NEWBERRY — A top 10 regional ranking will boost the Wolves, as they look to close out the season strong and contend for a Division II playoff spot. To do that, they must take one game at a time, starting with Saturday’s game at UNC Pembroke.
The regional ranking marks Newberry’s first appearance in the rankings since Oct. 5, 2009.
Newberry Quarterback W.T. Murden is coming off a game in which he had Newberry’s highest ever completion percentage for a QB with more than 15 attempts. He completed 21-of-25 passes (84 percent), tying Josh Stepp in the 2006 game verses Carson-Newman. Murden’s passes covered 309 yards with four touchdowns, including 11 consecutive completions to close out the second half.
For the season, Murden has completed 153-of-258 passes for 1,850 yards with 17 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He is in the top 10 for a season in the Newberry record books in completions (sixth), attempts (seventh), yardage (ninth) and TDs (sixth).
Wolves wide receivers Jason Livingston and Corey Washington are the Wolves’ top receivers, each grabbing two touchdown catches in the game. Washington has 42 catches for 675 yards and seven touchdowns, while Livingston has 26 catches for 313 yards and five scores.
Washington is poised to break into the school’s top 10 in single season yardage and receptions, while his seven TDs is tied for the 10th-most in a season already.
Washington’s 42 points leads the team in scoring, but kicker Kyle Mackey is not far behind with 40 points on 5-of-7 field goals and a perfect 25-of-25 on PATs.
Newberry has an impressive 13 interceptions on the season, with Taniel Massey snagging his second pick and David Davis clinching the game with his first pick of the season last week.
Wolves Linebacker Apollo Stretch is once again having a great campaign, with 73 tackles, five tackles for loss, a sack, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Newberry’s Letavious Williams had both of Newberry’s sacks in the win over Tusculum and has a team high seven tackles from loss.
The defense will face a UNC Pembroke offense which has about a 60/40 split favoring the pass.
Newberry punter JoJo Morris is fourth in the SAC with a 40.1 yard average and 40 percent of his punts pin the opponent inside their own 20-yardline.
Both teams are 5-3 for the season.
Game time is at 2 p.m. in Prembroke, N.C. on Saturday.