Football Snaps Home Skid, Tops Shaw 32-21


SALISBURY, NC – Senior Patrick Dennis (Durham, NC/Cedar Ridge HS) threw for 296 yards and a pair of scores, while the Catawba defense recorded six sacks in a 32-21 win over visiting Shaw University in football action on Saturday night at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field.  The Catawba Indians improve to 2-1, while the Bears fall to 1-2.

Catawba scored on all five of its first-half possessions and built a 23-14 edge at the break.  Dennis guided the Indians 66 yards on the opening drive that was capped by a one-yard run by Josh Wright (Raeford, NC/Hoke Co. HS/W. Carolina).  On the ensuing possession, Catawba marched 51 yards with Dennis tossing a 10-yard pass to Gerron Bryant (W. Palm Beach, FL/Boynton Beach HS/Palm Beach CC) for the score and a 14-0 lead.

Shaw got on the board quickly after going down by two touchdowns as Kevin Atkins (Durham, NC) completed three passes to cover 61 yards in just 50 seconds.  The last one for the score went to Tyrone Bolden (Cleveland, OH) from 11 yards out. 

Two Thomas Trexler (Wilmington, NC/New Hanover HS) field goals extended the Catawba lead to 20-7 before Atkins ran in from a yard out to cut the margin to 20-14 with just 1:13 left in the half.  Catawba was able to get into field goal position before the break and Trexler connected from 45 yards away for the 23-14 lead.

Catawba extended its lead to 30-14 late in the third quarter when Wright caught a six-yard scoring pass from Dennis.  Shaw got a score back midway through the fourth quarter on a 15-yard pass from Atkins to Julius Gregory (Portsmouth, VA) and stopped a Catawba drive inside the red zone on an interception by Darnell Evans (Madison, NJ).  The Catawba defense responded when Julian Hartsell (Columbia, SC/Ridgeview HS) and Damien Lee (Reidsville, NC/Reidsville HS) combined to bring down Atkins in the end zone for a safety with 5:17 left.

Dennis completed 22-of-32 passes on the night, while Wright ran for 93 yards and caught three passes.  Bryant led the way with six receptions for 77 yards, while Brandon Bunn (Virginia Beach, VA/Fork Union/VMI) had five grabs for 73 yards.  Hartsell and Lee were each in on three sacks, while Brandon Sutton (Snow Hill, NC/Greene Central HS) had a pair of sacks with a forced fumble, a blocked field goal and nine total tackles.

Atkins completed 22-of-31 passes for 259 yards and two scores for Shaw.  Raymond Williams (Cleveland, OH) added 55 yards on the ground, but the Bears finished the game with a net of just four yards rushing.  Bolden caught six passes for 62 yards.  Fred Sparkman (Columbia, TN) made a dozen tackles on defense and had a sack.


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