SALISBURY, NC -- North Greenville held off host Catawba to post a 21-14 win in football action on Saturday night at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field. The Crusaders improve to 3-6, while the Catawba Indians fall to 3-6.
Darius Paulk (Columbia, SC) ran for 96 yards, while Nelson Hughes (Roebuck, SC) added 136 yards through the year to help lead North Greenville. Xavier Bond (Smiths Station, AL/Glenwood Academy) rushed for 61 yards and a touchdown for Catawba with BJ Sherrill (Cleveland, NC/W. Rowan HS) threw for 239 yards and a score.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Crusaders took the lead on a nine-yard pass from Hughes to Troy Jones (Effingham, SC). The point after was missed leaving NGU up 6-0. Catawba held the Crusaders on downs at the Indian 10-yard line late in the half, but two plays later linebacker Jonathon Sharpe (Conway, SC) intercepted Sherrill and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown. The Crusaders added a two-point conversion to lead 14-0.
Catawba got on the board in the final minute of the opening half. Sherrill threw a 33-yard pass to Diante Hodges (Fayetteville, NC/Smith HS) then tossed a 25-yard scoring strike to Nate Charest (Charlotte, NC/Butler HS) just 37 seconds before the break. Catawba was held to just three first downs in the opening half, three of which came on the scoring drive to end the half.
The Indians pulled even midway through the third quarter, marching 99 yards in nine plays. The drive was capped on a five-yard run by Bond. Sherrill connected with Jarrid McKinney (Charlotte, NC/Providence HS) on three pass plays in the drive accounting for 56 yards.
North Greenville answered that score on its next possession. Taylor Malphrus (Ridgeland, SC) capped a 12-play, 68-yard drive with a one-yard run on third down. The Indians drove into Crusader territory on its final four tries, but were denied on the last three by a fumble, an interception and final on downs.
Braelen Meredith (Woodruff, SC) was in on two sacks for the Crusader defense. Sharpe and Cejay Thomas (Duncan, SC) had interceptions, while Stefan Bynoe (Fayetteville, GA) recovered the late fumble. Cory Johnson (Fayetteville, NC/Britt HS) reached double-digits in tackles for the fourth straight game for Catawba. He made 14 stops, including one for a loss.