October 9, 2014
Football Heads to Wingate Saturday in Search of Back-to-Back Wins
The Catawba football team will try to put together consecutive wins for the first time this season as it travels to Wingate this Saturday for a 1:30 pm kickoff. Both teams enter with 3-2 overall records with the Catawba Indians standing 2-1 in the SAC and the Bulldogs sitting at 0-2 in the league.
Catawba’s offense has been putting up solid numbers this year, gaining over 450 total in four of the five games. The last two outings, against Carson-Newman and Tusculum, the Indians rolled up over 500 yards in consecutive games for the first time in school history.
Against Tusculum, Catawba produced a pair of 100-yard rushers for the first time since 2004. Cary Littlejohn led the way 104 yards and went over 100 yards for the second time in three weeks. Quarterback Mike Sheehan added 102 yards to notch a career-high. Two other backs, freshman Eamon Smart (81 yards) and sophomore David Burgess (79 yards), also posted career highs.
Mark McDaniel had a big day on defense for the Indians against the Pioneers. He started the game by intercepting a Tusculum pass on the Catawba goal line to end the Pioneers’ first drive. He later forced two fumbles, broke up two more passes and recorded a tackle for loss.
While Catawba has won two of its last three outings, the Bulldogs have dropped two of their last three. After two opening wins, Wingate fell to nationally-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne, beat UNC Pembroke and lost to Newberry last week.
Jon Jimenez got Wingate off to a quick start at Newberry, returning an interception 55 yards for a score less than three minutes into the game. Newberry followed with three unanswered touchdowns to lead 21-7 at the break. The Bulldogs were held to just 140 total yards in the loss.
For Catawba this season, the Indians are averaging nearly 480 yards of offense a game. Sheehan has been solid as the signal caller, completing 65% of his passes with 10 touchdowns to only three interceptions.
The running game has been balanced with five backs, including Sheehan, averaging over four yards per carry. Littlejohn leads the team in rushing with 318 yards, followed by Burgess with 269. Gary Williams tops the team with 22 receptions and is followed closely by Carlos Tarrats and Tyler Hamilton, both with 20 catches.
Jason Taylor continues to lead the defense with 42 tackles. He shares the team lead in tackles for loss with Jamal Lackey as each have six on the year. Six players have posted sacks and five have recorded interceptions.
For Wingate, quarterback Kyle Johnson is hitting on just over 60% of his attempts and is averaging 193 yards a contest. He has thrown for five scores and been picked off five times. His top target is Jordan Berry, who has made 23 receptions for 290 yards and a pair of scores. Nestor Lantigua leads the ground game with 246 yards and two touchdowns.
On defense, Wingate is allowing just 314 yards per game and just under 20 points per outing. Defensive end Nick Napolitano has posted three and half sacks and seven stops for losses.
Catawba leads the overall series with Wingate 19-11 and holds a 16-10 edge since the Bulldogs became a four-year institution. Wingate has won five of the last six match-ups with the past two years going down to the final minutes. The Bulldogs claimed an overtime win in 2012 and eked out a 23-22 victory last year, rallying with three unanswered touchdowns in the final 20 minutes of play.
|No events scheduled until September 3|