Football

Football clinches SAC title

   SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba, ranked #10 in the AFCA Coaches Poll, ensured a share of the South Atlantic Conference Football Championship with a 28-21 win over 25th-ranked Mars Hill on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium.  The win improves the Indians to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in the SAC, while Mars Hill falls to 7-3 and 4-2.  The win extends Catawba’s regular-season home win streak to 17 games.Catawba struck early on the Lions as freshman quarterback Luke Samples (Elkin, NC) teamed up with Nick Means (Thomasville, NC) for a 65-yard scoring strike on the Tribe’s opening drive.  Means made a juggling catch at the Mars Hill 30, then outran two defenders for the score which came on third down.  Catawba would score on again on its next possession as Samples found O.J. Lennon (Greensboro, NC) in the middle of the end zone for a 14-0 lead at the 5:18 mark of the opening quarter.

The Indians would close out the first half with a 92-yard march in the final 3:38 of the half.  Freshman Rodney Wallace (Bamberg, SC) ripped off a 32 yard run to the Lion 40, then after a timeout, Samples went up top to Arnold Gaither (Turnersburg, NC) for a 21-0 lead with just over a minute left.  It marked the most points allowed by Mars Hill this season, which was 19 before today.  

Mars Hill finally got on the board late in the third quarter as quarterback Carlos Gatlin (Valdosta, GA) ran in from two yards out, but the extra-point was missed, leaving Catawba with a 21-6 lead.  Catawba’s Preston Lewis (Mt. Airy, NC) returned the ensuing kickoff to midfield and Samples would find Lennon again for a 28-6 lead with 14:01 remaining,

Mars Hill failed to quit, going 74 yards in six plays to close with 28-14 after a two point conversion.  Travis McFadden (Hopkins, SC) scored the touchdown from a yard out, while Gatlin found Eric Furr (Indian Land, SC) for the conversion.  The Lions closed within a score just 52 seconds later as Samples fumbled at his own five and Harry Levin (Norfolk, VA) returned it a yard for a score with 10:02 remaining.

Mars Hill got to midfield on its next drive, but Gatlin was sacked on fourth down with 3:43 to play.  The Indians would pin the Lions inside their 20-yard line.  Jemonte Battle (Rocky Mount, NC) ended the first drive with an interception, while the Lions last ditch pass from their own 10 with four seconds left fell incomplete.  

The offenses were virtually even with the Lions gaining 300 yards (121 rushing) and Catawba with 298 yards (122 rushing).  McFadden, the league’s leading rusher had 99 yards for Mars Hill, with 83 coming in the final half.  Wallace led Catawba, running for 123 yards and going over the 100-yard mark for the second straight game.  Samples was 13-of-21 for 176 yards and tossed a school record-tying four touchdowns.


                               Box Score (Final)
 Mars Hill Lions vs Catawba Indians (11-3-01 at Salisbury, NC)

  Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
  -----------------    -- -- -- --   -----
  Mars Hill Lions (7-3, 4-2) .....  0  0  6 15  - 21
  Catawba Indians (8-1, 5-1) ..... 14  7  0  7  - 28


  Scoring Summary:
  1st quarter
12:20 CAT - Nick Means 65 pass from Luke Samples (Matt Gross kick)
05:18 CAT - O.J. Lennon 7 pass from Samples (Gross kick)
  2nd quarter
01:12 CAT - Arnold Gaither 40 pass from Samples (Gross kick)
  3rd quarter
01:49 MHC - Carlos Gatlin 2 run (kick failed)
  4th quarter
14:01 CAT - Lennon 9 pass from Samples (Gross kick)
10:54 MHC - Travis McFadden 1 run (Eric Furr pass from Gatlin)
10:02 MHC - Harry Levin 1 fumble return (Josh Black kick)


....................................... MHC      CAT
  FIRST DOWNS...................       10       14
  RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............   44-121   43-122
  PASSING YDS (NET).............      179      176
  Passes Att-Comp-Int...........   16-7-2  21-13-0
  TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS.....   60-300   64-298
  Fumble Returns-Yards..........      1-1      0-0
  Punt Returns-Yards............      1-8     1--2
  Kickoff Returns-Yards.........     3-49     3-79
  Interception Returns-Yards....      0-0      2-0
  Punts (Number-Avg)............   6-35.7   9-39.9
  Fumbles-Lost..................      0-0      2-1
  Penalties-Yards...............     2-20     9-69
  Possession Time...............    28:35    31:25
  Sacks By: Number-Yards........     3-25     4-40

RUSHING: Mars Hill - Travis McFadden 23-99; Carlos Gatlin 13-28; Cedric Johnson 3-4; Darrell Clark 5-minus 10. Catawba - Rodney Wallace 20-123; Marcus Bland 8-18; TM 3-minus 8; Luke Samples 12-minus 11.

PASSING: Mars Hill - Darrell Clark 3-9-2-105; Carlos Gatlin 4-7-0-74.  Catawba - Luke Samples 13-21-0-176.

RECEIVING: Mars Hill - Fabian Porter 5-115; Rod Dewalt 1-41; David Cassell 1-23. Catawba - O.J. Lennon 5-38; Cedric Squirewell 3-11; Arnold Gaither 2-46; Nick Means 1-65; Preston Lewis 1-9; Marcus Bland 1-7.

INTERCEPTIONS: Mars Hill - None. Catawba - Jemonte Battle 1-0; Corey Reese 1-0.

FUMBLES: Mars Hill - None. Catawba - Luke Samples 2-1.

SACKS (UA-A): Mars Hill - Kenneth Thornton 1-0; C.J. Petty 0-1; Khalid Abdullah 1-0; Kelvin Bratton 0-1. Catawba - David Huey 0-2; Khanis Hubbard 0-1; Steven Williams 0-1; Piotr Kalinowski 1-0; Kenny White 1-0.

TACKLES (UA-A): Mars Hill - Matt Carter 3-9; Asinia Knight 1-8; Maurice Jackson 5-3; Khalid Abdullah 4-2; Derrick Waters 3-2; Harry Levin 2-3; Kelvin Bratton 2-3; Tellex Lanham 1-2; C.J. Petty 0-3; Jaquan Winston 1-1; Riccardo Moore 1-1; George Williams 1-1; Kenneth Thornton 1-1; Tommy Wolfe 0-2; Tony Brown 1-0; Recardo Broadway 0-1.
Catawba - Shawn McBride 3-7; Shawn Sanders 3-5; Corey Reese 2-5; Darris Morris 0-7; Khanis Hubbard 1-5;  David Huey 0-6; Todd McComb 0-6; James McDowell 0-5; Richard Scott 1-3; Steven Williams 0-4; Ryan Norman 1-2; Reggie Tucker 0-3; Jemonte Battle 0-3; Maurice Simpkins 0-2; Maurice Price 0-2; Marcus Hicks 0-2; Jamel Jackson 1-0; Piotr Kalinowski 1-0; Kenny White 1-0; Nick Hopper 0-1; Grant Cain 0-1; Dustin Cox 0-1.

  Stadium: Shuford Stadium       Attendance: 4528
  Kickoff time: 1:30      End of Game: 4:09      Total elapsed time: 2:39
  Officials: Referee: J. Childress; Umpire: C. Gaston; Linesman: B. Polk;
  Line judge: D. Sinquefield; Back judge: J. Schunok; Field judge: T. Larrimore;
  Side judge: H. Tyson; Scorer: S. Halley;
  Temperature: 76        Wind: NW 5-10   Weather: Overcast

  Catawba ranked #10 in AFCA Poll.
  Mars Hill ranked #25 in AFCA Poll.

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