Football Pounds Wingate to End Skid Against Bulldogs


WINGATE, N.C. -- Catawba snapped a five-game losing streak to Wingate, rolling to a 48-26 win in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Belk Stadium.  The Catawba defense created seven turnovers that led to 34 points in the rout that saw the Catawba Indians improve to 2-2 overall and 2-0 in the SAC.  The Bulldogs fell to 3-1 and 1-1.

Case Woodard (Snellville, Ga./Arabia Mountain/Ga. Military) scored a defensive touchdown for the season straight week, returning a fumble 54 yards to give Catawba a 21-3 lead midway through the second quarter.  The Indians took the lead for good after freshman Cris Page (Atlanta, Ga./Heritage) intercepted Wingate’s Kyle Johnson on the first Bulldog possession.

The pick near midfield and return set Catawba up at the Bulldog 30.  Joseph Dress (Moncks Corner, S.C./Berkeley) capped the six-play drive with a two-yard run.  Wingate cut the margin to 7-3 on a Caleb Baird 36-yard field goal late in the first quarter, but two fumbles on back-to-back possessions put Catawba in control.

Jordan Berry was stripped by Woodard fighting for a first down and Trey Evans (Barnsville, Ga./Lamar Co.) recovered at the Wingate 43.  A Mike Sheehan (Wilmington, N.C./Laney) 23-yard pass to Dress moved the ball to the Bulldog 23 and after Eamon Smart (Cape Coral, Fla./Cape Coral) ripped off a 14-yard run, the Indians were inside the 10.  Sheehan kept it for the final five yards and a 14-3 lead.

Woodard capitalized on the next Bulldog drive.  Lawrence Pittman had broken a run past midfield when Chris Carpenter (Fredericksburg, Va./Courtland) knocked the ball loose.  Woodard picked up the fumble and ran it down the left sideline for the 21-3 edge.

Wingate got some momentum early in the third quarter.  The Bulldogs had fumbled the opening kickoff and Catawba had a first and goal at the two.  Dress fumbled and Wingate’s Cornel Cheron returned it 98 yards to get the Bulldogs within 21-10. 

The Indians came right back with an eight-play, 75-yard drive.  The score came on a 34-yard pass from Sheehan to Jourdan Osinskie (Greensboro, N.C./S. Alamance).  Evans caused another Wingate fumble and recovered to set up another Sheehan score, running in from four-yards out and a 35-10 lead at the 4:22 mark of the third quarter.

Catawba made it 42-13 on a 67-yard pass from Sheehan to Sam Mobley (Monroe, N.C./Parkwood/Louisburg) with 13:12 remaining and capped the scoring on Reid Carlton's (Lecanto, Fla./Trinity Catholics) short run for a 48-13 edge.  Wingate punched in a pair of scores late for the final margin.

Sheehan led the offense as he ran for two scores and threw for two.  He completed 13-of-19 passes for 229 yards.  Smart led the ground game with 48 yards, while Sheehan added 41.  Keyon West (North Augusta, S.C./N. Augusta) snagged three passes for 51 yards.  Bruce Smith (Winston-Salem, N.C./N. Davidson) also had three catches.

Woodard had 10 tackles on defense for the Indians along with the fumble return for a score and a forced fumble.  He also broke up two passes.  Evans forced a fumble and recovered two, while Michael Peppers (Clemson, N.C./Daniel) joined Page with an interception.

Pittman ran for 156 yards in a losing effort for the Bulldogs.  Johnson was 13-of-27 passing for 162 yards and the two picks.  Berry made five catches for 45 yards.

Catawba stays on the road next week, traveling to Newberry for a 6 pm kickoff.  That game is part of the NCAA II television package and will be shown on ESPN3.

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