Football Loses Shootout With UNC Pembroke


PEMBROKE, N.C. -- Catawba and host UNC Pembroke combined for nearly 1100 yards of offense with the Braves coming away with a 41-31 victory on Saturday afternoon at Johnson Stadium.  The UNCP Braves, ranked 20th in NCAA II, improve to 7-1, while the Catawba Indians fall to 3-5.

UNC Pembroke prevailed in the shootout that produced six touchdown plays of over 50 yards.  Matt Davis iced the game with a 53-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining.  The final points came after the Braves took over at its own 30 with 5:37 left and converted on a pair of third downs before settling for the final field goal.

Reid Carlton (Lecanto, Fla./Trinity Catholic) had a big first half, completing 12-of-15 passes for 214 yards and a pair of scores before leaving with an injury late in the second quarter.  David Burgess (Morganton, N.C./Freedom) ran for 133 yards on 14 carries, while Sam Mobley (Monroe, N.C./Parkwood/Louisburg) caught six passes for 124 yards.  Both Burgess and Mobley had scoring plays of 75 yards.

The Indians opened the game with a 75-yard pass from Carlton to Mobley on the first snap for a quick lead.  The point after was missed leaving Catawba on top 6-0.  UNCP quickly answered, going 75 yards in five plays.  The drive started with a 20-yard pass from Patrick O’Brien to Jonathan Allen and also included a 32-yard run by Rontonio Stanley.  The Braves got the score on a third-down, 18-yard pass to B.J. Bunn.

Catawba misfired on a field goal later in the first quarter then the Braves bridged the opening quarters with a drive that ended on a five-yard run from Stanley.  The score at the 14:45 mark came after a third-down Catawba sack was negated by a facemask penalty. 

The Indians played catch up the rest of the game.  Carlton connected on a 66-yard pass to Brandon Brown (Durham, N.C./N. Durham) to make it 14-13, but UNCP struck right back on a third-down 44-yard pass from O’Brien to Terron Huffman with 5:49 to go in the half.  Catawba drove to the Brave 23 late in the half after a Case Woodard (Snellville, Ga./Arabia Mountain/Ga. Military) interception, but again missed on a field goal try.

Catawba got the second half started much like the first.  The defense help Pembroke for a three and out, then Joseph Dress (Moncks Corner, S.C./Berkeley) raced 66 yards on the second play for the Indians to make 21-20.  The only other points for the quarter came from the foot of Davis, who added a 34-yard field goal for a UNCP 24-20 lead.

 The Braves took a 31-20 lead with 11:14 to go after O’Brien threw another third-down scoring strike.  Tra Chandler was the recipient this time for a 55-yard touchdown.  Catawba wasted little time getting that score back.  Burgess took the next snap for the Indians 75 yards.  After a two-point pass from Keyon West (N. Augusta, S.C./N. Augusta) to Dress, Catawba was down 31-28 with 11:30 left.

 Pembroke completed the big-play day on its next possession as O’Brien threw a 57-yard pass to Bunn with 8:32 remaining.  The Indians cut the margin to 38-31 on a 45-yard field goal by Lee Brackman (Athens, Ga./Monsignor Donovan Catholic), but never got the ball back.

 O’Brien threw for 390 yards, completing 25-of-39 passes with four touchdowns and only the one pick.  Bunn totaled 104 yards on four catches with two scores.  Stanley ran for 86 yards on 22 attempts.

Catawba is home next Saturday, hosting Brevard at 1:30 pm.

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