September 25, 2014
Football Set For Home Debut on Saturday
Photo by Kevin Burris
The Catawba football team will be out to do what has only been done once before in school history on Saturday – beat Carson-Newman in back-to-back seasons. The Catawba Indians rallied last season for a 25-22 win in Jefferson City to set up the rare chance at a double versus the Eagles.
The only previous years that Catawba won consecutive games against Carson-Newman was the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Catawba claimed a 24-22 win in Salisbury in 2006 then won a shootout with a 55-49 come-from-behind victory in 2007. The series between the teams has been dominated by the Eagles, who have won 36 of the previous 47 meetings.
Last year marked another dramatic comeback win for Catawba in a 25-22 victory. The Indians trailed late, but were led on an 8-play, 88-yard drive by Danny O’Brien that ended in a 34-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Tarrats. Carson-Newman had a chance to force overtime, but LJ McCray blocked a potential tying field goal with just seconds to play.
Both teams enter the game this year with identical 2-1 overall records and perfect 1-0 marks in the South Atlantic Conference. Carson-Newman is ranked 19th in the AFCA Poll. It is the ninth time since the AFCA began its coaches’ poll in 2000 that the Eagles enter the game with Catawba as a nationally-ranked opponent.
Catawba is coming off a 37-34 win at Newberry Saturday in double overtime. Mike Sheehan tossed an 11-yard TD pass to Tarrats to give the Indians the win after the defense had held Newberry to a field goal in its possession. Carson-Newman topped Brevard 55-42 last weekend. Andy Hibbett ran for 105 yards and scored twice for the Eagles.
Cary Littlejohn, who ran for 117 yards in the win over Newberry, leads the Indians in rushing at just under 60 yards a game. He is closing in on 1,000 for his career needing 250 yards to become the 37th Catawba player to reach the milestone. David Burgess and Trey Mashore are rushing at just around 50 yards a game.
Sheehan is completing nearly 65% of his pass attempts to lead the SAC and is one of the top rated passers in the league. He ranks second in passer rating and total offense, while topping the conference in touchdown passes with seven.
Jason Taylor has led the defense this season with 29 total tackles and six for losses. He collected 16 stops in the win over Newberry to equal his career high. Jamal Lackey has made four tackles for losses.
This year’s contest will by Family Weekend for Catawba and marks the home opener for the Indians. The kickoff at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field is set for 1:30 p.m.
|No events scheduled until August 24|