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College Preview: Catawba plays host to Elizabeth City State

Staff report
OK, Chip Hester has put the 14-7 loss to Saint Augustine’s last week behind him.
Hopefully for Catawba, so will his football team.
After suffering the school’s first-ever loss to a CIAA team, Catawba will play host to another one tonight in Elizabeth City State.
Game time is 7 p.m. at Shuford Stadium.
The Vikings are 1-0 after an impressive 55-3 victory against Chowan.
Led by quarterback Curtis Rich Jr. and receiver Dexter Manley, Elizabeth City State won’t be pushovers, and Hester knows it. He has seen film on the 6-foot-3 Manly.
“He really looked like Randy Moss,” Hester said. “If we’re going to be successful, we have to be mindful of where he is. And the defensive line plays a part in your coverage. It’s not just the defensive backs.”
Elizabeth City State had a down year in 2007, but Hester knows the Vikings were fired up when they read about Saint Augustine’s winning.
“We beat them last year, but they’ll be excited to play Catawba this year,” Hester said, “especially after seeing St. Augustine’s beat us. They opened with a blowout, so their confidence will be high.”
Waverly Tillar’s team did not contend for a title last season, but he also played many underclassmen.
“Those guys are juniors and seniors now,” Hester said. “They’ve got talent that’s more experienced.”
Hester said he looked at ECSU’s depth chart and it reminded him of St. Augustine’s.
“They’re big up front,” he said. “The defensive line is big and athletic.”
Hester tried to give St. Augustine’s credit for its victory. A South Atlantic Conference win is usually expected against the CIAA in head-to-head competition.
“Anytime you lump a whole conference together, it’s a big mistake,” Hester warned.
Hester said he didn’t envision any drastic changes in the starting lineup but said positions were up for grabs for the hardest workers.
“It was a long night,” he said. “You get a lot of advice with losses.”

Livingstone travels to Savannah State today.

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