Football Opens With 10-9 Victory Over West Liberty


SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba’s defense limited visiting West Liberty to three field goals and handed new Head Coach Curtis Walker a win in his debut with a 10-9 victory over the Hilltoppers in football action on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field.  It marked the opener for both teams.

Danny O’Brien (Kernersville, NC/E. Forsyth HS/Wisconsin) led the Catawba offense as he completed 19-of-34 passes for 189 yards and one score.  He also ran for 51 yards.  Nate Charest (Charlotte, NC/Butler HS) was his top target as the senior caught nine balls for 111 yards and a touchdown.

Cary Littlejohn (Columbus, NC/Polk Co. HS) led Catawba on the ground with 54 yards on 13 carries.  David Burgess (Morganton, NC/Freedom HS) added 40 yards on eight attempts.  Mark McDaniel (China Grove, NC/S. Rowan HS) had a pair of stops for losses on defense and LJ McCray (Charlotte, NC/Harding HS) and Terence Williams (Duluth, GA/Duluth HS) each broke up a pair of passes.

Dylan Lagarde threw for 172 yards on 20-of-43 passing for West Liberty. Dylan Potts had seven catches for 60 yards.  Dominic Cooper was the top gainer on the ground for either team as he ran for 74 yards on 15 carries.  Marquis Bradley had a dozen tackles for the Hilltoppers, while Alec Wood recorded 11 stops.

Catawba scored all 10 of its points in the second quarter and held a 10-3 edge at the half.  West Liberty twice had first and goal situations in the second half, but each time the Catawba Indian defense was able to force field goals.  The last came midway through the fourth quarter.  After cutting the lead to a point, West Liberty was stopped on its next drive at midfield and after punting the ball away, Catawba ran out the clock.

Bryan Arbes opened the scoring with the first of his three field goals, from 36-yards out, at the 7:25 mark of the first quarter.  Catawba went on top when it capped a 13-play, 90-yard drive early in the second quarter on a 10-yard pass from O’Brien to Charest on third down.  Chad Hollandsworth (Kernersville, NC/E. Forsyth HS) added a career-long 47-yard field goal with 6:26 left in the half to put the Indians up 10-3.

Both defenses were stingy on the afternoon as each forced nine punts, but neither team had a turnover.  Catawba outgained the Hilltoppers 344-284 in total yardage and had 18 first downs to 13 for West Liberty.

Catawba travels across town next Saturday for the Mayor’s Cup game against Livingstone at 6 p.m.


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