Catawba 17, Edward Waters 0: No. 10 Indians anything but pleased with shutout

By Dan Ryan, Salisbury Post
JACKSONVILLE, Fla --Catawba coach Chip Hester was upset. Quarterback Luke Samples mustered a laugh before delving into "all the negatives."

Rodney Wallace couldn't believe all the Indians' mental mistakes.

Hold on a second, guys. You won.

In fact, Catawba pitched the first shutout in Hester's coaching tenure with a 17-0 decision over Edward Waters at Earl Kitchings Field.The Indians came up with four red-zone stands and built a 17-0 halftime lead with strong starts by Wallace and Samples.

So why wasn't anyone among the 10th-ranked Indians all that happy as they improved to 2-0?

Another week of penalties (14 for 133 yards) and a second half that bordered on downright ugly left Hester disappointed.

:I'm as upset as I could be without a loss," Hester said. "It feels like we didn't come up with a victory. We didn't play clean, crisp football. It's a big wake-up call."

Going to eight different receivers, Samples finished 21 of 34 for 214 yards and scored on a 1-yard, second-quarter keeper.

Wallace gained 55 of his 82 yards in the opening period as the Indians took a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

"Well, it was a W," Samples said. "Mental part, physical part, we have a lot to work on for next week."

However, the NAIA Tigers moved the ball effectively against the Indians and had three excellent scoring opportunities to counter Catawba's early offensive success.

It took Marcus Huntley's blocked field goal on the Tigers' opening possession, a fourth-down Edward Waters completion whistled out of bounds to end another drive and an end zone fumble recovery to keep Catawba ahead.

That end zone fumble recovery represented a 10-point turnaround for the Indians.

Edward Waters capitalized on two Catawba pass interference calls to get a first and goal. Two plays later, Tiger quarterback Dexter Davis had the ball stripped away as he crossed the goal line.

LaQuane Tally picked up the ball and returned it 47 yards to give the Indians a chance to pad their lead. They capitalized when Allan Rohrbaugh nailed a 44-yard field goal two second before halftime.

"One thing I was pleased about is that we found a way to win," Hester said. "Our defense is stout, but being a bend-don't-break defense is not what we're about."

Catawba even squandered a pair of red zone opportunities in the second half on a bad field goal snap in third quarter and a Wallace fumble in the fourth, but the Indian defense registered four turnovers to preserve shutout.

All-American cornerback Jamel Jackson had two interceptions in the final 30 minutes.

Catawba came out strong on its opening drive, marching 76 yards in nine plays. Wallace busted a 38-yard run on the drive and scored two plays later.

Edward Waters contained him to 10 yards in the second half.

"We were still living off last week," said Wallace, referring to the season opening 49-6 rout of Livingstone. "They (Edward Waters) came up and caught us."


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