GAFFNEY — Newberry’s best defensive effort in six years coupled with its fourth 500-yard offensive performance of the season gave the Wolves their ninth consecutive victory with a 49-7 triumph at Limestone.
The Wolves (9-1) suffocated Limestone’s (5-5) offense, allowing 124 total yards without giving up a single drive of over 28 yards on the Saints’ 14 possessions. Limestone was limited to 12-for-28 passing, giving Newberry’s last three opponents 26 completions on 61 attempts, and converted just one of their 14 third down opportunities.
The 124 yards allowed were the least given up by a Newberry team since limiting Livingstone to eight total yards in a 55-0 win on Sept. 4, 2010. Limestone’s lone score came after a muffed punt gave the Saints the ball inside the Newberry red zone late in the first half.
The Newberry defense shut out Limestone after the intermission and has now allowed a total of 24 second-half points over the last seven games combined. Newberry has given up just 856 yards over its last four games, an average of 214 per contest.
Limestone finished with 97 yards through the air and another 27 on the ground. The Saints entered the locker room with -29 first-half rushing yards and took until 10 minutes remained in the contest to net more than a single yard on the ground.
Only three Wolves recorded more than three tackles on the day in a balanced effort. Darryl Foster led the team with eight stops, five of them solo efforts, while Joe Blue contributed a sack among his six tackles. Jimmy Holmes had 2.5 sacks for 13 lost yards to aid the defensive line’s dominant evening.
Newberry tallied eight tackles for loss, five of them sacks, with eight players recording at least 0.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Newberry has now netted 39 tackles for loss in its last four games.
Offensively, Newberry showed its balance by racking up 258 rushing yards and 257 through the air, marking the first time this season that the Newberry ground game has outgained its aerial attack. Eight Wolves recorded a carry and nine caught a pass in the 515-yard effort.
Raleigh Yeldell completed 21 of 30 passing attempts for 253 yards and three touchdowns. Over half of his yardage went to Markell Castle, who recorded the 100th 100-yard receiving game in Newberry history with a 127-yard effort on just four catches.
The highlight for the York native came on a 63-yard catch-and-run to set up a touchdown late in the third quarter. He also netted a touchdown of his own, scoring from 49 yards out on the first play following a short Limestone punt to open the floodgates in the third period.
Cole Watson netted 53 yards on five catches, moving to within 19 yards of cracking the top 10 in receiving yardage in school history. Keinan Lewis caught a 12-yard touchdown among his three catches; Braxton Ivery recorded the Wolves’ other receiving score with a 7-yard reception in the corner of the end zone late in the first quarter.
Four Wolves netted one touchdown apiece on the ground. Trey Gregg’s 13-yard score in the fourth quarter capped Newberry’s longest drive of the day, an 83-yard march in 12 plays as part of the Wolves’ 28-point second-half outburst. The junior Irmo native led Newberry in rushing for the first time this season with 82 yards on 13 carries to average 6.3 yards per rush.
Romelo Doctor added a score from 11 yards out for his 26th career rushing touchdown, tying him for fifth in school history with George Taylor (1965-68) and Pete Bember (1983-86). He finished second on the team with 70 rushing yards to surpass 2,600 for his career.
But the day’s biggest offensive headlines belonged to Yeldell, who now stands alone as Newberry’s single-season leader in total offense. He surpassed Josh Stepp’s previous high, set in 2004, early in the second quarter, finishing with 272 yards of total offense and four total touchdowns.
Yeldell now has 3,418 yards of total offense in 2016, the eighth-highest single-season total in South Atlantic Conference history. He also became the third Newberry player with 7,000 yards of offense in a career. His 7,026 yards leaves him 130 shy of passing W.T. Murden (2011-14) for second in school history.
Yeldell’s 47 career passing touchdowns place him in a tie for third all-time at Newberry, while his 27 scoring tosses this season are one behind Josh Stepp’s 2006 season.
The Wolves can match the school record for wins, currently 10 in a row by the 2006 SAC champion Newberry Indians team, with a win over Wingate next Saturday. Newberry could become the 16th team in SAC history to finish the season undefeated in league play and clinch a home game in the NCAA Division II Football Championship with a win before a national television audience on the American Sports Network.
This release was provided by Newberry College.