Newberry coach Phil Strickland figured the call on the road was to go for two – and the win. His offense had just driven 77 yards in 4:48 to pull within a point of Fairfield Central with 3 seconds left to play.
Bulldogs quarterback Tariq Goodman beat every Griffin to the pylon after a play fake and kept his squad undefeated with the 22-21 win Friday night. It gives Fairfield (2-3) its first three-game losing streak since 2011, and gives Newberry (5-0) its best start since the same year.
“I had to believe in my coach and my line,” Goodman said. “That they were going to block for me. Just had to make a play.
“They had nobody on the outside, so I knew I had the alley to get to the pylon.”
The game-winning drive came after Newberry trailed much of the second half. The Griffins scored on the first possession and held the Bulldogs to one first down in the final two quarters until that last drive.
Amir Abrams, RB, Newberry: The Bulldogs back carried the load with 26 carries for 178 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It’s his 14th game in a row with multiple scores.
Tony Ruff, RB, Fairfield Central: The senior was a big-play threat with 106 yards and a touchdown on his 12 carries, including runs of 28 and 34 yards.
20: Total combined penalties for the teams for 152 yards, which gave the game a choppy feel.
11: Running plays on Newberry’s 17-play, game-winning drive. Seven were from Abrams.
THEY SAID IT
“We couldn’t get them stopped on that 2-point play, which I knew they were going to go for two. I would have done the same thing on the road, go ahead and end the game. Let me tell you, that’s a good football team.” – Demetrius Davis, Fairfield coach
“We work on 2-minute drill all the time. That’s what we do it for. We didn’t get too panicky and we just put our nose to the grindstone and got it down in there” – Phil Strickland, Newberry coach
HOW THEY SCORED
FC – Tony Ruff 29 run (Antolina Aguilera kick), 9:10
N – Abrams 6 run (Ulises Benitez kick), 3:15
FC – Antonio Jackson 13 run (Aguilera kick), 9:20
N – Abrams 13 run (U. Benitez kick), 2:51
FC – Rod Edmons 33 run (Aguilera kick), 9:59
N – Goodman 1 run (Goodman run), 0:03
Rushing: N: Abrams 26-178, Goodwin 9-29, Robinson 3-35, TEAM 1-(-2). Total: 39-240. FC: Edmonds 7-61, J. Jackson 8-39, Ruff 12-106, A. Jackson 7-30, Thompson 3-26. Total: 37-262.
Passing: N: Goodman 7-17-0-41. FC: A. Jackson 8-16-0-89.
Receiving: N: Epps 3-19, Gilliam 2-16, Abrams 2-6. FC: J. Jackson 2-38, J. Edmonds 2-19, Thompson 2-12, Ross 1-14, Goins 1-6.