September 22, 2018
Football Loses Shootout With Mars Hill
MARS HILL, N.C -- Craig Rucker caught two touchdown passes in the final two and half minutes as host Mars Hill knocked off Catawba 39-33 in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Meares Stadium. The Lions improve to 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fall to 1-2 and 0-1.
Rucker’s first grab went for 26 yards and snapped a 26-all tie with 2:08 remaining. After Catawba tied the game, Rucker snagged the game-winner from 34 yards out with just 30 seconds to play. Catawba moved to the Lion 36 in the final seconds, but Malcolm Means intercepted Reid Carlton’s last ditch effort in the end zone on the end zone on the final play.
The teams combined for over 1,100 yards of total offense with Mars Hill posted 602 total yards with 354 coming on the ground. Jaques Buchannon totaled 224 yards rushing, including a 76-yard scoring run that put the Lions up 12-3 in the second quarter. Austin Brown went 21-of-36 through the air, hitting Rucker for three scores. Rucker had 11 catches for 174 yards.
Carlton went 25-of-42 passing for 363 yards and three scores. The Indians added 148 yards on the ground with Kenyatta Greene picking up 79 yards. Jourdan Osinskie made eight catches for 100 yards. Will Sweeper had 117 yards on five receptions with a score. Greene and Chylon Thomas also caught TD passes.
Mars Hill got a 22-yard field goal from Tanner Fox on its first drive and never trailed. The teams traded scores in the final minute and a half before the break. Carlton’s four-yard run with 13 seconds to go brought Catawba within 19-16 at the break.
Lee Brackman connected on a 40-yard field goal early in the third quarter to pull the Indians even, but Rucker answered each second-half Catawba scores with a TD catch. His 24-yard score put Mars Hill back up 26-19 before Catawba tied the contest on a Carlton pass to Thomas with 9:12 remaining. Rucker then sandwiched his last two scores around Carlton’s 38-yard pass to Sweeper with 1:34 to go.
Catawba will finally get to play at home this Saturday, hosting Carson-Newman at 1:30 p.m. The game will be carried live locally on WAXN Channel 64 in Charlotte, NC.
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