Football Runs Over Tusculum 51-21


SALISBURY, N.C. -- The Catawba football team piled up over 500 yards of total offense for the second straight week en route to a 51-21 South Atlantic Conference win over visiting Tusculum on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field.  The Catawba Indians improve to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the SAC, while the Pioneers fall to 1-4 and 0-2.

Catawba rolled up a season-high 383 yards on the ground with both Cary Littlejohn (Columbus, N.C./Polk Co. HS) and quarterback Mike Sheehan (Wilmington, N.C./Laney HS) going over 100 yards.  Littlejohn led the way with 104 yards that included a 61-yard touchdown run that made the score 21-0 early in the second quarter.  Sheehan ran for 102 yards and one score while throwing for 180 yards and another touchdown.

On a windy afternoon, Tusculum took the opening possession with the wind and quickly marched inside the Catawba 10.  Mark McDaniel (China Grove, N.C./S. Rowan HS) ended the drive with an interception on the goal line.  The junior would also cause two fumbles on the day in addition to a tackle for loss.

Catawba took the lead for good on its second possession.  Sheehan helped set up the score on a 36-yard run on a draw play then later threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to David Burgess (Morganton, N.C./Freedom HS) with 5:15 to go in the opening quarter.  Burgess also ran for two scores, the first coming on the third play of the second quarter.

Indian freshman Eamon Smart (Cape Coral, Fla./Cape Coral HS) made it 28-0 midway through the second quarter on a 17-yard run.  Tusculum got back into the game on the ensuing kickoff, getting a one-yard run from Fernando Smith (Baltimore, Md.) after an 80-yard return from Ken Funnye (Georgetown, S.C.).

Tusculum caught a break on its kickoff as a high kick into the wind hit the ground and spun backwards into the arms of Irim Aiken (Hanahan, S.C.).  Smith again scored from a yard out to cut the margin to 28-14.  Catawba regained the momentum going into the half, marching 76 yards in 11 plays to lead 35-14 after a five-yard run by Sheehan.

Each team scored in the third quarter.  Burgess got his season scoring run at the 11:45 mark and Funnye caught a 47-yard pass from Malcolm Pendergrass (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) with 1:44 remaining.  The Indians capped the scoring on a Reid Carlton (Lacanto, Fla.) run and a safety on a bad snap out of the end zone.

Tusculum was held to 345 total yards and just 89 on the ground.  Pendergrass went 14-of-32 passing for 256 yards.  He threw for a score and was intercepted twice.  Smith and D.J. Haney (Greeneville, Tenn.) each ran for 33 yards.

Smart and Burgess both flirted with 100 yards.  Smart finishing with 81 yards and Burgess with 79.  Jamal Lackey (Mocksville, N.C./Davie Co. HS) had a sack and recovered a fumble for Catawba, while Gabe Evans (Fayetteville, N.C./Pine Forest HS) intercepted a pass.

Catawba will travel to Wingate next Saturday for a 1:30 kickoff with the Bulldogs.

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