Bell Paces Football to 45-20 Win Over Wingate


SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba claimed a 45-20 win over visiting Wingate in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field.  The Catawba Indians, ranked 15th in the AFCA Division II poll, improve to 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the SAC.  Wingate falls to 6-3 and 1-3.

Junior George Bell (Fayetteville, NC/Britt HS) rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns to pace the Catawba offense.  It marked the first 100-yard game of Bell’s collegiate career and he also tied a school mark with his 15th rushing touchdown of the season.  That record was set in 1930 by George Zengale and equaled in 1935 by Red Meehan.

Catawba jumped out to a 14-0 lead after a quarter.  Brad Roach (Williamston, NC/Williamston HS) threw a 26-yard pass to Brent Johnson (Hickory, NC/Hickory HS) and Bell would score late in the frame for the 14-0 lead.  Wingate struck back with two scores as JD Moore (Mount Holly, NC) connected with Jordan Softcheck (Farmingdale, NJ) for a 44-yard score and Chris Conklin (Snow Camp, NC) hauled in a 27-yard pass from Moore.  The Bulldogs would misfire on the second point-after try to lead Catawba up 14-13.

The Indians would get two scores before the end of the half.  Bell carried in from 11 yards out at the 5:30 mark and Cory Darnell (Rural Hall, NC/N. Forsyth HS) added a 27-yard field goal with 48 seconds left in the half.  Bell got the only score of the third quarter on a six-yard run to push the Catawba lead to 31-13. 

Wingate pulled within 31-20 early in the fourth quarter on a four-yard run by Nelson Woods (Charlotte, NC/Burns HS) with 13:02 remaining.  Catawba was stopped on its next drive, but Marqus Davis (Charlotte, NC/N. Mecklenburg HS) sacked Moore and caused a fumble which he recovered at the Bulldog 14.  That led to a three-year run by Kory Fisher (New Bern, NC/New Bern HS) with 8:21 to go to give the Indians a 38-20 lead.

Roach would complete 18-of-27 passes for 251 yards and a pair of scores for Catawba which held a 454-352 edge in total yards.  Johnson had six catches for 82 yards to reach 100 receptions in his career.  Fisher added 88 yards on the ground.  Woods was the workhorse for the Bulldogs, rushing for 160 yards on 25 carries.  Moore was 12-of-24 for 200 yards, but was intercepted three times.  Joe Brown (New Bern, NC/New Bern HS) had two of the picks.

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