Football advances past Newberry 41-31

   NEWBERRY, S.C. – Newberry College and Catawba College combined for 800 yards and 72 points on Saturday, but it was the Indians from Salisbury that captured a 41-31 victory Saturday afternoon in South Atlantic Conference football action at Setzler Field.

Junior running back Mario Crowe (Charlotte, N.C.) hit the 100-yard mark in the second quarter and turned in a game-high 123 rushing yards to give Catawba a 262-102 edge in yards on the ground.

The win keeps Catawba (6-1, 3-1 SAC) in contention for its second straight conference crown, while Newberry (3-4, 0-4 SAC) remains winless in league play.

Catawba took the opening kickoff and drove to Newberry’s six-yard line, but Newberry lineman Emil Gibson (Spartanburg, S.C.) stopped Rodney Wallace (Bamberg, S.C.) for a nine-yard loss, setting up a 32-yard Allan Rohrbaugh (Lexington, N.C.) field goal for the game’s first points.

Newberry came back with an eight-play, 65-yard touchdown drive.  Sophomore quarterback Josh Stepp (Pelion, S.C.) hit on three consecutive pass completions to gain 15, 26, and 19 yards, respectively.  

Catawba regained the lead on the next drive, converting all three third down opportunities.  From the Newberry 31, senior quarterback Luke Samples (Elkin, N.C.) found Duran Lipscomb (Kannapolis, N.C.), who took the reception to Newberry’s five.  Crowe took it the rest of the way on the next play and pounded in his 11th touchdown of the season.

After a stalled Scarlet drive, Newberry safety Octavius Whiteside (Greer, S.C.) intercepted the first pass of the second quarter and returned it to Catawba’s 28.  Newberry gained two yards on three plays and then called upon Ryan Lukshis (Irmo, S.C.) to split the uprights on a 43-yarder, the Indians’ longest of the season, to tie the game at 10 all.  

Rohrbaugh answered for Catawba on the following drive, connecting on a 33-yard attempt following a 54-yard drive, to give CC the lead for good.  A ten-yard touchdown from Samples to junior Corey Ready (Aiken, S.C.) gave Blue a 20-10 edge that it would take into halftime.

Newberry scored two touchdowns in the third quarter, only to be answered by Catawba on its next possessions.  On fourth-and-four at Catawba’s 27, Stepp threw a pass to a crossing Zimmerman, who stopped, reversed direction, and outran all Catawba defenders to the corner of the endzone to trail 20-17.

Crowe put in his own entry for play of the game three offensive plays later.  With Catawba facing a third-and-five situation, Samples hit Crowe out of the backfield for first down yardage.  After the catch, Crowe broke tackles and juked his way down the right sideline, then turned on the nitrous to simply outrun the defense.  The Samples-to-Crowe pass covered 75 of the 80 yards in the series to give Catawba another ten-point cushion.

Starting on Newberry’s 35 after the kickoff sailed out-of-bounds, Stepp took a play from Catawba’s playbook and connected with tailback Deshon Rodell (Allendale, S.C.) for a gain of 31.  The Indians converted its second fourth down attempt of the afternoon with a three-yard Stepp run to put Newberry on the visitors’ 22.  Charles Brandon (Union, S.C.) carried a reverse to the Catawba 10, and Newberry scored on a controversial pass reception that popped out of a leaping Antwan Surratt’s grasp when he fell to the ground.  The reception stood, and the Indians trailed 27-24.

The Scarlet and Gray defense held Catawba to three-and-out, but Catawba’s defense one-upped Newberry when Eddie Wall (Albemarle, N.C.) picked Stepp off a tipped pass and took the theft 50 yards to paydirt.

Catawba took over in the fourth quarter following a blocked punt and return that placed the Tribe in the red zone.  The Indians needed only three plays to find the endzone, with Samples doing the honors on a one-yard sneak to put Catawba up 41-24.  Stepp put the ball in Davis’ hands with enough room to get one foot in-bounds for the final score.

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