JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. - This is the seventh in an 11-part series breaking down each of Carson-Newman football's opponents for the 2016 season. This feature breaks down the Newberry Wolves and another challenging trip to Setzler Field.
Known for the graveyard that sits ominously beyond the north end zone, Setzler Field and Newberry's Wolves have been a house of horrors for the Eagles over the last decade.
The Eagles are but 1-4 when travelling to Newberry since dropping a 32-18 decision to the Wolves in 2006. The last two trips to the Palmetto State in particular have been less than stellar for the Eagles. C-N lost 47-22 in 2012 and 46-21 in 2014 in games that got out of hand in a hurry.
On the flip side, Burke-Tarr has been just as frightful a place for the Wolves to come over that same time period. Newberry is 1-5 since 2004 when making the trip to Burke-Tarr Stadium.
However, it will be the Eagles who have to contend with the resent curse for the road team in the series. Aside from the venue, C-N will have to deal with a multi-faceted Newberry offense led by the elusive Raleigh Yeldell. The all-conference-caliber quarterback was banged up for much of 2015, but still managed to put together a 400-yard rushing season to go along with six touchdowns on the ground. Through the air, he completed 62 percent of his passes to lead the league. Yeldell averaged 167.1 yards per game and hurled 13 touchdowns.
There's plenty of speed behind Yeldell too with the return of 1,200-yard rusher Romelo Doctor. However, pass protection for the Wolves could be an issue. Newberry only counts senior guard Bobby McNeil among the returners on the offensive line.
If Yeldell has time to throw, the Wolves have a pair of capable wide receivers returning in Braxton Ivery (who also saw time under center when Yeldell was injured) and Cole Watson.
While the offense loses six starters, the defense loses eight from a unit that gave up 18.4 points per game last year, one of the top figures in 2015 in the score-happy SAC.
Of particular concern, is the departure of the majority of a ferocious front. Alstevis Squirewell, Jalen Hunter and Brett Borders all graduate from the front four with only junior defensive end Josh Parker returning from that position group.
The Wolves will also have to contend with the loss of Taylor McDonnell at linebacker, the Wolves leading tackler who also got a tryout invitation from the New York Jets after hanging up the Scarlet and Grey. The Wolves lose all three members of their secondary as well.
The Better Know the Opponent series continues July 30 with Wingate.