Big Plays Get Football Past Tusculum 37-35


SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba amassed a season-high 543 yards of total offense and held off Tusculum for a 37-35 win in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field.  The win improves the Catawba Indians to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the SAC, keeping the Tribe from its first three-games losing streak since 1994.  The Pioneers fall to 5-3 and 2-2.

Catawba opened the game of big plays as Jamelle Cuthbertson (Charlotte, NC/Harding HS) dashed 63 yards for a score just 3:58 into the contest.  The run would lead to a 121-yard afternoon for the senior, who went over 100 yards for the fourth straight game to tie Andre Marshall’s school record.

Tusculum would answer after a 43-yard kickoff return by Deonte’ Gist (Wellford, SC) set up the Pioneers at the Catawba 46 yard line.  Gist caught a 32-yard pass to the 13 and Jamar Ferguson (Jasper, SC) tied the game with a one-yard run.  On the next TC possession, Corey Russell (Fountain Inn, SC) went up top to Calvin Britt (Augusta, GA) on a 2nd-and-20 play for a 73-yard score and a 14-7 lead with 3:29 to go in the opening quarter.

A 60-yard pass from Catawba’s Patrick Dennis (Durham, NC/Cedar Ridge HS) to Brandon Bunn (Virginia Beach, VA/Fork Union) set up a four-yard run by Cuthbertson, but Catawba would miss the point-after, leaving Tusculum on top 14-13.  After a TC fumble, Thomas Trexler (Wilmington, NC/New Hanover HS) converted a 21-yard field goal to give Catawba a 16-14 edge with 3:26 left in the half.

The Pioneers would strike again before the half was over as Russell connected with Nate Binder (Maidstone, Ont, Canada) for a 59-yard touchdown.  The score with just 1:38 remaining in the half gave TC a 21-16 lead.  Catawba marched to the Tusculum four in the final seconds, but a sack by Javon Forsett (Cedar Hill, TX) forced a field goal which was missed.

Catawba retook the lead by scoring on its first two drives of the second half.  Dennis threw a 36-yard pass to Eric Morman (Rockingham, NC/Richmond Sr. HS) and another one of 51-yards to Brian Terwilliger (Wilmington, NC/New Hanover HS) for a 30-21 edge midway through the third quarter.  Less than two minutes later, Russell hooked up with Binder on a 60-yard score to trim the Pioneer deficit to 30-28.

Before the third quarter was over, Catawba would strike again.  On a fourth-and-one play, Terwilliger ran up the middle for 27 yards and a 37-28 Indian lead.  The Tribe defense would record four sacks over the next three TC possessions, keeping the Pioneers off the board until 2:11 remained when Russell tossed a 17-yard pass to Binder to cut the Catawba lead to 37-35.  Aaron Cauble (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) recovered the on-side kick attempt and Catawba was able to run out the clock.

Dennis threw for 357 yards and two scores for Catawba, completing 19-of-27 passes.  Morman had five catches for 71 yards, while Terwilliger had a touchdown receiving and rushing.  Russell completed 18-of-32 passes for 402 yards and four scores to lead the Pioneers.  Binder had 148 yards receiving, while Britt added 139.  Catawba had just over 39 minutes of possession time and did not commit a turnover.  The Indian defense recorded five sacks and held TC to just 48 yards rushing.

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