Football sets up showdown with Tusculum after 30-19 win

SALISBURY, NC – Eighth-ranked Catawba rallied from a 7-6 halftime deficit to defeat visiting Newberry 30-19 in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field. The Indians improve to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in the SAC, claiming the annual “Battle of the Indians” for the sixth straight year. Newberry fall to 2-5 and 1-3. The game sets up a showdown next week at Catawba with #20-ranked Tusculum in a battle of the league’s final two unbeatens. Each team managed just one score in the opening half. Catawba took the opening possession and marched 60 yards in 11 plays to take a 6-0 lead. Luke Samples (Elkin, NC) polished off the drive with a one-yard run, but after a holding call on an initial point after try, Allan Rohrbaugh (Lexington, NC) failed to convert, leaving the Tribe on top at 6-0 with 10:24 to play. Newberry took the lead midway through the second quarter as Kendal Brown (Cross, SC) hauled in a 29-yard pass from Mazi Drummond (Greer, SC) at the 8:33 mark. Newberry went 82 yards in eight plays with Drummond hitting on three long pass plays. Catawba would gain momentum early in the third quarter. After a 12-play drive ended at the Newberry two on an interception in the end zone by Todd Geter (Sumter, SC), Drummond was sacked by SaMario Houston (Charlotte, NC) and fumbled into the end zone where Newberry recovered for a safety to give Catawba an 8-7 lead with 6:30 left in the third quarter. The next play after the free kick, Samples tossed a swing pass to Corey Ready (Aiken, SC), who avoided a tackle and raced 45 yards to give Catawba a 15-7 lead. Newberry struck right back after Catawba’s score as Drummond went up top to Derrick Higgins (Darlington, SC) for an 83 yard score. Drummond’s two-point pass failed and Catawba led 15-13 with 5:25 in the third. Catawba would get a long pass play on it’s next drive as Samples connected with Brian Carter (Alexandria, VA) for 47 yards to the Newberry two where Rodney Wallace (Bamberg, SC) scored on the next play for a 21-13 lead at the 1:44 mark, but Rohrbaugh’s point after was blocked. Drummond would lead a Newberry answer drive as he connected with Higgins for 31 yards and Brown on a 33 yard touchdown to cut the lead to 21-19 with 35 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Again Drummond would fail to convert a two-point pass, leaving the visitors down by two. Neither team scored on their next possession, but Catawba was back on the board with 7:35 to go as Wallace ran in from 25 yards out for a 27-19 lead, but the point after was again missed. A key 12-yard pass on third down from Samples to Ready kept the drive alive, then Samples ran for 11 just before Wallace’s scoring run. On Newberry’s next possession, Tony Hawkins (Fayetteville, NC) batted a Drummond pass attempt in the air and Steven Williams (Wilson, NC) intercepted at the Newberry 18. Rush Rollins (Kannapolis, NC) converted a 32-yard field goal with 5:00 minutes left to give Catawba a 30-19 lead. Wallace led a ground attack that totaled 249 yards, carrying 24 times for 157 yards and the two scores. Catawba ran for 180 yards in the final half. Samples threw for 208 yards, completing 14-of-31 attempts. Ready had five catches for 79 yards, while Carter, a former All-SAC basketball performer, had three grabs for 83 yards. Newberry totaled just five yards on the ground, while Drummond completed 19-of-36 passes for 275yards. Higgins had four catches for 125 yards, while Brown had 86 yards on his four catches. Brown also set the Newberry record for career receiving yards in the game. #####

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