October 10, 2009
Football's Upset Bid at Carson-Newman Falls Short
Morman equaled a school record with 13 receptions in loss
JEFFERSON CITY, TN -- Carson-Newman won a see-saw affair with Catawba by the score of 41-31 in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Burke-Tarr Stadium. Alex Good led the Eagles, passing for 188 yards and four touchdowns, while running for 179 yards and two scores as C-N improves to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in the SAC. The Catawba Indians fall to 3-3 and 0-3.
Reggie Hubbard caught five of Good’s passes for 139 yards and two scores. The Eagles out-gained Catawba 547 to 451 in total yards. Patrick Dennis (Durham, NC/Cedar Ridge HS) threw for 311 yards for Catawba and three scores off the bench. The favorite target was Eric Morman (Rockingham, NC/Richmond Co. HS), who equaled the school record with 13 catches, totaling 128 yards.
The Indians held a 10-7 lead at the half. On its opening drive, Catawba moved to the Eagle 30 before stalling. After holding C-N on a three and out, the Indians marched back down the field and got on the board on a 27-yard field goal by Thomas Trexler (Wilmington, NC/New Hanover HS) at the 5:39 mark of the opening quarter.
Catawba kept the Eagles from scoring on its next two possessions as L.J. McCray (Charlotte, NC/Harding HS) intercepted a pass and Brandon Sutton (Snow Hill, NC/Greene Central HS) blocked a field goal try. It marked the fifth straight game that the Indian special teams have blocked a kick.
The Carson-Newman defense came up big following the blocked kick as Mario Russell stripped Antonio Hall (Greensboro, NC/NE Guilford HS), giving the Eagles the ball at the Catawba 40. Six plays later Good dove in from a yard out to give C-N a 7-3 lead with 10:43 left before the half.
Catawba answered that drive with a score of its own. Three plays into the drive, quarterback Cameron Sexton (Laurinburg, NC/Scotland Co. HS) left the game with a concussion and Dennis led the Tribe the final 34 yards to retake the lead. Dennis converted two third downs, the last coming a 12-yard scoring strike to Morman with 5:47 before the break.
Carson-Newman grabbed the lead on its first possession of the second half, going to the air. After Good completed a 39-yard pass to Hubbard, he connected with Doug Belk on third down for a 35-yard score. Sutton blocked the PAT to keep Catawba within a field goal at 13-10. The Eagles were driving for a two-score edge, but Terrence Porter (Roanoke Rapids, NC/Roanoke Rapids HS) knocked the ball from Good at the Catawba five and Sutton recovered.
Colby McCanna (Laurinburg, NC/Scotland Co. HS) bailed Catawba out of bad field position with a 53-yard punt and after the defense held, the Indians drove to retake the lead. A 41-yard pass from Dennis to Gerron Bryant (W. Palm Beach, FL/Boynton Beach HS) on third down set Catawba up at the Eagle 20. Three plays later, Dennis tossed a swing pass to Brandon Bunn (Virginia Beach, VA/Fork Union), who broke a tackle at the 10 and scored to give Catawba a 17-13 edge. It marked Bunn’s seventh touchdown of the season.
Carson-Newman went back on top on the ensuing possession. Hubbard caught a 23-yard pass from Good to cap the 66-yard drive. The Eagles went up 27-17 with 9:05 left on a 12-yard pass from Good to Buck Wakefield. Reggie Melton set up the score with a 53-yard run.
Catawba answered quickly. After a 41-yard kickoff return by Hall just across midfield, Dennis guided the Indians to a score in six plays. He capped the drive with an eight-yard pass to Bunn. Jaspen Gray (Advance, NC/Davie Co. HS) provided a huge play as he recovered a loose ball on the ensuing kickoff. Dennis hit Bryant to the Eagle three and Hall carried over from there to give the Indians a 31-27 edge with just over five minutes remaining.
Good delivered again throwing a 48-yard pass to Hubbard with 3:51 left. Catawba marched into Eagle territory, but Dennis was stopped a yard-short on a fourth-down scramble. Good would score two plays later from 55-yards out with 1:57 left.
Sexton completed 11-of-16 passes for 77 yards before leaving the game early in the second quarter. Freshman Cory Johnson (Fayetteville, NC/Britt HS) led the defense with 10 tackles. The loss marks the first time since 1986 that Catawba has lost its first three SAC games.
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