NEWBERRY — Newberry College is looking to go 5-0 as the football travels to Mars Hill, N.C. for a 1 p.m. game on Saturday.
For the fifth straight week, the Wolves face a team which is undefeated. While Mars Hill has two losses, they are both to Division I-FCS programs, which do not count against the Lions in the race for the NCAA Division II playoffs. Mars Hill is 2-0 against Division II with wins against Brevard and North Greenville.
Newberry is 4-0 for the year and 2-0 in the conference.
The Lions have won four straight games against Newberry, all of which featured 2011 Harlon Hill winner Jonas Randolph. Randolph has been replaced by Shaikel Davis, who is the SAC’s leading rusher. Newberry can expect a large dose of Davis, as MHC has averaged 49 carries per game in its winning streak.
Newberry quarterback W.T. Murden is the conference leader in passing efficiency and has completed 66-of-107 passes for 859 yards with 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions, which marks the best TD/INT ratio in the league. He leads the league with 272.5 passing yards per game in conference play.
Murden’s primary targets are Corey Washington and Jason Livingston. Washington is third in the conference with 76 yards per game and tied for the league lead with four receiving touchdowns. Livingston sat out against Carson-Newman and plans on being back for Mars Hill. He is eighth in the conference at 51 yards per game and tied for second with three receiving touchdowns.
The Wolves had four players carry the ball for over 70 yards each as Newberry ran rampant over Carson-Newman for 565 yards of offense. Two of those players rank in the top 10 in the conference led by Dureal Elmore, who has an average of 63.0 yards per game and 6.8 per carry. John Gadson is ranked 10th in the league with an average of 46.5 yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry.
On special teams, Kyle Mackey is ranked second in the league in scoring for kickers with 20 points on 2-of-4 field goal kicking and a perfect 14-of-14 on PATs.
JoJo Morris is still ranked second in the league with an average of 40.4 yards per punt.
The defense is led by Apollo Stretch who is tied for third in the conference with 39 total tackles and is third in the conference with five tackles for loss.
Brian Spencer is second in the league with three interceptions. The Wolves’ 7 INTs and 13 turnovers forced are the second-best team totals in the conference.
Daniel Foster and B.J. Mazyck led Newberry against C-N with nine tackles apiece.
The Lion’s Shaikel Davis was named the SAC Player of the Week for his performance against North Greenville rushing for 190 yards and two touchdowns. He leads the conference with 120.8 rushing yards per game.
Mars Hill’s Dimitri Holmes was the SAC Freshman of the Year in 2011 and is tied with Newberry’s Corey Washington for the conference lead in receiving touchdowns with four.
The Lions have three of the top four sack men in the league in Troy Harris (5), Mam Nyang (4) and Sammy Siasia (2.5).
These three will face a tall task in matching up against the Wolves’ O-Line.