Run Game Stymied in Loss at Mars Hill

MARS HILL, N.C. -- Mars Hill racked up nearly 500 yards of total offense and topped visiting Catawba 31-14 in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Meares Stadium. The wim improves the Lions to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fall to 4-2 and 1-2.

Mars Hill scored twice in a span of four minutes, midway through the first quarter to grab a lead it never gave up. Ty Snelson caught a 76 yards pass from Jimmy Urzua at the 7:40 mark of the opening quarter to open the scoring. Catawba had stopped the Lions in the red zone in their initial drive when John Oxce sacked Urzua and caused a fumble.

After the score by Snelson, Mars Hill intercepted Ken Avent at the Catawba 26. Joraye Morrison used five carries from there to double the lead with 3:36 to go in the opening quarter. Morrison finished the day with 128 yards rushing on 30 carries.

Catawba cut the deficit in half on its first drive of the second half. Avent completed a 30-yard pass to Rasheed Singleton in the end zone for the Indians’ first points of the game. Mars Hill answered that score, converting a fourth down that led to a 27-yard pass from Urzua to CJ Thompson.

The Indians were back within a touchdown two plays later. Daniel Parker threw a halfback pass to Will Sheehan, covering 60 yards to make it 21-14 with 8:37 to go in the third quarter. Morrison did most of the work for the Lions on the next, opening the series with a 19-yard run and capping it with a 21-yard score.

Catwaba was held to 41 yards on the ground. Jyrea Martin ran for 31 and Parker 26. Avent was bottled up and sacked twice for a negative 20 yards. Avent threw for 179 yards on 17-of-37 completions and was intercepted three timed. Kujuan Pryor had five catches for 77 yards and Jaden Lockhart five for 25.

Jeremiah Ferguson made a dozen tackles for Catawba on defense with Izaiah Tayler recording 11 stops. Oxce had two saves with Luke Cerasi posting one.

Catawba is at home the next two weeks, starting next Saturday against Tusculum at 1 p.m.

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