Late Drive Gives Football Win in Season Finale at LR


HICKORY, N.C. -- Freshman kicker Brennan Lambert (China Grove, N.C./S. Rowan) connected on a 30-yard field with 20 seconds remaining, lifting Catawba to a 16-14 win over host Lenoir-Rhyne in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Moretz Stadium.  The Catawba Indians close their season at 5-6 overall and 5-2 in the SAC.  The Bears end up at 3-8 and 3-4.

Catawba started its winning drive on its own 12 with 1:45 remaining.  Joseph Dress (Moncks Corner, S.C./Berkeley) hit on two of his first four passes, both to Keyon West (N. Augusta, S.C./N. Augusta), covering 13 and 39 yards to the Bear 36.  After an incompletion, he tossed completions to Brandon Brown (Durham, N.C./N. Durham) of 15 and eight yards down to the 13. 

After a run for no gain, Dress spiked the ball to stop the clock.  Lambert connected on his third field goal of the game to put the Indians on top for the first time in the game.  Following the kickoff, DJ Jackson (Powder Springs, Ga./Hiram) ended L-R hopes with an interception of Jarrod Keller on the first play.

David Burgess (Morganton, N.C./Freedom) led Catawba’s ground game with 80 yards.  All four of Dress’ completions came on the final drive that accounted for 75 yards.  Reid Carlton (Lecanto, Fla./Trinity Catholic) passed for 166 yards on 17-of-30 completions.  West caught six passes for 87 yards, while Burgess and Sam Mobley (Monroe, N.C./Parkwood/Louisburg) each had five catches.

Alex Philpott had 61 yards rushing for a LR squad that was limited to 79 yards on the ground.  Kellar completed 4-of-9 passes for 53 yards.  Catawba held a 352 to 132 edge in total yardage.

Michael Peppers (Clemson, S.C./Daniel) had 11 tackles for Catawba.  CJ Barksdale (Simpsonville, S.C./Hillcrest) made 10 tackles with two and half sacks and three and half stops for losses.  Kyle Kitchens (Decatur, Ga./Decatur) had three tackles for losses.

Lenoir-Rhyne took the lead late in the first quarter, capitalizing on Catawba’s lone turnover of the day.  Carlton was sacked by Chris Green and fumbled, which was recovered by Green at the Indian 21.  Two plays later Kellar completed a 26-yard pass to Patrick Rendleman for the game’s first score.

After Lambert hit on his first field goal of 42 yards near the end of the first quarter, LR used a 73-yard kickoff return by Jaquay Mitchell to set up its next score.  Nelson Brown carried in from a yard out to make it 14-3 early in the second. 

Dress answered with a one-yard run for the Indians and Lambert capped a 16-pay, 84-yard drive with a 19-yard field goal to close the first half with the Bears on top 14-13.  That score held until the final two minutes when Catawba pulled the game out on Lambert’s final kick.

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