Boiling Springs, N.C. - Running back Detrez Newsome scored two touchdowns, rushing for 146 yards to go over 3,000 for his career as Western Carolina used a strong offensive effort and timely defense to down Gardner-Webb, 42-27, Saturday night at Spangler Stadium.
The Catamounts (2-1), who came in as the FCS leader in total offense, averaging 630 yards per game, finished with 435 against the Runnin' Bulldogs (1-2). Western Carolina also snapped a seven-game road losing streak, recording its first victory away from home since the season finale of 2015.
Newsome, who finished with 217 all-purpose yards in the win, posted scoring runs of 84 and seven yards, extending his school record for total touchdowns to 42 - 33 of which have come on the ground - while posting his 13th career 100-yard rushing game.
Quarterback Tyrie Adams was 14-of-23 passing for 224 yards and three touchdowns and an interception, adding 37 rushing yards. Adams spread the ball around to four different players with redshirt senior Terryon Robinson posting a game-high 102 yards receiving and a score. Classmate Steffon Hill just missed the century mark with four catches for 90 yards and a touchdown, while Connell Young also caught four passes for 30 yards, breaking a would-be tackle at the goal line for a receiving score.
With the Catamounts ahead 14-3, Tyrell Maxwell ran 34 yards in the second quarter for Gardner-Webb's first touchdown of the season, but Newsome responded on the ensuing possession with his 84-yard score to swing momentum back. WCU led 21-13 at halftime.
Adams threw touchdown passes of 39 and 9 yards in the third quarter for a 35-13 lead. Gardner-Webb got within 35-20 but Maxwell was intercepted by Marvin Tillman - his second of the year - and led to Corey Holloway's short TD run for a 42-20 bulge with under six minutes left. WCU's defense has five picks through the first three games - just one shy of its 2016 total.
Defensively for the Catamounts, safety JerMichael White paced the squad with a career-high 12 tackles including seven solo stops, adding a pass break-up, while linebacker Daniel Riddle finished with 10 tackles with one for loss coming on a sack. Defensive back Tra Hardy and linebacker Tahjai Watt both finished with six tackles including a team-high two tackles for loss as the Catamounts finished with 10 stops behind the line of scrimmage with three sacks.
Western Carolina (2-1) returns home next Saturday to open Southern Conference play as the Catamounts host preseason Player of the Year, quarterback Devlin Hodges, and the Samford Bulldogs (2-1) on Family Weekend. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 pm and will air both on the Catamount Sports Network and ESPN3.