Football falls to 18th-ranked Carson-Newman 49-30

   SALISBURY, NC -- Carson-Newman totaled 629 yards of offense as the 18th-rnaked Eagles defeated 22nd-ranked Catawba in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field.  The Eagles improve to 7-2 overall and take the overall SAC lead with a 5-1 mark.  Catawba falls to 6-3 and 3-3.
Carson-Newman rolled to a 14-0 lead after a quarter and led 21-3 after Del Wilkey (Walterboro, SC) scored on a 73-yard pass from Shane Kelley (Sevierville, TN) with 10:43 left in the opening half.  Kelley had also tossed a 60-yard scoring strike to Leonard Weaver (Melbourne, FL) in the first quarter.  

Catawba would respond in the last half of the second quarter to take a 24-21 lead at the break.  Rodney Wallace (Bamberg, SC) scored twice in a four minute span to cut the margin to 21-17.  He first scored on a two-yard run then caught a 36-yard pass from Luke Samples (Elkin, NC).  Samples would give the Tribe the halftime lead on a four-yard pass to Hollis Owens (Jacksonville, FL) with just 12 seconds before the break.

Carson-Newman took ethe second half kickoff and drove to the Catawba 18, but fumbled.  After holding the Indians, Kelley ran three times for 51 yards to the Catawba six.  He would score two plays later to put the Eagles back on top 28-24.  Weaver and Kelley would connect again on the next Eagle possession, this time for 66 yards to up the lead to 35-24.  Kelley would be intercepted on the next drive and Chad Allen (Baltimore, MD) weaved his way through the Eagles for a 61 yard return to cut the margin to 35-30 with 12:03 remaining.

The Eagles answered the score as J.J. Chatmon (Cartersville, GA) capped a five-play, 59-yard drive with a three yard run for a 42-30 edge at the 9:51 mark.  Rayvon Howard (Brewton, AL) capped the scoring with 3:02 left on a two-yard run, his second score of the day.

    After being held to just 67 yards on the ground in the first half, the Eagles, who sport the nation’s second best rushing attack, ran for 226 in the final half to total 293 on the ground, just 40 off their season average.  Kelley was 13-of-23 passing for 336 yards as the Eagles passed for over 300 yards for the first time since 1978.  Kelley also had a team-leading 148 yards on the ground.

Catawba ran for just 85 yards, while Samples was 30-for-57 for 370 yards.  Wallace caught six passes for 99 yards.  Joe Mitchell (Tallahassee, FL) and Corey Ready (Aiken, SC) also recorded six catches for 93 and 45 yards, respectively.  Eagle linebacker Eric Rice (Thomasville, GA) made 13 tackles, 10 solo, while Lester Sconyers (New Bern, NC) led the Tribe defense with 16 stops, including two for losses.


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