Home Playoff Game on Line as Football Hosts LR Saturday


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba, already assured of at least a share of the South Atlantic Conference title, will look to win the league outright when the Catawba Indians host Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday at Shuford Stadium.  Catawba last won the SAC Championship in 2007.

Catawba has won six straight since a 17-0 loss at home to Wingate in week four.  A 17-13 comeback win over Newberry started the streak which is the longest since the Indians took seven in a row to start the 2007 campaign.  That also marks the last time Catawba advanced to the NCAA II Playoffs.

Not only is an outright league title on the line Saturday, but also the potential to host a first round playoff game.  Catawba is currently ranked third in Super Region 2 with teams ranked 2-4 earning the right to host a game on November 21.

Catawba had a dominating game on defense last week in a 24-6 win at Tusculum.  The Indians held a high-scoring Pioneer offense to just two field goals.  Jonathan Jean had nine tackles with two for losses and a sack.  Trey Evans also recorded nine stops.  Kyle Kitchens added another sack to his team-high 11 on the year and was in on three for losses.

Offensively, Mike Sheehan accounted for all three touchdowns, running for one and throwing for two.  His two-yard run early in the second quarter put Catawba up for good at 7-3.  Sheehan added a 25-yard pass to David Burgess in the second quarter and a 35-yarder to Brandon Brown in the third to extend the lead to 21-3.

Cary Littlejohn racked up his second straight 100-yard day and third on the season with 100 yards on 21 carries.  The yardage pushed him over 2,000 career yards to become just the eighth Catawba back to eclipse that plateau.

Lenoir-Rhyne snapped a three-game slide with a 27-0 win over Brevard last weekend.  The Bears took the lead early in the second quarter on a run by Michael Patrick then cashed in on blocked field in the final minute of the half when Kyle Dugger returned the block 53 yards for a score.  Patrick and Evin Sims added TD runs in the final half.

Patrick finished with 209 yards and two scores on 19 carries.  The Bears totaled 443 of its 457 yards on the ground.  Kristaan Ivory added 71 yards rushing, while Kevin Eckel totaled 62.  Jordan Forney had 10 tackles with three for losses, while Placid Ajoku recorded a sack for the Bears.

Saturday’s 1:30 kickoff marks the 95th meeting of the schools in football.  Catawba has not beaten Lenoir-Rhyne since 2008 when the Indians won 58-23 at Shuford Stadium.  The Bears have won six straight to close the Catawba lead in the all-time series to 46-44-4.

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