Football rolls to 49-21 win in opener

SALISBURY, NC Catawba, ranked 17th in the AFCA NCAA II Football poll, opened its 2004 season with a 49-21 win over visiting Fayetteville State at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field on Saturday afternoon. Senior Luke Samples (Elkin, NC) threw for three touchdowns and junior Mario Crowe (Charlotte, NC) ran for three scores as the Indians totaled 509 yards of total offense. It was the opener for both teams. Neither team could sustain a drive on their opening two possessions, but a short Bronco punt led to the initial score. Catawba would go 37 yards in seven plays to take the lead for good after a three-yard run by Crowe with 3:38 left in the opening quarter. The Indians scored on its next possession as Samples tossed a 73-yard strike to Rod Tenor (Coolemee, NC) for a 14-0 edge early in the second stanza. Fayetteville State came right back. Using a 14-play, 66-yard drive, the Broncos got on the board as Kyle Rening (Los Angeles, CA) threw a three-yard pass to Marques Newman (Winston-Salem, NC) to cut the margin to 14-7 with 8:17 before the half. Catawba used an 11-play, 80-yard drive to go up 21-7 with 28 seconds left in the half. Samples capped the drive with an 11-yard pass to Tenor. Catawba nearly capitalized on an ensuing fumble on the kickoff, but Samples was sacked and the clock expired. Each team scored in the third quarter. Crowe ran in from six yards out to put the Tribe up 28-7 and FSU answered on a Rening 15-yard pass to Veon McHam (Winston-Salem, NC). Rening threw his third touchdown pass of the game with 6:34 remaining to bring the Broncos within 35-21, but Samples found Trevan Davis (Thomasville, NC) for a 57-yard score and Crowe scored from six-yards out after an interception for the final margin. Samples completed 18-of-26 passes for 305 yards, finding Tenor four times for 104 yards. Corey Ready (Aiken, SC) had six grabs for 77 yards. Rodney Wallace (Bamberg, SC) led the Tribe ground game with 80 yards, while Crowe added 53. Rening was 20-of-33 for 141 yards through the air and added a team-leading 67 yards on the ground. Charles Roberts (Fayetteville, NC) was in on 18 tackles for the Broncos, who totaled 261 yards. #####

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