Football Opens With Win Over Erskine


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Clayton Crile booted a 43-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to snap a 24-24 tie and Catawba went on to top Erskine 37-27 in both teams season-opening football game on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field.

Catawba twice build two touchdown leads only to see the Flying Fleet pull even at the 1:28 mark of the third quarter on a 58-yard pass from Craig Ponder to Yong Lee. That came on the heels of a 27-yard pass from Ponder to JC Cornell just two and half minutes earlier.

A short kickoff and a face-mask penalty had Catawba quickly at the Erskine 33. A third down pass from Ken Avent to Kujuan Pryor set up Crile’s go-ahead field goal. The Catawba defense held the Flying Fleet on downs and Avent set up the next score with a 53-yard run. On third down, inside the Erskine 10, Avent tossed a nine-yard pass to Pryor for a 34-24 lead.

Avent finished with 151 yards rushing and 127 yards passing. He ran for the game’s initial score and set up Crile’s third and final field goal with a 54-yard run. Jyrea Martin also ran for over 100 yards, finishing with 102 and a touchdown. Pryor caught seven balls for 58 yards.

Pender went 19-of-32 for 334 yards and three scores for Erskine. Senika McKie was the top target with seven grabs for 176 yards and a score.

Isaiah Taylor set up Catawba’s first score has he recovered a fumble on the first play from scrimmage and returned it 43 yards. Jeremiah Ferguson forced a fumble on a sack and Christian Bennett had an interception.

Catawba will entertain Winston-Salem State at home next Saturday in a 7 p.m. kickoff.

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