Football upset by WIngate 35-21

SALISBURY, NC -- Wingate quarterback Anthony Metzelaars (Charlotte, NC) threw for 309 yards and the Bulldog defense forced five turnovers as Wingate upset NCAA II fifth-ranked Catawba 35-21 in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field.  Wingate improves to 6-1 overall and 2-1 in the SAC with the win, securing its first winning season since going 8-3 in 1997.  Catawba falls to 5-1 and 2-1.  Six teams now stand tied for the league lead.

Catawba took the opening kickoff and drive inside the Wingate, but failed on a field goal attempt.  The Bulldogs would take the lead late in the opening quarter after Gabe Nall (Cary, NC) blocked a Catawba punt to give Wingate the ball at the Tribe four.  Metzelaars found Chris Conklin (Snow Camp, NC) on the next play for the 7-0 lead.

The Indians would tie the score with 4:56 before the half on a three-yard run by Mario Crowe (Charlotte, NC), but Wingate struck twice in the final two minutes to take the halftime lead.  Metzelaars found Dan Brooks (Monroe, NC) from 31 yards out with 1:56 remaining then hit Rodney Williams (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) from the same distance with just 27 ticks before the break.

The third quarter saw a bevy of turnovers.  Catawba fumbled on its initial drive of the half, but Wingate failed to capitalize as the Bulldogs fumbled right back two plays later at the one-yard-line.  The Indians would be intercepted on the following possession, but again Wingate fumbled, this time at the Catawba five.  The Indians then pulled within 21-14 as Crowe would burst in from 29 yards away with 7:27 to go in the quarter.

Wingate appeared to be heading to answering the score, but Eddie Wall (Albemarle, NC) intercepted Metzelaars in the end zone.  The Bulldogs would get the two-touchdown lead back as Marvin McLain (Baltimore, MD) scored from six yards at the 1:15 mark.  Luke Samples (Elkin, NC) would be intercepted again on the next Tribe play and David Jones (Greenville, SC) returned the pick 42 yards for a score and a 35-14 Bulldog advantage.  The final score came with 6:59 left as Samples connected with Rod Tenor (Cooleemee, NC) from 25 yards out.

Wingate totaled 402 yards of offense as Metzelaars completed 28-of-38 passes for the 309 yards.  He threw for three scores and was intercepted once.  Williams had eight catches for 90 yards.  Catawba ran for 109 yards with Crowe gaining 62 yards on nine carries and two scores.  Samples was 22-of-46 passing for 241 yards, but was intercepted four times.  Tenor caught eight balls for 84 yards.


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