Another big day from Cuthbertson caps Football season with 32-24 win over LR

HICKORY, NC -- Senior Charles Morman (Rockingham, NC) intercepted a Lenoir-Rhyne pass in the waning seconds to help Catawba preserve a 32-24 win over the host Bears in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday night at Moretz Stadium. With the win, the Catawba Indians finish the season 6-4 overall and 3-4 in the SAC. Lenoir-Rhyne ends its season at 3-8 and 1-6. Catawba got another outstanding rushing afternoon from Jamelle Cuthbertson (Charlotte, NC). The sophomore ran for a career-high 218 yards, the most by a Tribe back since Rodney Wallace ran for 227 yards against Lenoir-Rhyne in 2002. Cuthbertson scored three times in the win.

Lenoir-Rhyne got on the board first, capitalizing on an interception deep in Bear territory by Darius Barthell (High Point, NC) off a deflection. The return to the 32 led to an eight-play scoring drive that was capped by a five-yard run by Justin Sanders (Monroe, NC). Catawba would score on its next possession as Cory Darnell (Rural Hall, NC) booted a 20-yard field goal to trim the deficit to 7-3. A 40-yard pass to Cuthbertson set up the score.

Catawba took its first lead a little over a minute into the second quarter on Cuthbertson’s first touchdown of the night from 18-yards out. Brad Roach (Williamston, NC) converted two third downs on the drive on passes of 19 and 27 yards to Brent Johnson (Hickory, NC). The point after was missed and the Tribe led 9-7. The Bears grabbed a 10-9 edge with a 22-yard field goal by Phillip Thompson that was set up by a 31-yard run by Sanders to the Tribe 26.

The Tribe took the lead for good just before the half. Cuthbertson capped a six-play 58 yard drive with a six-yard run for a 16-10 edge at the break. Midway through the third quarter, Roach capped a 98-yard drive as he threw a 41-yard scoring strike to Lee Page (Dillon, SC) to push the Catawba lead to 22-10 after a failed two-point conversion.

Lenoir-Rhyne got a second scoring run from Sanders late in the third quarter to pull the Bears within 22-17, but Catawba drove back down the field and grabbed a 29-17 edge early in the final quarter on Cuthbertson’s 25-yard run. With ten minutes remaining Lenoir-Rhyne pulled within 29-24 as Ronnie Edwards (Union Hall, VA) scored on a 10-yard run.

Catawba answered with a 12-play drive that was capped by a 37-yard field goal by Darnell for a 32-24 lead with 5:58 left. A key third-down pass to Page for 15 yards kept the drive alive and Roach later added a 16-yard run to the Bear five. After holding the Bears, Catawba marched to the Lenoir-Rhyne 20, but on fourth down, Darnell’s field goal try was blocked and returned by Steve Norris (Columbia, SC) to the Tribe 28-yard yard line with 1:09 remaining. Five plays later, Morman made his second interception of the night, at the Tribe 10, to seal the win with eight seconds to play.

Catawba totaled 525 yards of offense to just 263 for Lenoir-Rhyne. Roach threw for 224 yards and one score. Brent Johnson made five catches for 75 yards and Lance Johnson (Hickory, NC) had four for 66 yards, including a 20-yard catch on a pass from his brother, Brent. Sanders led the Bears with 118 yards rushing and threw for another 84 on 12-of-22 passing.

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