Newberry turned Amir Abrams loose against Palmetto on Friday night, and the Mustangs couldn’t corral the junior running back.
Abrams rushed for five first-half touchdowns and 350 yards, and lifted the Bulldogs to a 45-28 victory in the third round of the Upper State playoffs at Mike Ware Field.
Newberry (10-3) hosts Chapman for the Upper State championship. Chapman knocked off Powdersville 27-22.
Abrams, who has rushed for 2,253 yards this season, had touchdowns of 1, 8, 10, 50, and 6 yards before halftime.
Tyriq Goodman threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to R.J. Wadsworth to put the Bulldogs up 42-12 going into the half.
Ethan Day hit a 35-yard field goal in the third quarter to give Newberry a 45-12 lead.
Shaw Crocker threw two fourth-quarter touchdown strikes, and made good on two 2-point conversions, but the Mustangs (10-3) were out of time.
Abrams, still in the backfield, closed out the game with a 32-yard run that led to Newberry’s victory formation.
Newberry held a 21-12 lead, and kicked off to Palmetto. Defensive back Marcus Moore intercepted a Shaw Crocker pass and returned it 30 yards to the Palmetto 46-yard line. Five plays later, Abrams rushed in his fourth TD of the game.
Amir Abrams: His 375 yards on 33 carries put him over the 2,000-rushing yard mark.
Antwuan Thurmond: The Palmetto receiver was the only highlight on the night for the Mustangs. He had seven catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns.
8: Palmetto rushing yards in the first half.
24: First downs for Newberry to Palmetto’s 14.
THEY SAID IT
“I want to thank my linemen and the way they block well for me, and the way they get after it. We do what we’ve got to do and we get after it.” – Abrams
“He’s a quality running back, but he’ll be the first to admit that the offensive line put some pretty nice holes in there. He doesn’t go down easily. He’s carried us all year.” – Newberry coach Phil Strickland
“I thought that (Marcus Moore’s interception) was big. They go down and score there and we’re in a dogfight. I felt like that was a great play. We finally put a little pressure on their quarterback. We didn’t do it too much. That kid’s good.” – Strickland
HOW THEY SCORED
N – Amir Abrams 1 run (Ethan Day kick) 8:48
P – Shaw Crocker 1 run (kick failed) 4:24
N – Abrams 8 run (Day kick) 1:21
N – Abrams 10 run (Day kick) 11:47
P – Payton Young 16 pass from Crocker (kick failed) 9:59
N – Abrams 50 run (Day kick) 6:51
N – Abrams 6 run (Day kick) 3:50
N – R.J. Wadsworth 10 pass from Tyriq Goodman (Day kick) :24
N – Day 35 field goal 4:31
P – Young 5 pass from Crocker (Daron Willford pass from Crocker) 10:32
P – Antwuan Thurmond 65 pass from Crocker (Blakely Williams pass from Crocker) 2:20
Rushing: Palmetto – Darren Willford 4-10, Shaw Crocker 8-34, Dez Frazier 1-(-4), Payton Young 2-6. Newberry – Amir Abrams 33-375, Tyriq Goodman 1-10, Jaleel Gillam 2-35, K.T. Robinson 4-16, Marcus Moore 4-22, Jamel Kibler 3-3.
Passing: Palmetto – Shaw Crocker 15-26-1. Newberry – Tyriq Goodman 4-8-0.
Receiving: Palmetto – Payton Young 5-41, Antwuan Thurmond 7-172, Daron Willford 2-20, Ben Perry 1-9. Newberry – Jaleel Gillam 2-8, Derrick Scurry 1-(-2), Kaleb Rosemond 1-36.