WINGATE, NC -- Wingate's Robbie Nallenweg (Asheville, NC) threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Caffrey (Bayside, NY) to give the host Bulldogs a 34-28 overtime win over Catawba in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Belk Stadium and Martin Field. The win improves Wingate to 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fall to 3-5 and 1-4.
Nallenweg finished the game with 385 yards and two scores on 37-of-58 passes. Catawba did stay in the game by picking off Nallenweg four times. The Bulldogs also missed a 21-yard field goal at the end of regulation that would have ended the contest. In overtime, Catawba misfired on a 37-yard field goal on its possession then Nallenweg threw his strike on third down.
Wingate jumped out quickly, scoring on its first two possession on runs by Andrew Nallenweg (Asheville, NC). Catawba closed within 14-7 on BJ Sherrill (Cleveland, NC/W. Rowan HS) run late in the first quarter. Nallenweg added his third scoring run of the game with just 1:40 left in the half to stake the Bulldogs to a 21-7 edge, but a 47-yard kickoff return by LJ McCray (Charlotte, NC/Harding HS) led to an 11-yard run by Sherrill to send the teams to the break with Wingate holding a 21-14 lead.
Midway through the third quarter, Scottie Floyd (Gastonia, NC/Ashbrook HS) picked off Nallenweg and returned the interception 77 yards to the Bulldog three. Xavier Bond (Smiths Station, AL/Glenwood Academy) carried it in on the first play to tie the game. Wingate would move into field goal position, but a 25-yard try we blocked by Jumal Rolle (Wilson, NC/Beddingfield HS). That led to another rushing score by Bond and a 28-21 Catawba edge one play into the final quarter.
The Bulldogs came back on a 16-play, 82-yard drive to tie the game on a Nallenweg 16-yard pass to Chris Bowden (Forsyth, GA) with 8:34 remaining. Catawba ended one late Wingate drive with a McCray interception in the red zone then benefited from the missed field goal try with 10 seconds left.
Bond eclipsed the 100-yard mark for Catawba, rushing for 112 yards and the two scores. Sherrill completed 16-of-28 passes for 196 yards and ran for two scores. Nate Charest (Charlotte, NC/Butler HS) caught five passes for 70 yards. Cory Johnson (Fayetteville, NC/Britt HS) recorded double-digit tackles for the third straight game with 20 stops vs. Wingate. He also forced a fumble and broke up a pass.