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College Football: Catawba, Livingstone open today

Staff report
Catawba coach Chip Hester was asked what he knew about Saint Augustine’s, the opponent in tonight’s 7 p.m. opener at Shuford Stadium.
“Not a lot,” Hester said.
What Hester should know is what Catawba has done in its openers and against the CIAA.
The Indians have won 13 straight, nine against CIAA teams. And if Catawba scores first, expect a win. In the last 37 games, it is 36-1 when putting the initial points of the contest on the board.
Hester also knows about St. Augustine’s defense. He pointed out that Michael Costa’s Falcons were sixth nationally last season and have been in the Top 10 several times.
St. Aug’s, which finished 2-8 last season, is led by senior noseguard Marcus Kennedy, a pro prospect, who stands 6-foot-1, 285 pounds. Marcus Crump is another beast inside. He’s even bigger than Kennedy at 6-6, 240.
The Falcon offense is another story. St. Augustine has been near the bottom of the league in stats and point production since 2005, when the Falcons started the season with eight straight wins.
Catawba has played many CIAA schools over the past few seasons. In fact, Catawba’s first three games of 2008 are against that league: Saint Aug’s, Elizabeth City State and Livingstone.
Catawba will be breaking in several new starters, including quarterback. But the 14th-ranked Indians (d2footbal.com) will still be heavy favorites. Its track record says so. The Indians have won their last 13 openers by an average of 28.4 points.

Livingstone, coming off a winless season, is playing Concordia today in the Greenville HBCU Classic.

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