September 19, 2015
Football Takes Down Carson-Newman 14-7
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. -- Catawba‘s defense held host Carson-Newman to a single score and posted a 14-7 victory on Saturday afternoon at Burke-Tarr Stadium. The Catawba Indians improve to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the South Atlantic Conference. It also marked the second straight win for Catawba at Burke-Tarr Stadium, winning 25-22 in 2013. The Eagles fall to 2-1 and 0-1.
Catawba limited the Eagles to 315 total yards with 185 on the ground. Carson-Newman was also forced to punt seven times in the defensive battle. Jonathan Jean (Orange Park, Fla./Fleming Island HS) posted a dozen tackles with two going for losses, including a sack. Kyle Kitchens (Decatur, Ga./Decatur HS) was in on seven stops, had a big sack in the closing minutes and also blocked a potential Carson-Newman field goal at the end of the first half.
Cary Littlejohn (Columbus, N.C./Polk Co. HS) ran for 76 yards on 14 carries in the ball control offense that held a time of possession advantage of nearly 11 minutes. Mike Sheehan (Wilmington, N.C./Laney HS) completed 19-of-24 passes for 163 yards. He threw for one score and ran for another.
The Indians got on the scoreboard first when Sheehan ran in from seven yards out with 1:25 to go in the first quarter. It capped a 12-play, 74-yard drive that featured three third-down conversions. On those downs, Sheehan completed passes of 15 yards to Bruce Smith (Winston-Salem, N.C./N. Davidson HS), 13 yards to Carlos Tarrats (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines HS) and ran one for 15 yards to the C-N six that set up the score.
Carson-Newman pulled even early in the second quarter. On a third down, De’Andre Thomas completed a 75-yard pass to TraShaun Ward to the Indian one. Damian Baker scored on the next play to knot the score at 7-all.
Catawba looked poised to take the lead at the end of the half, but two sacks in the final minute forced a punt from midfield. The Eagles used to big runs from Baker to set a field goal try from 39 yards. Kitchens was able to keep the score tied with his block.
With both defenses forcing punts in the third quarter stalemate, the Eagles swung field position following a 65-yard punt from Christian Ramirez and a negative four-yard return that pinned Catawba on its own six. After holding the Indians, Carson-Newman drove to the 17 and set up for a 34-yard field goal. Once again, Catawba blocked the attempt to keep the game tied.
Four plays after the block, Sheehan hit on the biggest offensive play of the game with a 57-yard toss to Brandon Brown (Durham, N.C./N. Durham HS) to the Eagle 13. On third down, Sheehan found Gary Williams (Southport, N.C./S. Brunswick HS) from eight yards out to put Catawba on top 14-7 with 10:35 remaining.
Carson-Newman moved near midfield on the ensuing possession then Jean and Jamal Lackey (Mocksville, N.C./Davie Co. HS) made a big fourth-down stop. The Eagles had one last chance after Catawba missed a long field goal, but Kitchens had his sack to force a fourth and 29 that C-N couldn’t convert. Catawba was able to run out the clock to secure the win.
Baker ran for 117 yards in the loss for Carson-Newman. Thomas threw for 130 yards, but completed only 7-of-16 passes. Ward had three receptions for 91 yards.
Catawba returns home to host Wingate next Saturday at 6 p.m.
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