Means' big day helps Football to 22-6 win at Mars Hill

MARS HILL, NC - Catawba College, ranked 17th in the nation in NCAA Division II, defeated Mars Hill 22-6 in their annual Homecoming game on Saturday afternoon at Meares Stadium in South Atlantic Conference football action. Nick Means (Thomasville, NC) caught a pair of touchdown passes from Luke Samples (Elkin, NC) to lead the Indians, who improve to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the SAC. Mars Hill falls to 3-3 and 0-2. Alan Rohrbaugh (Lexington, NC) kicked a 27-yard field goal with 8:26 left in the first quarter to give Catawba a 3-0 lead. Samples then connected with Means on an 81-yard touchdown pass with 7:56 left in the second quarter to extend the Indians advantage to 10-0. The score was the first touchdown of 80+ yards since Jeff Cochrane hauled in an 89-yard score against Tusculum in 1996. Late in the half, Cedric Squirewell (Ridgeway, SC) returned a punt 55 yards for the Indians third score of the afternoon. It marked the first punt return for a score by a Catawba player since 1991, when Chip Lewis scored on an 82-yard return. Rohrbaugh's PAT kick failed and the teams went into the locker room with Catawba leading 16-0. After a scoreless third quarter, Mars Hill got on the board when Antjuan Welch (Hephzibah, GA) hit Phillip Bohanan (Asheville, NC) on a 27-yard pass with 3:58 remaining in regulation. Mars Hill's PAT pass attempt failed and the score was 16-6. Catawba answered with a 38-yard touchdown strike from Samples to Means on the Indians next possession. After Rohrbaugh's kick, after a 15-yard celebration penalty, missed wide left. The Indians finished the game on Jamel Jackson’s (Concord, NC) interception at the goal line. It was his sixth of the season, which has seen the junior record at least one pick in each game. Field position played a huge factor in the game. Mars Hill's average drive started on their own 16-yard line as opposed to Catawba beginning their drives on their own 32-yard line. Each team committed a single turnover in the contest. Danny Jenkins (Kannapolis, NC) averaged 49 yards on six punts, including a long of 72, and had four downed inside the 20-yard line. Samples passing for 233 yards, completing 15-of-31 pass attempts, and tossed two touchdowns. He also led the rushing attack with 77 yards on the ground. Means caught five passes for 150 yards and two touchdown receptions. The 150 yards sets a new career-high for Means, who had 142 on eight catches last season in a win over Tusculum. Todd McComb (Thomasville, NC) led Catawba's defense with 11 tackles (6 solo). Samario Houston (Charlotte, NC) made eight solo tackles for the Indians. Catawba racked up 364 yards of total offense in the contest. Welch led Mars Hill with 52 rushing yards and 77 passing yards completing 9-of-19 pass attempts and one touchdown strike. Rod Dewalt (Prosperity, SC) caught three passes for 50 yards to lead Lion receivers. Cedric Johnson (Woodruff, SC) recorded 60 rushing yards on 19 carries. Khalid Abdullah led the Lion defense with 12 tackles (9 solo) followed by Jesse Webb (Newland, NC) with 11 tackles (9 solo). Matt Carter (Marshall, NC) added 10 tackles (4 solo). The Lions accumulated 296 net yards, with an even 148 yards passing and rushing. #####

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