Football Falls at Wingate


WINGATE, N.C -- Host Wingate capitalized on four Catawba interceptions in posting a 35-25 South Atlantic Conference football victory on Saturday night at Belk Stadium and Plyler Field. The Bulldogs turned three of those picks into scores, including Cal Hanford’s 52-yard return for a touchdown that made the score 21-7 in the second quarter. Wingate improves to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fall to 1-5 and 0-3. 

Ken Avent did throw for 275 yards and three scores, while running for 105 yards on 14 carries. He completed 23-of-42 passes. Will Sweeper had four catches for 113 yards, including a pair of 38-yard touchdowns. Dre Dunbar had 89 yards on five catches.

Wingate’s Shaw Crocker tossed four scoring passes and went 12-of-18 through the air. J.T. Stokes had two touchdown catches among his five grabs for 56 yards. Nijere Peoples ran for 151 yards on 22 carries.

Catawba scored on its opening drive as Avent connected with Sweeper on his first 38-yard score. Wingate answered midway through the quarter as Crocker tossed a seven-yard pass to Bryan Mitchell. After the team’s traded interceptions to end the quarter, the Bulldogs took the lead on the first play of the second quarter on a 26-yard pass from Crocker to Mason Flint.

The Bulldogs added Hanford’s interception return midway through the second quarter then took a 28-7 lead on a seven-yard pass from Crocker to Stokes. Catawba drove inside the Wingate five late in the half and made it 28-10 at the break on a short field goal from Lee Brackman.

Neither team scored in the third quarter and Catawba trimmed the margin to 28-17 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter on Avent’s 37-yard pass to Dre Dunbar. Wingate came back to go up 35-17 on Crocker’s 24-yard pass to Stokes. Avent got a late scored with his second scoring pass to Sweeper and his two-point pass to Joseph Dress accounted for the final margin.

Jeremiah Ferguson and Mike Miller each had 13 tackles for Catawba. Two of Ferguson’s went for losses. Jeremy Addison and Caleb Allen recorded interceptions, while Cameron Davis and Jordan Hemingway each had two sacks.

Catawba is at home next weekend, hosting Tusculum at 1:30 p.m.

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