Roach, Strong have career games as Football knocks off Carson-Newman 24-22

SALISBURY, NC -- Junior Brad Roach (Williamston, NC) threw for a career-high 335 yards and three touchdowns as host Catawba defeated 15th-ranked Carson-Newman 24-22 in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday night at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field.

Catawba snaps a two-game losing streak and improves to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the SAC. The Eagles fall to 5-2 and 1-2.After leading 10-3 at the break, Catawba had to rally back from a 16-10 deficit to claim the win. Roach delivered the winning margin as he connected with Brent Johnson (Hickory, NC) for a 53-yard score on the first play of the fourth quarter to put the Tribe ahead 24-16. Carson-Newman answered on a 14-play, 73-yard drive that was capped by a 12-yard pass from Alex Rouse (Maryville, TN) to Vincent Smith (Folkston, GA). After the score, the Eagles tried to tie the game on a two-point conversion, but Rouse was stopped at the one by Joe Brown (New Bern, NC).

The Eagles got the ball back one final time and advanced to the Catawba 45, but Rouse was sacked by Ron Ellington (Charlotte, NC) on fourth down with 16 seconds remaining to end the game. Catawba dominated the opening half and held a 10-3 edge. The Tribe held the Eagles to just 64 yards in the opening half, while compiling 229 on offense.

After an early field goal by D.J. Gill (Orlando, FL) of 26 yards, Roach threw a 40-yard pass to Lance Johnson (Hickory, NC) with a minute to play in the opening quarter for a 10-0 advantage. Carson-Newman capitalized on a fumble for its lone points of the half. The Eagles also benefited from a personal foul penalty on Catawba on a failed field goal, the Eagle kicked its three points with a tick left as William Ingham (Gallatin,TN) hit form 30-yards away.

The game began a see-saw affair in the final half. Carson-Newman used two big runs, a 43-yard burst by Jeremy Arrington (Lewisburg, NC) and a 19-yarder for a score by DeWayne Mims (Detroit, MI) to trim the deficit to 10-9 on the first possession of the half. A bad hold cost the Eagles a chance to tie and left them a point down. An interception by Denares Waites (Alma, GA) gave the Eagles the ball back and Rouse wasted little time as he hit Reggie Hubbard (Chattanooga, TN) on the next play for a 64-yard score and a 16-10 lead at the 11:41 mark of the third quarter. Catawba answered back two possessions later as Roach hooked up with Shane Timmons (Denton, NC) in the back of the end zone from eight-yards out to push Catawba back on top at 17-16 with 4:20 to go in the third quarter.

The Catawba Indians defense held and Roach hit Johnson over the middle on a third-and-14 play for the eventual winning points. The 335 yards passing by Roach was the eighth-best performance by a Catawba quarterback as he completed 20-of-37 passes. Antwan Strong (Charlotte NC) was the top Tribe target as he caught seven passes for 114 yards, both career highs. Catawba finished with 356 yards, while Carson-Newman used a big second half to finish with 319. Arrington ran for 59 yards, while Mims and Smith followed with 54 and 53, respectively. Rouse completed 10-of-17 passes for 162 yards with two touchdown strikes. Charles McAfee (Charlotte, NC) had a career day on defense for Catawba, making 14 tackles with a pair for losses. Waites led the Eagle defense with nine tackles and an interception. Box Score #####

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