Football Holds Off Fayetteville State As Defense Posts Eight Sacks


FAYETTEVILLE, NC -- Junior Patrick Dennis (Durham, NC/Cedar Ridge HS) came off the bench to throw a pair of touchdown passes and the Catawba defense posted eight sacks in a 21-20 win over host Fayetteville State in football action on Saturday night at Jaralds Stadium.  The 25th-ranked Catawba Indians improve to 2-0, while the Broncos fall to 0-2.

Dennis relieved starter Cameron Sexton (Laurinburg, NC/Scotland Co. HS/UNC) after the third play of the game and went on to complete 12-of-24 passes for 174 yards.  Sexton left with an ankle injury on a late hit after completing his lone pass attempt.

The Catawba offense struggled in the opening half and it was the defense that put the Tribe’s lone points on the board in the first 30 minutes.  Julian Hartsell (Columbia, SC/Ridgeview HS) tipped a pass, caught the defection and raced 25 yards for a score to tie the game at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.

The Broncos had scored first at the 3:51 mark, capitalizing on a 39-yard pass from Ben Williams to Bobby Wilder.  Richard Medlin got the score on a nine-yard run.  The Broncos took a 10-7 lead at the half after a 47-yard field goal by Austin Turner with just 31 seconds left in the half. 

Catawba had a chance to tie in the waning seconds, but Thomas Trexler (Wilmington, NC/New Hanover HS) was wide on his attempt.  Each team had a punt and field goal blocked in the first half.  Marcus Davis (Charlotte, NC/N. Mecklenburg HS) blocked both kicks for the Indians.

Catawba took its first lead on the Indians’ first possession of the second half.  Dennis hit Brian Terwilliger (Wilmington, NC/New Hanover HS) for 45 yards then tossed a 27-yard pass to Brandon Bunn (Virginia Beach, VA/Hargrave/VMI), who made a sliding catch in the end zone as the Broncos were flagged for their third roughing the passer penalty of the night on the play.

Austin pulled the Broncos within 14-13 on a 37-yard field with just under five minutes left in the third quarter, but Dennis answered on Catawba’s next drive.  He found Bunn once again, this time from 25 yards, to give the Indians a 21-13 lead with 1:46 remaining in the quarter.  Antonio Hall (Greensboro, NC/NE Guilford HS) help set up the score with a 33-yard run to start the drive.  He finished with a career-high 116 yards rushing.

The Broncos would block another Catawba punt early in the fourth quarter and used the momentum to cut the deficit back to a single point.  Williams threw a 17-yard pass to Wilder and Medlin ran 25 yards for the score on the next play.

Fayetteville had a drive in the final five minutes into Catawba territory, but a sack forced a 60-yard field goal attempt by Turner that was short.  FSU had one final chance with 30 seconds to play, but Davis ended hopes with a sack on the final play.

Davis keyed the defense, making nine tackles, including being in on three sacks.  Lakeem Perry (Louisburg, NC/Louisburg HS) was also in on three sacks and forced a fumble.  Melquan Fair (Raleigh, NC/E. Wake HS) had two sacks.

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