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College Football: Catawba vs. Carson-Nemwan preview

Staff report
Don’t think for one minute that Carson-Newman has forgotten last year.
The Eagles finished with only one loss and was still snubbed when the Division II playoff teams were announced. That one loss? A 55-49 defeat at home to Catawba.
“They’re pretty ticked off at Catawba,” said Indians coach Chip Hester. “We really pulled off a great win at their place.”
Carson-Newman (2-2, 1-1) will come into Salisbury ready for revenge when the 7 p.m. contest begins tonight at Shuford Stadium. And Hester expects Ken Sparks’ team to be the same as always.
“They’ll be just like every Carson-Newman team you’ve seen over the years,” he said. “They’re well-coached and talented.”
Catawba (3-2, 1-1) knows it can’t afford another loss after falling at Newberry last week.
“We’ve instilled in our kids that every game is like a national playoff game,” Hester said.
To win, the Indians must stop the vaunted split-back veer. The Eagles are currently dominating the South Atlantic Conference rushing stats.
“It’s a different animal to prepare for,” Hester said. “As much as you try to simulate it, you’re just not able to show the defense how fast it really is.”
Carson-Newman beat Mars Hill last week 61-49 but Hester said those 49 points given up by the defense is deceiving.
“It was 35-7 at one point in the second quarter,” he said. “The game was never in doubt. I’m sure Coach Sparks was playing some guys he won’t against us.”
But Hester knows Catawba can pull off a win if the players stay confident as they watch the film and forget the all-time series is 31-9-1 in Carson-Newman’s favor.
“They see they can beat them if they play well,” Hester said. We’ll see how we rise to the challenge.
“We don’t have a fear of Carson-Newman,” Hester pointed out. “We have a respect for Carson-Newman.”

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