Wingate Rallies Past Catawba For One-Point Win


SALISBURY, NC -- Wingate rallied from a 22-3 deficit in the second half to post a 23-22 win over host Catawba in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field. The Bulldogs improve to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fall to 3-3 and 1-3.

Bulldog Nestor Lantigua (Wellington, FL) scored the first two Wingate touchdowns after the break, while Robbie Nallenweg (Asheville, NC) tossed a 9-yard pass to Angelo Crawford-Reid (Gastonia, NC) with just over four minutes left to complete the comeback. Freshman David Burgess (Morganton, NC/Freedom HS) ran for all three Catawba scores.

The Bulldogs were out-gained by Catawba in total yards with the Indians totaling 333 to the Bulldogs' 244. Nallenweg completed 27-of-34 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown. Lantigua ran for 45 of Wingate 58 net yards on the ground. Tim Nalesnik had seven receptions for 55 yards.

Catawba quarterback Danny O'Brien (Kernersville, NC/E. Forsyth HS/Wisconsin) matched Wingate's Nallenweg completion for completion, as he had the exact same numbers with his 27-of-34 afternoon. He threw for 203 yards with 60 of those going to Nate Charest (Charlotte, NC/Butler HS) on eight catches. Burgess ran for 78 yards on 18 carries and his three scores.

The Indians struck first, as freshman linebacker Jalen Forrest (Winston-Salem, NC/E. Forsyth HS) intercepted Nallenweg at the Wingate 30 on the Bulldogs' second play from scrimmage. Four plays later, Burgess scored on a 12-yard run. Mike Sheehan (Wilmington, NC/Laney HS) ran in the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead at the 10:22 mark.

Wingate answered early in the second quarter, as Patrick Smith (Hickory, NC) nailed a 32-yard field goal. It capped 13-play, 52-yard drive for the visiting Bulldogs. Catawba came right back with its longest drive of the afternoon to take a 12-point lead.

Burgess did the honors, scoring on a one-yard run with 7:28 to play before halftime. Chad Hollandsworth (Kernersville, NC/E. Forsyth HS) added the PAT to conclude the 14-play, 67-yard drive and make the score 15-3 Indians at intermission.

Wingate's first third quarter possession ended on a fumble. Catawba needed only five plays to find the end zone, as Burgess collected his final touchdown on a one-yard plunge. The Hollandsworth extra point put the Indians up 22-3 with 11:42 remaining in the third quarter.

Catawba would not score again, as the visiting Bulldogs scored the final 20 points of the contest. Lantigua scored the first of his two touchdowns to conclude a 10-play, 44-yard drive midway through the third quarter. Lantigua's two-yard TD run at the 5:49 plateau cut the Wingate deficit to 22-9 after the Bulldogs failed on a two-point conversion try.

A short Indian punt gave the Bulldogs possession on the Wingate 39-yard line. On fourth-and-one from the Catawba 18-yard line, Lantigua found a crease to pull the visitors within one score. Smith split the uprights to conclude a nine-play, 61-yard drive and make the score Catawba 22, Wingate 16 with 15 ticks left on the third quarter clock.

Catawba drove to the Wingate 40 after that score, but a fumble gave the ball back to the Bulldogs. Nallenweg converted a third-and-eight early in the drive and led the Bulldogs to the go-ahead score on the pass to Crawford-Reid. The Indians went for a fourth-and-10 with three and a half minutes left, but Tyler Hamilton (Charlotte, NC/Vance HS) was stopped a yard short. Wingate was able to run out the clock after converting on a third-and-14 on a 16-yard pass from Nallenweg to Nalesnik.

Three Wingate defenders had 10 or more tackles. Jon Jimenez (Scottsdale, AZ) led both teams with his 13 total stops. Eric Mapoles (Snellville, GA) and Timmy Rogers (Sumter, SC) had 11 and 10 tackles, respectively. Catawba's Jamal Lackey (Mocksville, NC/Davie Co. HS) and Jason Taylor (Bahama, NC/Northern HS) had eight tackles each for the hosts. Lackey was involved in two quarterback sacks as the Indians sacked Nallenweg four times Saturday.

Catawba will host UNC Pembroke at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday during Homecoming.


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