November 13, 2014
Trip to Hickory Pits Football Against Undefeated LR Squad
Catawba will be looking for its biggest upset since knocking off No. 1 ranked Valdosta State in the 2001 NCAA playoffs when football travels to third-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday. The game pits two long-time rivals who will be facing off for the 94th time.
Catawba holds a 46-43-4 edge in the series, but have not tasted victory over the Bears since a 58-23 thrashing in 2008. The Indians dominated the series from 1995 to 2008, losing just once in the 14 year span. Since then, Lenoir-Rhyne has won five straight with an average margin of victory of 22 points a game.
Last year, the Bears pulled away from a 20-9 halftime lead to win 48-15 at Shuford Stadium. Lenoir-Rhyne went on to make the NCAA II Championship game. Isaiah Whitaker led the ground game against Catawba with 84 of the team’s 445 yards. Graham Duncan added 73 yards and had two third-quarter touchdown runs that broke the game open.
Mike Sheehan made his first career start in last year’s match-up. He completed 11-of-21 passes for 175 yards and ran for another 61. He connected with Carlos Tarrats on a 74-yard touchdown for Catawba’s initial score.
Both teams claimed wins last week. Catawba secured a winning season with a 28-17 victory over North Greenville, while Lenoir-Rhyne stayed unbeaten with a 42-7 win at Alderson-Broaddus. The Bears have won 19 straight conference games dating back to the 2012 season.
Catawba used a strong effort in the second half to rally past North Greenville. The defense shutout the Crusaders over the final 30 minutes for the second straight year and Sheehan had two short scoring runs to push the Indians to the win. Cary Littlejohn ran for 112 yards in the victory, scoring once and moving past 1,000 yards in his career.
The Bears scored the final 42 points in a dominating performance over the Battlers. Lenoir-Rhyne ran for 514 yards, getting 100+ yards and two touchdowns each from Chris Robinson and Michael Patrick. Robinson totaled 114 yards with Patrick finishing with 108.
Saturday will mark the fifth time a Catawba Indian football team has faced a team ranked in the top five of the AFCA poll. Catawba has a 2-3 record against those teams, but have lost the last three and has not won since the 2001 overtime upset of Valdosta State.
|No events scheduled until September 3|