Area Sports Briefs
Catawba’s football program seeks to secure a winning season when it plays at North Greenville today at 1 p.m. It’s an even matchup of 5-4 teams fighting for winning seasons.
North Greenville isn’t a SAC member, but the Crusaders basically play a SAC schedule. They are 3-3 against the SAC this season.
They beat Wingate, Tusculum and Brevard but lost to Lenoir-Rhyne, Mars Hill and Carson-Newman. North Greenville finishes up next week against Newberry.
Catawba QB Danny O’Brien has fit in well after transferring from Wisconsin and has put up outstanding numbers — 68-percent completion rate, 2,360 passing yards and 15 TDs.
Nate Charest is having another banner receiving season with 61 catches for 680 yards and five TDs, but O’Brien found 11 different receivers in last week’s home win against Mars Hill.
Cary Littlejohn, a soph, and David Burgess, a freshman, have combined for 898 rushing yards.
Defensively, junior linebacker Jason Taylor an senior safety L.J. McCray lead the Indians, but they’ve gotten a lot of help from a lot of young players.
North Greenville plays offensive-minded games, and the biggest concern for Catawba today is a prolific NG passing game that has produced 2,774 yards and 22 scores. North Greenville QB Nelson Hughes is 10th in passing yards nationally and his favorite target Freddie Martino has been the best receiver in D-II.
Martino’s amazing numbers are 121 catches — that’s more than 13 per game — for 1,364 yards and 10 TDs.
North Greenville has beaten the Indians the last two seasons. It was 21-14 in 2012.
Catawba has lost its two outings against teams with huge passing games — Tusculum, sixth nationally in passing yards, and UNC Pembroke, which ranks 14th.
Livingstone at Virginia University of Lynchburg (VUL)
While Catawba has a home game against Lenoir-Rhyne next week, Livingstone finishes its season today. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.
Frequent homecoming guests, the Blue Bears (2-7) will serve in that role again today as they take on the VUL Dragons, who also own two wins.
Livingstone has had a lot more near-misses than VUL, including last week’s upset bid at home against Fayetteville State, which is probably the CIAA’s third-best team.
Lynchburg’s victories came against Edward Waters and Concordia-Alabama.
Livingstone has beaten Edward Waters and CIAA opponent Lincoln.
VUL is a member of the Unites States Collegiate Athletic Association and plays an interesting schedule.
Lynchburg was rolled 62-8 by Winston-Salem State early and lost 59-12 to North Carolina A&T last week.
Livingstone, which has lost five straight, three of them close, is favored over the Dragons, but it’s not like winning has become routine for the Blue Bears yet, especially after making a 3 1/2-hour trip to Virginia on Friday.
The Blue Bears should be buoyed by the news that Daryl Williams has been promoted from interim to head coach and that they’ll be coached by the same staff with the same system again in 2014 (story upcoming.)
Closing the season on a positive note is important for the Blue Bears’ recruiting.
Livingstone’s women routed Miles 90-59 on Friday behind 27 points by Cierra York.
Taylor Daniels had 15 rebounds for the Blue Bears.
• Catawba’s men play Lees-McRae at home at 8 tonight at Goodman Gym.