Avent's Two Scores Lifts Football Over Barton


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba moved to 3-0, winning a 17-10 defensive struggle with visiting Barton in football action on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field. Barton falls to 1-2 with the loss.

Barton led 3-0 at the break, but the Catawba Indians put two scoring drives together to open the second half to go on top. Catawba took the second half kickoff and used a nine-play drive to tie the game on a 48-yard field goal by Clayton Crile. Following a Bulldog punt, Ken Avent took one play to give Catawba the lead, racing 47 yards for the tie-breaking score.

Early in the fourth quarter, Catawba went 88 yards in 11 plays to take a 17-3 lead. Avent converted a pair of third downs, hitting Jyrea Martin for 30 yards then Isaiah Black for a dozen to the Barton 14. After the completion to Black, Avent scored his second touchdown on a 14-yard run with 5:27 left.

Barton answered that drive with a 75-yard scoring drive to cut the margin to 17-10. Jaquan Lynch hit on passes of 27 yards to Jackson Perrell and 17 yards to Kam Johnson to set up the score. Lynch ran it in from six-yards out with 2:15 left.

The Bulldogs got the ball back after a Catawba punt with 2:16 to go. Lynch completed a 23 yards pass to Nate Byers on a fourth-and-14 to keep the drive alive and Barton would eventually move to the Catawba 21. From there, a false start and a sack with an intentional grounding call cost the Bulldogs valuable time and the Indians tackled Lynch on the 32 to end the game.

Avent ran for 95 yards and two scores to lead Catawba’s offense. He completed 7-of-16 passes for 81 yards. Martin posted his second 100-yard game over his first three outings, totaling 105 yards on 20 carries.

Catawba’s defense posted three sacks and intercepted a pair of passes. Barton had 353 yards of total offense. Christian Bennett and Calvin Stephens had the picks for Catawba. Jeremiah Ferguson had eight stops with a sack. Denoris Wardlow and John Oxce had the other two sacks for the Indians.

Jordan Terrell led Barton with 177 yards on 35 carries. Lynch completed 12-of-22 passes for 136 yards. Kendarius Jenkins recorded a dozen tackls, while J.L. Ledbetter forced two fumbles and Noah Johnson blocked a Catawba field goal attempt.

Catawba will open South Atlantic Conference play next week, traveling to Wingate for a 6 p.m. kickoff.

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