Big third quarter propels Football to win at Mars Hill

MARS HILL, NC -- The Catawba College Indians, the sixth ranked football team in Division II, scored 28 third quarter points to roll past the Lions of Mars Hill College in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Meares Stadium, 44-21. Quarterback Luke Samples (Elkin, NC) led the Indians to victory throwing for 337 yards and three touchdowns completing 23-of-34 passes. Catawba improved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the SAC, while the Lions fell to 3-2 and 0-2. Catawba totaled 209 yards in the opening half, while Mars Hill was held to just 48, but the Tribe led only 16-7. Rodney Wallace (Bamberg, SC) ran in from one yard out to give Catawba a 7-0 lead after a 12-play 84-yard drive then the Indians forced Mars Hill into a safety and the Tribe led 9-0 just five minutes into the game. The Loins capitalized on a Catawba fumble to get on the board with a 15-yard scoring pass from Brandon Sims to Rod Dewalt. The Lions had a chance to take the lead after another Catawba fumble gave Mars Hill a first-and-goal at the Tribe seven, but the Indian defense held after a missed field goal. John Vernon (Walnut Cove, NC) capped the ensuing 80-yard drive, catching a one-yard scoring pass from Samples with 9:46 left in the half to give the Indians a 16-7 advantage. Mars Hill got right back within a score on the first play of the second half as Dewalt and Sims hooked up again on a 72-yard touchdown play just 22 seconds after intermission. Catawba answered with back-to-back touchdowns at the 12:05 and 6:35 mark, both on touchdown strikes by Samples, to begin to pull away at 30-14. The last Lion score came just after Catawba went up 30-14 as George Washington broke free for a 75 yard touchdown run to bring Mars Hill within nine points (30-21) of the Indians with 6:10 left in the third stanza but that was as close as the Lions would get. Mario Crowe (Charlotte, NC) and Wallace each rushed for touchdowns before the end of the third period ended. Catawba wide receiver Corey Ready (Aiken, SC) had eight catches for 92 yards and one touchdown and Rod Tenor (Cooleemee, NC) had seven catches for 105 yards and one score. Kory Fisher (New Bern,NC) rushed for 67 yards on seven carries while Wallace rushed for 34 yards and two touchdowns. Lester Sconyers (New Bern, NC) led Catawba’s defense with eight tackles followed by Trey Glover (Spartanburg, SC) with six stops and an interception. Kolby Fisher (New Bern, NC) was in on three sacks. Washington rushed for 147 yards on 19 carries including his 75-yard touchdown sprint for the Lions. Sims was 7-for-17 for 160 yards with two touchdown passes. Dewalt was on the receiving end of both passes. He caught four passes total for 119 yards. JaQuan Winston and Colby Simmons led the Lions with 15 tackles apiece. Winston recovered a fumble and Simmons forced a fumble. Simmons added six tackles-for-loss and two sacks on the day. Catawba out-gained Mars Hill 491-303 with 147 of the Lion yards coming on two plays. Each team had two turnovers and eight penalties. The Tribe posted six sacks on the day. #####

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