Turnovers, Blocked Kicks Plague Football in Loss at Newberry


NEWBERRY, SC -- Host Newberry took advantage of three blocked kicks and four turnovers to knock off 20th-ranked Catawba 33-14 in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday night at Setzler Field.  The win improves Newberry to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fall to 3-2 and 1-1.

Kamaal McIlwain (Fort Mill, SC) blocked two kicks for Newberry, made three tackles and broke up two passes, including a potential touchdown strike.  Receiver Kelton Tindal (Sumter, SC) helped key the offense catching two passes for touchdowns of 49 and 94 yards.  He also blocked a punt.

Catawba out-gained NC in first downs, passing yardage and total offense, put could never overcome the turnovers and special teams mistakes.  Jamelle Cuthbertson (Charlotte, NC/Harding HS) led Catawba with 108 rushing yards on 12 carries, while Travis Landrum (Inman, SC/Chapman HS) caught three passes for 94 yards.  Freshman linebacker Lakeem Perry (Louisburg, NC/Louisburg HS) nearly doubled his season tackles total with 17 tackles - 15 of which went down as solos.  Junior Julian Samolu (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS) recorded 10 tackles.

The game started off well for Newberry, as Will Newell (Irmo, SC) intercepted a pass on Catawba’s first play.  Catawba would hold and Howard Williamson (Greensboro, NC/Dudley HS) completed a 72-yard pass to Landrum, putting the Indians at the Newberry 26.  NC's defense forced a 32-yard field goal try by Thomas Trexler (Wilmington, NC/New Hanover HS) which was missed.

Newberry the responded with a 13-play, 80-yard drive that featured three third down conversions.  Gerald Legree (Beaufort, SC) capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown plunge, giving Newberry the 7-0 lead after the PAT.  Catawba was forced to punt on its next possession, and Trexler's punt pinned Newberry inside its own 3-yardline.  On second down from the 5, the snap went over the quarterback's head and out of the endzone for a safety, making it a 7-2 game.

NC forced another Trexler punt on its next drive, but the scarlet and gray's drive was cut short when Samolu forced a fumble, giving Catawba the ball at the Newberry 15.  It took only three plays for Cuthbertson to find the endzone and put Catawba up 8-7.  The momentum changed on the PAT as McIlwain blocked Trexler's PAT attempt and Andre Moyd (Andrews, SC) scooped up the ball and ran it back for a defensive PAT and a 9-8 lead for Newberry.

The lead was extended to 16-8, when Brandon Gantt (Lexington, SC) found Tindal for a 49-yard touchdown pass with 5:09 left before the half.  Tindal would make his mark on the game again on the next drive, blocking a punt and recovered it at the Catawba 5.  Tharry Salley (Blackville, SC) scored on the first play, giving Newberry a 23-8 lead it would take to halftime.

Newberry moved ahead 26-8 after the opening drive of the second half on a 20-yard fild goal by Britt Blackmon (Kershaw, SC).   Catawba moved down the field on its ensuing possession, but Derrell Mills (Gray Court, SC) ended the threat with an interception at the Newberry 2.  On third-and-6 for Newberry, Gantt would find Tindal for a 94-yard touchdown strike that all but iced the issue.

Catawba scored a touchdown on a 2-yard carry from Antonio Hall (Greensboro, NC/NE Guilford HS) on the first play of the fourth quarter, but Newberry would again block the PAT.  The win was sealed when Antonio Patton (Woodruff, SC) intercepted a Catawba pass on the Newberry 5 on the visitors' next drive.  From there, Newberry went on a 12-play, 66-yard drive that took seven and a half minutes off the clock and wrapped up the victory.

Gantt finished the game 5-of-11 passing for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Salley led the rushing attack with 21 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown.  Mills and Devon Smalls (Hollywood, SC) led Newberry with five tackle s apiece.  Mike Grase (Rock Hill, SC) and Stewart Good (Rock Hill, SC) each recorded sacks for Newberry

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