Confernece Opener On Tap As Football Travels To Newberry


Catawba will begin the South Atlantic Conference portion of its football schedule this Saturday as the team will travel to Newberry to face the Wolves at Setzler Field at 6 p.m.  It marks the last of three consecutive road games to start the year as Catawba will play its first home game next week.

The Indians are coming off a 35-17 loss at Western Carolina, while Newberry ran away from Limestone to post a 70-20 win, scoring 49 points over the last 20 minutes.  This will be the 78th meeting of the schools in football with Catawba holding a 38-36-3 edge all-time.  The Wolves have won the last three meeting and seven of the past nine.

Last year, Newberry came to Shuford Stadium and overcame a steady rain to shutout Catawba 27-0.  It marked the first time the Indians had failed to score since the 1995 opener, a span of 210 games.  Corey Washington, who now plays for the New York Giants in the NFL, caught two first quarter touchdown passes and Newberry went on to lead 24-0 at the half.

This season, Mike Sheehan has been one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the nation, completing two-thirds of his passes and averaging just over 200 yards per game.  He has thrown a conference-leading five touchdown passes.  His Newberry counterpart, W.T. Murden, is averaging nearly 170 yards through the air with three TD passes and no interceptions.

Wide receiver Gary Williams is coming off a career-high seven-catch, 94-yard performance at Western Carolina last Saturday.  The junior had one touchdown grab and leads the team with eight catches on the year.  Tyler Hamilton and Carlos Tarrats each have seven receptions.

On defense, Philip George leads the team with 16 tackles, but a pair of linebackers have been creating a big impact.  Jason Taylor has a sack a four tackles for losses among his 13 stops, while Jamal Lackey also has four tackles for losses and an interception which went for a touchdown in the opener at Davidson.

Both teams enter with a very balanced attack.  Catawba is averaging 206 yards rushing and 222.5 yards passing.  Newberry runs the ball for 179 yards a contest and passes for 180.5.  The Wolves have committed just two turnovers and created five, while Catawba has six turnovers with three takeaways.

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