Football escapes with 21-17 win over Tusculum

SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba junior Marcus Bland (Garner, NC) scored from a yard out with 8:33 to play to lift the Indians, ranked sixth in the AFCA Coaches Poll, past 20th-ranked Tusculum 21-17 in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium. The win improves Catawba to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the SAC and extends the Tribe's regular-season win streak to 22 games and 16 straight in the SAC. Tusculum falls to 5-1 and 2-1, ending a six-game win streak. The Indians started the game-winning drive on their own 17-yard line and got two huge pass plays from Luke Samples (Elkin, NC) to Nick Means (Thomasville, NC) to set up the score. The first was went for 20 yards on a 3rd-and-9 play to the Tribe 48-yard line, the second was for 31 yards two plays later to the Tusculum 21. A Pioneer pass interference penalty moved the ball to Catawba's two, setting up the plunge by Bland. Means would catch a career-high eight balls on the day for a high of 142 yards. Tusculum led at the half 7-6, opening the game with a 12-play, 90-yard drive that was capped by a two- yard run by Aaron Claridy (Jasper, FL). Each team would miss field goals before Catawba's Matt Gross (Hendersonville, NC) delivered the Tribe's first points on a 34-yard kick mid-way through the second quarter. Catawba would close within a point late in the half as Gross connected from 49 yards out with 21 seconds remaining before the break. Tusculum failed to convert a Catawba fumble on the second play of the third quarter into points as Paul Czerniak (Syracuse, NY) missed from 42 yards away. The Pioneers would score on their next possession as Caleb Slover (Lake City, TN) dove in from a yard out just 3:35 into the second half. A Slover64-yard pass to Bobby Thompson (Inman, SC) put Tusculum on the Catawba one-yard line. Catawba drove for the tying points on the ensuing drive. The Indians went 83 yards in 10 plays for the score, which came on a 20-yard pass from Samples to O.J. Lennon (Greensboro, NC). Samples completed the two-point pass to Mark Sintich (Lawrenceville, GA) to draw the teams even at the 8:02 mark of the third quarter. Tusculum went back into the lead on a 24-yard field goal by Czerniak with 12:47 left, then Catawba began its winning drive. Samples completed 16-of-33 passes for 241 yards, while his counterpart Slover was 26-of-43 for 328 yards and was intercepted once. Kevin Wolcott (Crossville, TN) had nine receptions for 131 yard for the Pioneers. Neither team found much success on the ground as Tusculum managed just 55 yards and Catawba 67. The Pioneers held a 383-308 edge in total yards, but Catawba held the edge in first downs 21-14. Box Score (Final) Tusculum Pioneers vs Catawba Indians (Oct 06, 2001 at Salisbury, NC) Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Tusculum Pioneers (5-1, 2-1) .. 7 0 7 3 - 17 Catawba Indians (6-0, 4-0) .. 0 6 8 7 - 21 Scoring Summary: 1st quarter 08:52 TC - Aaron Claridy 2 run (Paul Czerniak kick) 2nd quarter 08:06 CAT - Matt Gross 34 FG 00:21 CAT - Matt Gross 49 yd field goal 3rd quarter 11:25 TC - Caleb Slover 1 run (Paul Czerniak kick) 08:02 CAT - O.J. Lennon 20 pass from Luke Samples (Mark Sintich pass from Samples) 4th quarter 12:47 TC - Czerniak 24 FG 08:33 CAT - Marcus Bland 1 run (Gross kick) .................................................. TC CAT FIRST DOWNS................... 14 21 RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 29-55 43-67 PASSING YDS (NET)............. 328 241 Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 42-26-1 33-16-0 TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 71-383 76-308 Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0 Punt Returns-Yards............ 5-53 2-15 Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 4-111 4-80 Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 1--2 Punts (Number-Avg)............ 6-38.3 7-41.3 Fumbles-Lost.................. 0-0 2-1 Penalties-Yards............... 15-116 4-40 Possession Time............... 28:48 31:12 Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 4-25 2-18 RUSHING: Tusculum Pioneers-Aaron Claridy 15-48; Caleb Slover 11-8; Kenya Dease 2-1; TM 1-minus 2. Catawba Indians-Rodney Wallace 15-42; Marcus Bland 6-15; Tony Hawkins 7-10; Luke Samples 14-2; TM 1-minus 2. PASSING: Tusculum-Caleb Slover 26-42-1-328. Catawba-Luke Samples 16-33-0-241. RECEIVING: Tusculum-Kevin Wolcott 9-131; Reggie Jones 5-91; Aaron Claridy 5-2; Jason Nance 4-32; Bobby Thompson 3-72. Catawba-Nick Means 8-142; Preston Lewis 3-33; O.J. Lennon 2-30; Cedric Squirewell 2-24; Marcus Bland 1-12. INTERCEPTIONS: Tusculum-None. Catawba-Jamel Jackson 1-minus 2. FUMBLES: Tusculum-None. Catawba-Tony Hawkins 1-1; Luke Samples 1-0. SACKS (UA-A): Tusculum-Walter Johnson 0-2; Daris Robinson 0-2; JaRod Smith 1-0; Craig Pritchett 1-0. Catawba-James McDowell 1-0; Todd McComb 1-0. TACKLES (UA-A): Tusculum-D.J. Starling 4-8; Rashaun Strickland 4-6; Daris Robinson 2-7; Craig Pritchett 2-5; JaRod Smith 4-2; Donald Amaker 4-1; Alan Commons 1-4; Blu Davis 1-4; Walter Johnson 0-5; Terrance Horne 1-2; Justin Frank 2-0; Greg Rush 2-0; Gary Holmes 1-1; Jahmaal Nelson 1-0; Sammy Foster 1-0; Lee Hughes 1-0; Brett Sivert 1-0; Kevin Wolcott 1-0; Derek Stinson 0-1; Michael Anderson 0-1; Lebron Johnson 0-1; Mike Hobbs 0-1; Kelvin Davis 0-1. Catawba-Darris Morris 2-9; Shawn Sanders 3-6; Shawn McBride 3-6; Jemonte Battle 4-4; Todd McComb 1-6; Jamel Jackson 4-1; Corey Reese 3-2; Ryan Norman 3-0; Marcus Hicks 2-1; Reggie Tucker 1-2; Richard Scott 1-2; Maurice Price 0-3; James McDowell 2-0; Kenny White 1-1; Grant Cain 1-1; David Huey 0-2; Khanis Hubbard 0-2; Eddie Wall 1-0; Anthony Coulson 1-0; Steven Williams 0-1; Maurice Simpkins 0-1. Stadium: Shuford Attendance: 3371 Kickoff time: 1:30 Total elapsed time: 3:10 Officials: Referee: L.Honeycutt; Umpire: S.Carriker; Linesman: J.Shire; Line judge: G.Parman; Back judge: M.Safrit; Field judge: G.Patterson; Side judge: T.Potts; Scorer: K.Johnson; Temperature: 65 Wind: W 0-10 Weather: Overcast, Light Rain Catawba ranked 6th in NCAA II. Tusculum ranked 20th in NCAA II. Catawba extends regular-season win streak to 22 games. Catawba extends conference win streak to 16 games. #######

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