Defense Clamps Down on NGU as Football Secures Winning Season


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba shutout visiting North Greenville in the second half and rallied for a 28-17 victory in football action on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field.  The win ensures a second-straight winning season for the Catawba Indians, who improve to 6-4.  The Crusaders fall to 5-5.

Catawba held a big 485 to 303 advantage in total offense with 264 of the Indians’ yards coming on the ground.  Cary Littlejohn (Columbus, N.C./Polk Co. HS) led Catawba with 112 yards rushing, including 93 in the second half as he went over 1,000 yards in his career.  Mike Sheehan (Wilmington, N.C./Laney HS) completed 18-of-24 passes for 221 yards, throwing for one score and running for two more.

The Indians used a 14-play, 62-yard drive to open the game to grab the early lead.  Littlejohn capped the seven minute drive with a one-yard run.  North Greenville quickly answered as Cedric Proctor (Chesnee, S.C.) returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards to tie the score at 7-7.

North Greenville went on top late in the first quarter as Simeon Byrd (Spartanburg, S.C.) capped a drive on a five-yard run.  That score was keyed by a 38-yard pass from Nelson Hughes (Roebuck, S.C.) to Thomas Weeks (Cowpens, S.C.) to the Catawba 12.  The Indians tied it up on a 26-yard pass from Sheehan to David Burgess (Morganton, N.C./Freedom HS) on the second play of the second quarter.

Catawba was denied a chance to take the lead on its next drive when Sheehan’s deep pass was intercepted near the goal line by Nigel Gay (Newnan, Ga.).  The Crusaders went on top in the final minute of the half as Justin Gravely (Pickens, S.C.) booted a 25-yard field goal with 31 seconds remaining before the break.  Catawba’s defense held the Crusaders to the three points after NGU had a first-and-goal at the one.

The Indians took the lead for good on its first drive of the second half.  Catawba converted on three third-down tries, the last on a 28-yard pass to Tyler Hamilton (Charlotte, N.C./Vance HS) on a third-and-11 to the NGU 17.  Sheehan later took it over from the three to make it 21-17.

The Catawba defense came up with another red zone stand to keep the Indians on top.  The Crusaders went on a fourth-and-two from the Tribe three, but came up a yard short on a tackle by Gabe Evans (Fayetteville, N.C./Pine Forest HS).  Kyle Kitchens (Decatur, Ga./Decatur HS) had a sack to help stop the next NGU drive and the Catawba offense delivered a 14-play, 76-yard that gave the Indians a 28-17 edge.

Sheehan set up the final score with a 20-yard pass to Carlos Tarrats (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines HS) to the Crusader three.  Sheehan plowed in from the one two plays later.  North Greenville benefitted from a partially blocked punt late in the fourth quarter, but the Indian defense denied the Crusaders on downs from the 15 and the offense ran out the final 3:49 on the clock.

Trey Mashore (Woodleaf, N.C./W. Rowan HS) followed Littlejohn with 66 yards rushing and Sheehan added another 65.  Freshman Keyon West (N. Augusta, S.C./N. Augusta HS) had four catches, while Hamilton, Tarrats and Dalton Pierce (Mooresville, N.C./Mooresville HS) all had three receptions.

Hughes threw for 239 yards for the Crusaders.  He completed 18-of-34 passes.  Weeks made six grabs for 117 yards and Robbie Brown (Swansea, S.C.) had five catches for 50 yards.  Byrd was the top ground gainer with 35 of the 64 yards by NGU.

Ed Robinson (Callahan, Fla./Paxon School) joined Kitchens with a sack for Catawba.  Rai Smith (Spartanburg, S.C./Dorman HS) broke up two passes.  Jason Taylor (Bahama, N.C./Northern HS) led the unit with eight tackles.

Taylor Anderson (Boiling Springs, S.C.) recorded 13 tackles for North Greenville.  Quan Weeks (Gaffney, S.C.) added a dozen stops. 

Catawba will travel to nationally-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne next Saturday to close out its season.  Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.

Box Score

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«April 2018»
April 3

Golf (M) @ Tennessee River Rumble - Day 1 (Tennessee National GC)

Tennis (W) @ JC Smith 9-0

Softball @ Newberry 5-2

Tennis (M) @ JC Smith 8-1

Softball @ Newberry 3-5

Lacrosse (M) vs. MARS HILL 11-9

April 4

Golf (M) @ Tennessee Rumble - Day 2 (Tennessee National GC) 10th of 16

Tennis (W) vs. LENOIR-RHYNE 3-6

Tennis (M) vs. LENOIR-RHYNE 4-5

Baseball vs. North Greenville (Flour Field) 5-6

April 6

Tennis (W) vs. MARS HILL 9-0

Tennis (M) vs. MARS HILL 8-1

Baseball vs. NEWBERRY 18-12

Lacrosse (M) vs. LIMESTONE 11-12

April 8

Golf (M) @ SAC Championships - Day 1 (Cobbs Glen GC)

Softball @ Anderson 1-2

Softball @ Anderson 0-4

Baseball vs. NEWBERRY 8-6

Baseball vs. NEWBERRY 8-6

April 9

Golf (M) @ SAC Championships - Day 2 (Cobbs Glen GC)

April 10

Golf (M) @ SAC Championships - Day 3 (Cobbs Glen GC) 10th of 11

Baseball vs. MOUNT OLIVE 13-9

April 11

Softball vs WINGATE 3-4

Tennis (M) @ Coker 1-8

Tennis (W) @ Coker 4-5

Lacrosse (W) vs. LENOIR-RHYNE 9-14

Softball vs WINGATE 2-4

Lacrosse (M) vs. LENOIR-RHYNE 11-20

April 12

Tennis (W) vs. SHAW 7-2

Tennis (M) vs. SHAW 5-4

April 13

Baseball vs. LINCOLN MEMORIAL 3-6

April 14

Track/Field @ Phoenix Invitational

Football Spring Blue/White Game

Lacrosse (M) @ Queens 10-18

Baseball vs. LINCOLN MEMORIAL 8-9

Lacrosse (W) @ Queens 10-16

Baseball vs. LINCOLN MEMORIAL 13-12

April 15

Golf (W) @ SAC Championships - Day 1 (Woodcreek CC)

Softball vs LANDER, ccd. 2 p.m.

Softball vs LANDER, ccd. 4 p.m.

April 16

Golf (W) @ SAC Championships - Day 2 (Woodcreek CC)

April 17

Golf (W) @ SAC Championships - Day 3 (Woodcreek CC) 9th of 11

Softball @ Coker 2-3

Softball @ Coker 1-4

Baseball vs. BARTON 16-10

April 19

Track/Field @ SAC Outdoor Championships (Day 1)

April 20

Track/Field @ SAC Outdoor Championships (Day 2) M-9th; W-10th

Baseball @ Wingate 2-8

April 21

Softball vs CARSON-NEWMAN 0-5

Softball vs CARSON-NEWMAN 3-2

Baseball @ Wingate 9-5

Lacrosse (W) vs. TUSCULUM 13-11

Baseball @ Wingate 7-3

Lacrosse (M) vs. TUSCULUM 14-10

April 24

Lacrosse (M) @ Queens (SAC Tourn. - 1st Round)

Lacrosse (W) vs. LINCOLM MEMORIAL (SAC Tourn. - 1st Round) 4 p.m.

Baseball vs. UNC PEMBROKE 5 p.m.

April 27

Lacrosse (M) @ SAC Tournament (Semifinals)

Lacrosse (W) @ SAC Tournament (Semifinals)

Baseball TBA @ SAC Tournament noon

Softball vs. Coker (SAC Tournament) 3 p.m.

April 28

Softball @ SAC Tournament

Baseball @ SAC Tournament

April 29

Baseball @ SAC Tournament

Lacrosse (M) @ SAC Tournament (Championship)

Lacrosse (W) @ SAC Tournament (Championship)

April 30

Baseball @ SAC Tournament

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Lacrosse (W) Team Photo