Miscues Costly for Football in Loss at Mars Hill


MARS HILL, N.C. -- Mars Hill used a strong running game and helped force five turnovers to defeat visiting Catawba 35-7 in South Atlantic Conference football action on Sunday afternoon at the Ammons Family Athletic Center.  The Lions improve to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fall to 5-4 and 3-3.

Foluke Gordon-Lamar ran for 202 of his 221 yards in the opening half as the Lions used two big runs and a several Catawba miscues to grab a 21-7 lead at the break.  The Mars Hill defense kept Catawba off the scoreboard in the second half.

On the first Lion possession, Gordon-Lamar set up the first score with a 59-yard run to the Catawba seven.  He would score two plays later on a one-yard run.  The Indians used a 40-yard halfback pass from David Burgess (Morganton, N.C./Freedom HS) to Keyon West (N. Augusta, S.C./N. Augusta HS) to set up a scoring chance, but the drive ended on a missed field goal.

Catawba would pull even late in the first quarter as Mike Sheehan (Mike Sheehan (Wilmington, N.C./Laney HS) threw a 23-yard pass to Gary Williams (Southport, N.C./S. Brunswick HS).  Gordon-Lamar set up another Lion score just a minute later as he ripped off a 67-yard run to the one.  Matt Layman took it over from there to give the Lions the lead for good.

The Indians drove to the Lion one midway in the second quarter, but fumbled into the end zone to end the chance.  Mars Hill converted a fourth-and-seven late in the first half and cashed it in with a 23-yard pass from Layman to Dimitri Holmes inside the final minute.

Catawba had a chance to cut into the deficit twice in the third quarter.  The first drive inside the 20 ended on downs when Sheehan was tackled for a loss on fourth-and-one.  On the next drive, the Indians moved to the Mars Hill two, but Sheehan was intercepted in the end zone on third down.

Late in the third quarter, Layman completed a 51-yard pass to Holmes that set the Lions up at the Catawba 24.  Layman would get the score early in the fourth quarter on a two-yard run.  After a Catawba interception, Mars Hill put the game away on a 24-yard pass from Layman to Holmes with 9:01 remaining.

Sheehan completed 12-of-29 passes for 168 yards, but was intercepted four times.  He led Catawba on the ground with 66 yards.  Burgess added 50 yards before leaving the game in the third quarter with an injury.  West caught four passes for 94 yards.

Gordon-Lamar ran for 221 of the 264 rushing yards for Mars Hill.  Layman went 8-of-22 in the air for 144 yards with Holmes making five catches for 122 yards.  Chris Daniels made 14 stops for the Lions and recorded two of the team’s four sacks.

Mark McDaniel (China Grove, N.C./S. Rowan HS) had two interceptions for the Indians to raise his season total to five.  Kegan Funderburk (Pageland, S.C./C. Pageland HS) had two stops for losses.

Catawba will host North Greenville on Saturday in the final home game of the season at 1:30 p.m.

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