Six Turnovers Leads to Frustrating Loss at Wingate


WINGATE, N.C. -- After rolling up over 500 yards for the past two weeks, Catawba's offense was limited to less than 300 yards, committed six turnovers and surrendered a pair of safeties in a frustrating 30-19 loss to Wingate on Saturday afternoon at Belk Stadium.  The Bulldogs improve to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the South Atlantic Conference, while the Catawba Indians drop to 3-3 and 2-2.

Mike Sheehan (Wilmington, N.C./Laney HS) completed just 11-of-30 passes for 167 yards, was intercepted five times and sacked three times.  His bright spot was a 57-yard scoring strike to Gary Williams (Southport, N.C./S. Brunswick HS) that cut a deficit to 13-9 midway through the second quarter.  Williams had three catches on the day for 71 yards.

Catawba missed a field goal on its opening drive and Nestor Lantigua hit a 60-yard run on the first offensive play for the Bulldogs.  That set up the first score, a seven-yard pass from Kyle Johnson to Jordan Berry.  That duo would put more points on the scoreboard for Wingate after Catawba's first interception of the game.  Berry made the 15-yard grab to make it 13-3.

Wingate answered Catawba's score that cut the lead to 13-9 with a quick strike on Johnson's 40-yard pass to Cameron Leviner.  The Bulldogs took that 19-9 edge to the break. 

A bad snap on a Bulldog punt led to a Catawba score midway through the third quarter.  Sheehan ran it in from 14 yards out to make it 19-16.  Following an interception by Gabe Evans (Fayetteville, N.C./Pine Forest HS) the Indians tied the game on a 27-yard field goal by Chad Hollandsworth (Kernersville, N.C./E. Forsyth HS).

Mark McDaniel (China Grove, N.C./S. Rowan HS) ended the next Wingate drive with an interception at the two-yard-line with 1:18 to go in third quarter, but the Bulldogs would shut down Catawba's offense from there.  The Indians spent the fourth quarter backed up to its own goal line with four drives starting inside their own 10.  The biggest play was a third-down interception by Jon Jimenez at the Catawba 33 that turned into a Lantigua four-yard run, giving Wingate a 26-19 lead with 9:25 to play.

A miscue on a snap led to the first Wingate safety with 6:08 remaining and Sheehan was called for intentional grounding in the end zone on the Tribe's next possession to make it 30-19 with 3:56 to go.  Catawba was held to just two net yards in the fourth quarter.

Johnson went 17-of-38 in the air for Wingate, totaling 196 yards.  He threw three touchdowns and was intercepted three times.  Lantigua picked up 115 yards on the ground, while Berry caught eight passes for 81 yards and two scores.

Jason Taylor (Bahama, N.C./Northern HS) posted a dozen tackles for Catawba on defense.  Kyle Kitchens (Decatur, Ga./Decatur HS) and Derrick Lee (Siler City, N.C./Jordan-Matthews HS) had sacks, while Michael Peppers (Clemson, N.C./Daniel HS) joined Evans and McDaniel with an interception.

Catawba travels to UNC Pembroke next Saturday for a 1 pm kickoff at Johnson Stadium.

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