Football Earns SAC Title With 45-0 Shutout of Lenoir-Rhyne
Playoff pairing to be announced on Sunday
SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba defeated visiting Lenoir-Rhyne 45-0 in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field. With the win, the Catawba Indians, ranked 12th in the AFCA Division II poll, claim a share of the SAC Championship as they improve to 10-1 overall and 5-1 in the SAC. The Bears end their season at 2-9 and 0-6. Catawba will await word on a NCAA II Playoff bid which will be announced on Sunday on ESPNU between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm.
Senior Kory Fisher (New Bern, NC/New Bern HS) scored on a 46-yard run on the game’s third play and Catawba never looked back in cruising to the win. Fisher would finish with a game-high 104 yards on the ground. Senior quarterback Brad Roach (Williamston, NC/Williamston HS) completed 17-of-24 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns to break the single-season Catawba record with 24 on the season.
After the opening score, Catawba failed on two trips into the LR red zone, but early in the second quarter Roach threw a 30-yard scoring pass to Brandon Bunn (Virginia Beach, VA/Fork Union) for a 14-0 lead. Three plays later senior Thomas Presley (Goldsboro, NC/Aycock HS) intercepted a pass that was tipped by Terrence Porter (Roanoke Rapids, NC/Roanoke Rapids HS) at the Bear 12 and returned it for a score and a 21-0 lead.
George Bell (Fayetteville, NC/Britt HS) would add his 18th score of the year at the end of the first half, catching a nine-yard toss from Roach for a 28-0 lead at the break. Presley would strike again early in the third quarter as he recovered a fumble at midfield and returned it 49 yards for his second score of the day.
Senior Joe Mitchell (Tallahasse, FL/Florida HS) scored the final touchdown of the afternoon as he hauled in a 33-yard pass from Roach near the end of the third quarter. Jared Temple (Durham, NC/N. Durham HS) capped the scoring on a 22-yard field goal with 2:30 left.
Catawba totaled 428 yards to 157 for the Bears. Freshman Andrew Courman (Beaufort, NC) led a Bear rushing attack with 74 yards, while fellow freshman James Pone (Wilson, NC) added 60 yards. Quarterback Dennis Hickman (Iron Station, NC) had a rough day as he completed 5-of-15 passes for 30 yards and was sacked three times. Marcus Shuford (Newton, NC) with 14 tackles, Dewayne Jones (Reidsville, NC), who had 13 stops, and Elshaun Carter (Greenville, NC), who added 12 tackles, including three for losses, led the Bear defense.
Freshman Tony Littlejohn (Charlotte, NC/Waddell HS) made eight stops for the Catawba defense. Wilbur Pender (Franklinton, NC/Franklinton HS) had a pair of sacks with Presley scoring twice.Related Item: Box Score