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Rebels Run Ends to Newberry 51-28

By: Tim Crane
web posted November 21, 2015
SPORTS-- An outstanding season for the Strom Thurmond Rebels (10-2) and Head Coach Antwaun Hillary came to an end Friday night in Johnston as the Rebels fell to the defending AA Upperstate Champs Newberry (10-2) by a score of 51-28. 

Newberry jumped on the board first with a nine yard Yafari Werts touchdown run at the 3:07 mark of the 1st quarter, but a failed conversion kept the score 6-0. 

Rebel Rashad Bryant returned the ensuing kickoff 44 yards to the Newberry 41 yard line.  Three plays later Tyrece Nick hit Deandre Ryan on a screen which Ryan took 29 yards for a touchdown.  Lawson Reel’s point after put the Rebels up 7-6 with 1:47 remaining in the 1st quarter.

Sanchez Singleton put Strom Thurmond up 14-6 with a three yard touchdown run, capping an 11 play 83 yard drive with 7:45 to go before half.

But Newberry came right back on a 16 yard Amir Abrams touchdown run and converted a two point conversion with Yafari Werts connecting with Zy Towns to knot the score at 14 with 5:12 before half.

Newberry stuffed the Rebel offense on three plays with relentless pressure on Tyrece Nick.  The Bulldogs then drove 66 yards for the go ahead touchdown. Amir Abrams went in from two yards out for the score, the point after was no good and Newberry led 20-14 at half.

The Rebels received the ball to start the second half but could not manage to move the chains.  Newberry’s offense led by Shrine Bowler Yafari Werts exploded for 21 points in the third quarter, proving to be too much to overcome for the Rebels.  Werts had runs of 56 and 57 yards plus a 53 yard touchdown pass put the Bulldogs up 41-14 by the end of the third. 

Jalen Simpkins’ two yard run cut the lead 41-21 to open the final quarter for the Rebels, but Newberry tacked on ten more fourth quarter points before Tyrece Nick hit Rashad Bryant on a 61 yard touchdown strike to cap the scoring.

“In the first half we gave them all we could give them.  If you give up 51 points in a playoff game, you can’t expect to win.  No way were we going to beat them 52-51 in a shootout, we just couldn’t stop that quarterback (Werts).  He was real good, a difference maker.   If you can’t get off the field against these guys it will be a long night.  That was the difference in the game.

My hat goes off to all our seniors on a great season.  We never gave up and fought to the end.  It was a hard fought game.  Those seniors turned things around and did everything we asked them to do since we went 7-5 last year. 

My hat also goes off to Coach Strickland, I wish them the best and hope they go on to win it all” stated Coach Hillary. 

Strom Thurmond ends the season as the Region II Champ with a record of 10-2.  Newberry moves on to face Fairfield Central for the upperstate title, for a second consecutive season.

Recap by quarter:
           1st  2nd  3rd  4th  Final     penalty yards    first downs     total offensive yards
   NB     6   14    21   10     51             7-60                19                       553
   ST     7     7     0    14     28             5-40                 13                       345

Individuals for Strom Thurmond
Tyrece Nick 17-18-162 yards, 2 touchdowns

Tyrece Nick 16 -72 yards
Chad Gilchrist 12-79 yards
Sanchez Singleton 4-29 yards, 1 touchdown
Jalen Simpkins 1-3 yards, 1 touchdown

Tyrek Williams 1-27 yards
Rashad Bryant 4-65 yards, 1 touchdown
Deandre Ryans 7-61 yards, 1 touchdown
Tannor Byrd 2-11 yards
Chad Gilchrist 3- (-2) yards

Lawson Reel 4-4 P.A.T’s, 1 field goal 26 yards, 3 punts 123 yards

Deandre Ryan 2-67 yards
Malik Nicholson 1-10 yards
Tay Merriweather 1-11 yards
Rashad Bryant 1-44 yards
Chad Gilchrist 1-7 yards

Congratulations to the Rebel football team and coaching staff on an outstanding season. 

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