Newberry Football Rallies To Upend Lenoir-Rhyne, 24-21, To Retain The Bishops Trophy
October 31, 2009
Bears cannot hold an 18-point lead
Sophomore Byron Darby led Lenoir-Rhyne with 106 yards rushing in a 24-21 loss to Newberry in the final regular season home game for the Bears Saturday.
Hickory, N.C. – The Newberry College Football Team (5-4, 3-3) rallied from an 18-point deficit to defeat Lenoir-Rhyne University (4-6, 1-5), 24-21, Saturday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference contest at rainy Moretz Stadium. Newberry also retained the Bishops Trophy and spoiled the Bears’ Senior Day.
Newberry fell behind by a 21-3 score late in the second quarter but scored the final 21 points of the contest to defeat Lenoir-Rhyne for the fourth straight year.
Newberry running back Gerald Legree (St. Helena Island, S.C.) led the way with 153 yards rushing on 22 carries and his 73-yard touchdown run with 12:02 left in the fourth quarter proved to be the game winner.
After spotting Newberry a 3-0 lead on the game’s first drive, Lenoir-Rhyne reeled off three straight one-yard touchdowns runs by junior half back James Pone (Wilson, N.C.), sophomore half back Jasper Thomas (High Point, N.C.) and senior quarterback Justin Sanders (Monroe, N.C.) for the 21-3 advantage with 4:06 remaining before intermission.
The Bears’ third score was set up by a forced fumble by junior safety Marcus Shuford (Newton, N.C.).
Newberry began its rally on the ensuing possession with senior quarterback Brandon Gantt (Columbia, S.C.) scoring from 11 yards out to cut the lead to 21-10 going into the break. The score was set up by Kelton Tindal’s (Sumter, S.C.) 46-yard kickoff return.
Newberry cut the lead again to 21-16 with 5:49 left in the third stanza when Gantt scored his second rushing touchdown of the day, a one-yarder, that finished off an eight-play, 62-drive.
Legree’s long game-winning touchdown run and Newberry's subsequent two-point conversion proved to be the lone points in the fourth quarter.
Gantt finished with 145 yards passing and two rushing touchdowns while Newberry’s defense limited Lenoir-Rhyne to just 48 yards of offense after the break and forced the Bears into seven straight punts.
Newberry held a 359-260 advantage in total yards and rushed for 214 yards in the game.
Lenoir-Rhyne was led by sophomore fullback Byron Darby (Gastonia, N.C.) with 106 yards rushing while the Bears finished with 247 yards on the ground despite the setback.
Ron Parker (St. Helena Island, S.C.) finished with a game-high 10 tackles and one interception for Newberry while Shuford and junior linebaker Victor Nito (Douglas, Ga.) tallied nine takedowns each in the loss for L-R.
In their final regular season games of the year, Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Salisbury, N.C., to face long-time rival Catawba on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., while Newberry returns home to take on Brevard on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m.