NEWBERRY — Newberry High School’s Amir Abrams scored five touchdowns Friday night — including four on the ground — en route to the 33-7 home victory over Emerald in round two of the playoffs.
The Bulldogs (9-3) advance to the third round of the playoffs for a fifth straight year and will host Palmetto on Friday.
Newberry and Palmetto met in the first round of the 2011 playoffs with the Bulldogs winning, 41-21. If the Bulldogs win, Newberry will host the 3A upper state championship on Dec. 9.
Friday’s win makes Phil Strickland the fourth all-time winningest head coach in South Carolina high school football history with 308 victories.
Emerald’s first seven offensive possessions ended in some form of turnover.
Starting at their 30 after an Emerald punt, a 15-yard pass to Jaleel Gilliam from Tyriq Goodman was the only break in 10 straight plays in Abrams not rushing with the football.
Scoring from seven yards out on a first and goal, Abrams put Newberry ahead for the rest of the night with 66 seconds left in the first quarter at 6-0 before Ethan Day missed the PAT kick.
Newberry went on a six-play 88-yard touchdown drive and Abrams scored from three yards out. Day’s kick was good for the 13-0 score with 8:06 left in the first half.
A fourth straight punt by Emerald put Newberry at its 32. Keeping the ball on the ground all eight plays, Abrams got all but 15 yards on this drive and scored from the one for the 20-0 score with 4:10 left in the second quarter.
Gilliam intercepted an Emerald pass two plays later and his 34-yard return and a 15-yard Vikings’ penalty put Newberry only 12 yards from a potential score.
Abrams came out of the backfield three plays later for the 12-yard touchdown pass reception for the 27-0 advantage going into the locker rooms 2:21 later.
Emerald was able to march down to the 27 yard line of Newberry but Marcus Moore would intercept another Emerald pass in the end zone.
Newberry had 241 yards of total offense in the first half, with Abrams garnering 183 of them.
Emerald, meanwhile, had 54 total yards of first half offense.
Both teams traded punts to start the second half.
Attempting a 19-yard field goal on a fourth and goal from the Emerald two, Day’s kick was wide to the left with 1:37 left in the first quarter.
Emerald scored on a two-yard run with 10:34 left in the game for the 27-7 score.
Taking nearly six minutes off the clock, Abrams scored his fifth and final touchdown on the evening with a two-yard run.
A fumbled snap resulted in a failed two-point conversion for Newberry with 4:14 left in the game.
Newberry won the time of possession battle, 29:17 to 18:43.
Newberry also won the third down conversion efficiency nine-of-12 to two-of-13.
Emerald ended the night with 108 yards rushing on 32 carries while the Viking receivers caught five of 28 passes for a total of 82 yards.
Abrams rushed the ball 39 times for 243 yards, while KT Robinson netted 27 yards on four carries.
Moore carried the ball twice for 18 yards, while the Newberry rushing was rounded out by Goodman’s three carries for 12 yards.
Gilliam caught one pass for 15 yards, Abrams (1-12) and Kaleb Rosemond caught two passes for 50 yards.