Tusculum football drops SAC home opener, 37-10 to Newberry

Tusculum football drops SAC home opener, 37-10 to Newberry

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Raleigh Yeldell passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another in leading the Newberry College football team to a 37-10 South Atlantic Conference victory over Tusculum College Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Field.
    
Yeldell went 30-for-39 for 330 yards and three scores, while also rushing 10 times for 59 yards and a touchdown as the Wolves (3-1, 1-0 SAC) racked up 502 total yards on the day.

Tusculum (0-4, 0-2 SAC) finished the contest with 234 yards, including 140 passing yards from Luke Lancaster as he went 11-of-23 through the air.  Isaac Robinson rushed for 50 yards and 10 carries, including a touchdown.

The Wolves jumped out to a 20-0 lead as Yeldell completed TD passes to Markell Castle and Keinan Lewis, and followed with a one-yard scoring run of his own to pace the visitors to the early lead.

The Pioneers answered the Yeldell run with a six-play, 80-yard drive which was capped off by a one-yard TD run by Robinson. Robinson clipped off runs of 15 and 13 yards and Lancaster completed a 50-yard strike to Chavis Williams to get to the Newberry two-yard line to set up the scoring run.  Will Tommie's kick made the score 20-7 with seven minutes left before halftime.

Newberry responded with a scoring drive of its own and got a Shea Rodgers 22-yard field goal with 51 seconds remaining to increase the Wolves' lead to 23-7 heading into the locker room.

The Tusculum defense forced three Newberry turnovers on their first three possession of the third quarter.  L'Keith Brown forced his team-leading fourth fumble of the year which was recovered by Stetson Mayes at the TC 33.  

TC would be forced to punt but on the next Newberry possession, Jay Boyd intercepted a Yeldell pass and returned the pick 33 yards to the NBY 23.  Tusculum would go three plays and out and would settle for a 41-yard field goal by Tommie to trim the deficit to 23-10 at the 6:40 mark of the quarter.

The Pioneers attempted an on-side kick on the ensuing kickoff but the Wolves were able to recover. But two plays later Jaylynn Kesterson forced a Yeldell to fumble and was recovered by TC's Jitu Booker at the TC 42.  

But the Pioneers could not capitalize as Newberry ended the quarter with an 11-play, 87-yard drive as Yeldell completed a 12-yard TD to Braxton Ivery and Rondreas Truesdale recovered a Newberry fumble in the end zone for the Wolves final score of the day with 5:55 left in the game.

Brown led the Pioneers defensively with 10 tackles, including three for loss to go along with his forced fumble.  Brandyn Bartlett finished with nine tackles, while Quadre Allen posted seven tackles, including five solo stops.

Newberry's Jaquille Oden led the Wolves with eight tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks.

Tusculum will be back in action next Saturday when the Pioneers host Brevard College for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff at Pioneer Field.