Football Closes Season With Overtime Win Against UNCP


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Mike Miller blocked a UNC Pembroke point after attempt with 21 seconds remaining and Catawba went on to take a 30-23 overtime win in football action on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field. Both teams put a cap on their seasons as the Catawba Indians finish at 4-7 with the Braves ending up 2-8.

Lee Brackman had given Catawba a 23-17 lead with 1:46 left, booting his third field goal of the day, the last from 43 yards out. UNC Pembroke was able to march 68 yards in eight plays to tie the score on a 10-yard pass from Josh Jones to Shammond Hicks. Then came Miller's game-saving block to send the game to overtime.

Catawba had the ball first and got a touchdown when Ken Avent III spun out of a potential sack and found Devonte Tanksley in the end zone from 17 yards out. The Braves had a first and ten at the Indian nine and after a two-yard run were unable to connect on three straight passes which ended the game.

The teams matched first-half scores with the game deadlocked at 17-all at the break. UNCP used marches of 70 yards in eight plays, 75 yards in 16 plays and 71 yards in eight plays for their three scores. Catawba used quick strikes with a 60-yard pass from Avent to Tanksley and a 61-yard run by Kenyatta Greene for its two touchdowns.

 The Braves took the lead on a 28-yard field goal by Alex Alvardo which was matched from 33 yards out by Brackman. Jones had a 25-yard toss to Faheem Diaab for UNCP before Avent’s long pass. The Braves went up 17-10 on a 10-yard pass from Jones to Aaron Whitaker only to have Greene answer with 2:40 to go before the half.

The offenses went silent in the second half. Brackman put Catawba up 20-17 on a 42-yard field with 11:51 to go in the third quarter. That was all the scoring until the final two minutes of regulation.

Greene finished with 108 yards on 16 carries to lead an Indians ground game that piled up 226 yards. Avent went 14-of-26 through the air for 210 yards. Greene added four catches for 46 yards. Tanskley covered 77 yards on two grabs with a pair of scores.

McKinley Nelson ran for 107 yards to pace UNC Pembroke. Jones was 19-of-33 passing for 230 yards and three touchdowns. Tyshawn Carter made six catches for 66 yards.

LJ Melvin was in on 13 tackles for Catawba and recovered a fumble that ended a UNC Pembroke drive in the Catawba red zone in the third quarter. Miller made a dozen tackles with Robert Chery collecting two sacks and Jordan Hemingway and Cameron Davis one each.

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