November 17, 2002
Football gets return trip to Valdosta for playoff gameAs expected, Catawba College earned one of 16 bids to the 2002 NCAA Division II Football Playoffs. The playoffs consist of four teams in each of four regions. Catawba is seeded fourth in the South Region and will travel to Valdosta State in Valdosta, GA, to face the top-seeded Blazers this weekend. Carson-Newman will host Fayetteville State in the other South Region first round matchup.
This marks the fourth consecutive year that Catawba has advanced to the playoffs. The Indians have won all three of their previous first round games, but those were home wins over Fort Valley State in 1999, West Georgia in 2000 and Central Arkansas in 2001. Catawba has only earned one road playoff win over the last three seasons and that victory came in a thrilling 37-34 overtime win over Valdosta State in last year’s South Region final.
Catawba earned its trip following a 37-17 win over Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday. Sophomore tailback Rodney Wallace ran through the rain and mud for a career-high 227 yards and three scores in the win. With the career day, Wallace set a new school single-season rushing mark with 1,032 yards. He also set a record with 176 yards in the opening half of Saturday’s win as he rushed for 123 yards and three scores in the second quarter as the Indians turned a 7-2 deficit into a 28-10 lead. Valdosta stamped its second straight top-seed for the regional playoffs after a 19-3 win at West Georgia in similar rainy conditions.
2002 NCAA II FIRST ROUND GAMES
Catawba at Valdosta State
Fayetteville State at Carson-Newman
Cal-Davis at Central Washington
Texas A&M-Kingsville at Nebraska-Kearney
C.W. Post at Grand Valley State
Saginaw Valley State at Indiana,PA
Minnesota-Duluth at NW Missouri State
Central Missouri State at Northern Colorado
|No events scheduled until September 3|