The Dolphins went on the road to South Carolina and narrowly escaped with a 17-14 win over the Newberry Wolves.
The Dolphins and Wolves combined for 601 total yards of offense, but it was the defense that helped propel the Dolphins to the victory. The Dolphins’ defense was able to force the Wolves’ junior quarterback, Zach Blair and junior wide receiver Braxton Ivery to throw two and three interceptions respectively.
They also came up with a key fourth down stop with only 2:03 to play in the contest. The stop prevented the Wolves from scoring the go ahead score and the Dolphins recorded their second consecutive win. With the win, the Dolphins are 2-0 for the first time since the 2001 season.
“It was a fabulous job by the defense,” said Kerwin Bell , head coach. “We didn’t have the same juice today as we had last week for some reason.”
The juice that Bell spoke of is in reference to the Dolphins’ win the week prior against Delaware. Labeled by many as the biggest win in program history, the Dolphins used a strong performance from the special teams unit to walk away with a win in the season opener.
The special teams unit came up big again against Newberry, but instead of redshirt sophomore kicker Brandon Behr kicking field goals, it was junior punter Ryan Giaratano pinning the Wolves deep in their own territory.
Even though senior quarterback Kade Bell was able to throw for 296 yards on 20 completions, the offense wasn’t able to convert first downs and the Dolphins relied on Giaratano to force the Wolves into poor field position. He did not disappoint and his strong performance helped the Dolphins prevail.
“Our special teams were big time,” Kerwin Bell said. “Special teams coach Kerry Webb does a great job. Giaratano did a great job.”
The Dolphins have this week off to nurse any injuries and will return to action on the road on Sept. 26 against Marist.