Football

Page's Two Picks Lead Strong Defense in Win Over UNCP

PEMBROKE, N.C. -- Catawba used a strong defensive effort to claim an overwhelming 41-9 football victory over UNC Pembroke on Saturday night at Johnson Stadium. The Catawba Indians limited the hosts to just 199 total yards and forced four turnovers in improving to 3-0 on the season. The Braves fall to 1-2.

Catawba got points on its first two drives to go up 10-0. Lee Brackman put the first points on the board with a 23-yard field goal and Gavin Rose caught a 27-yard pass from Patrick O’Brien for the 10-0 edge at the 8:21 mark of the opening quarter.

UNC Pembroke used a pair of Catawba turnovers to cut the margin to 10-9. Following a fumble on a punt, the Braves got a 29-yard touchdown run from Josh Sheridan, but Ryan Watts blocked the point after try. UNCP intercepted O’Brien on the next Catawba possession, but were held to a 28-yard field goal by Alex Alvarado.

Catawba regained momentum in the second quarter as the Braves fumbled on fourth down inside the Catawba 40. Five plays later, O’Brien tossed a 20-yard pass to Kenyatta Greene for a 17-9 lead. The Indians cashed in once before the end of the half. O’Brien led an 8-play, 65-yard drive that was capped with a nine-yard pass to Jourdan Osinskie with just 41 seconds before the break that put Catawba up 24-9.

The Braves were threating midway through the third quarter when Cris Page intercepted Dominick Sampson and returned the pick 64 yards for a score and a 31-9 edge with the 6:18 to go in the period. Brackman added a 30-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and the Indians intercepted Sampson on two straight possessions to put the game away.

Trey Murray got one of the picks which led to another O’Brien to Osinskie touchdown. The second went for seven yards. Page followed with his second interception.

Eamon Smart produced his second 100-yard game of the season, rushing for 109 yards on 22 carries. O’Brien completed 18-of-26 passes for 180 yards and four touchdowns. Osinskie led the receivers with five catches and a pair of scores.

The Indians limited UNCP to just 14-of-33 passing for 92 yards with the three interceptions. Sheridan led the ground game with 48 yards.

Catawba returns home on Saturday and will open conference play with a 6 pm kickoff against Mars Hill.

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