October 24, 2015
Football Rolls to 39-21 Victory Over UNC Pembroke
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba produced its best offensive numbers of the season, piling up 451 yards en route to a 39-21 win over visiting UNC Pembroke in non-conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field. The Catawba Indians improve to 6-2 overall and with league losses by Lenoir-Rhyne and Wingate, jump into sole possession of first place in the South Atlantic Conference with a 3-1 mark. The Braves fall to 4-3.
The Indians ran for 318 yards in the win with both David Burgess (Morganton, N.C./Freedom HS) and quarterback Mike Sheehan (Wilmington, N.C./Laney HS) going over the 100-yard barrier. Burgess totaled 149 yards on 20 carries, while Sheehan added 101 yards on 18 attempts. Burgess had one scoring run, while Sheehan scored twice.
UNC Pembroke took the early lead on a 40-yard pass from Patrick O’Brien to B.J. Bunn just five minutes into the game. Catawba answered with four unanswered touchdowns, three by the end of the half, to build a 29-7 lead early in the third quarter. Burgess’ nine-yard touchdown run with 6:35 left gave Catawba a 36-14 lead and Chad Hollandsworth’s (Kernersville, N.C./E. Forsyth HS) 31-yard field goal with 1:21 to go iced the game.
Sheehan threw for 133 yards and one score, completing 14-of-19 passes. Keyon West (N. Augusta, S.C./N. Augusta HS) caught four passes for 62 yards. Cary Littlejohn (Columbus, N.C./Polk Co. HS) added another 71 yards on the ground and ran for one score.
O’Brien went 27-of-44 through the air for 396 yards. He tossed three touchdown passes, but was intercepted twice and sacked five times. Bunn grabbed a dozen receptions for 219 yards and two scores. The Braves managed to net just 23 yards on the ground.
After UNCP took the first-quarter lead, Ed Hopper forced a Catawba fumble to give the Braves the ball at the Indian 43. One play later, Chris Carpenter (Fredericksburg, Va./Courtland HS) forced a fumble to give Catawba the ball right back.
Catawba’s offense took advantage and Sheehan capped a 10-play, 53-yard drive with a three-yard score. A big third-and-19 conversion on a pass to Gavin Rose (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) for 20 yards kept the drive alive.
The Indians would score on its next two drives to go up 22-7. Sheehan completed a seven-yard strike to Carlos Tarrats (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines HS) at the 12:56 mark of the second quarter to give Catawba the lead for good. Sheehan ran in a two-point conversion for a 15-7 edge. Littlejohn made it 22-7 when he scored from six-yards out. That score was set up by a 25-yard pass from Sheehan to West.
Catawba took a 29-7 lead after the first drive of the third quarter when Sheehan ran in from 22 yards. O’Brien answered with a 25-yard pass to JoJo Spann to make it 29-14, but the 15 points was as close as the Braves could get in the final half.
Kyle Kitchens (Decatur, Ga./Decatur HS) recorded three of Catawba’s five sacks. Carpenter added an interception to his forced fumble and also had a stop for a loss. Case Woodard (Snellville, Ga./Arabia Mountain HS/Ga. Military) also had an interception.
Elijah Williams was in on a dozen tackles for UNC Pembroke. Albert Wright was credited with 11 stops.
Catawba travels to Brevard next Saturday for a 1 pm kickoff against the Tornados.
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