NEWBERRY — No. 25 Newberry College is showing a flair for the dramatic of late.
The Wolves (8-1) earned a come-from-behind 28-21 win over upset-minded Brevard in a South Atlantic Conference game Saturday at Setzler Field, one week after pulling out a 24-21 verdict over previously undefeated UNC Pembroke in the fourth quarter.
“We’ll take them any way we can get them,” Newberry coach Todd Knight said. “I think maybe we had a little bit of a hangover after last week, but we woke up in time.”
Newberry, which is No. 2 in the initial NCAA Super Region II rankings, has another key game next week at Carson-Newman.
Newberry appeared on the way to an easy win over the two-win Tornados by jumping to a 13-0 in the opening 16 minutes thanks to two touchdown passes from W.T. Murden to Corey Washington.
But Brevard’s triple-option kicked into gear in the second quarter with two sustained scoring drives that forged a 14-13 halftime lead.
The Wolves regained the lead, 20-14, on a 3-yard scoring toss from Murden to Ozzie Exume at 8:12 of the third quarter. Brevard countered with a 90-yard scoring pass from Kevin Herbst to Tydrell Wright to make the score 21-20 at 9:36 of the fourth quarter.
Newberry then answered with a nine-play, 72-yard scoring drive directed by reserve quarterback Raleigh Yeldell. The redshirt freshman from Strom Thurmond High fired a 29-yard scoring pass to Washington in the left corner of the end zone with 5:27 to play and added a two-point pitch to Washington to set the final score.
The Wolves iced it by running out the clock after an interception by Edmond Robinson at the Brevard 32 with 3:52 remaining.
“The game plan changed as the game went on, and we ended up throwing the ball all over the place,” said Washington, who finished with four catches for 125 yards and three touchdowns and one 23-yard run.
Washington, a 6-foot-4 senior from North Charleston, utilized his height advantage against 5-10 Brevard cornerback Jacob McCleery.
“He was playing me real hard over the top, so I cut underneath him, and the ball was right there,” Robinson said. “I was able to go over him on the two-pointer and (Yeldell) put it in the right place again.”
Robinson admitted that Brevard’s feisty performance came as a surprise.
“I was thinking we’d maybe put up 40 or 50 points, but those guys played their hearts out,” he said. “We never lost our confidence, stayed together and got the win.”
Newberry finished with 496 yards, but was guilty of three giveaways and a botched snap that doomed a PAT kick attempt.
Yeldell finished with 67 yards on nine carries to lead a balanced running game that produced 211 yards.
Murden was 14-for-20 passing for 256 yards and three scores.
Jason Livingston had four catches for 102 yards, including a 51-yarder on the second play of the game.