th team in the league's 42-year history to win the conference championship with an undefeated record. The Wolves have won a school-record 10 SAC games overall and led the league in both scoring offense (36.3 points per game) and scoring defense (20.1 points per game).
The Wolves travel to preseason No. 2 Wingate on Oct. 28 for a rematch of last year's de facto SAC championship game. The contest will mark Newberry's first night game at Irwin Belk Stadium, which was renovated with lights prior to this season. First-year conference member Limestone was picked to tie for seventh with Lenoir-Rhyne.
2017 South Atlantic Conference Preseason Football Poll
|| 1st Place
|| Mars Hill
Mid-Carolina High School 2017 "Wall of Fame" Inductees
Posted: August 2, 7:35 AM
Erik Barber-2006 MCHS Graduate (Newberry College Football)
Jason Black-1993 MCHS Graduate (Newberry College Baseball)
Quincy Boyd- 1990 MCHS Graduate (Charleston Southern Baseball) (Signed as a Free Agent with the L.A. Dodgers and N.Y. Mets
Justin Hawkins-2014 MCHS Graduate (USC-Sumter Baseball)
Cale Homesley-2005 MCHS Graduate (Newberry College Football)
Jared Homesley-2010 MCHS Graduate (Newberry College Football)
Austin Howe-2013 MCHS Graduate (Spartanburg-Methodist College Tennis & Men’s Track & Field)
Danielle Lester-2009 MCHS Graduate (Clemson University Cheer)
Clyde Livingston III-1991 MCHS Graduate (Newberry College Baseball) Drafted 43 Round of MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies
Luke Meetze-2004 MCHS Graduate (Newberry College Football)
Kelly Morris-2006 MCHS Graduate (Newberry College Cheer)
Hu Mills-1991 MCHS Graduate (Newberry College Baseball)
Kendrelle Neal-2010 MCHS Graduate (North Greenville Univ. Track & Field)
Jon Paul-2003 MCHS Graduate (USC Aiken Baseball)
Brian Riddle-1998 MCHS Graduate (Newberry College Men’s Soccer)
Sandy Ruff-1973 MCHS Graduate (Clemson Univ. Women’s Basketball)
KeKe Wadsworth-2006 MCHS Graduate (Spartanburg Methodist College Baseball/Newberry College Baseball)