Catawba Football Notebook:Different week has different results
By Ronnie Gallagher
The Catawba notebook …
What a difference a week makes.
Seven days after throwing for 357 yards and being named the South Atlantic Conference Offensive Player of the Week in a 37-35 win over Tusculum, Patrick Dennis managed just 99 yards on eight completions against Wingate.
It’s also obvious that if Brian Terwilliger isn’t involved in the offense, Catawba is hurting.
Against Tusculum, he had 61 yards on seven carries, caught a pass for 51 yards and scored two touchdowns.
In the loss to Wingate, he had just 12 yards on seven carries and one catch for 1 yard.
ALL OF A SUTTON: When Brevard (1-7, 0-5) comes calling Saturday, Brandon Sutton won’t play down to the competition.
This guy’s never down.
“He’s got such an outgoing personality,” Indians coach Chip Hester said with a smile. “He is wide open. He’s a high-motor guy.”
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound sophomore defensive tackle was Catawba’s Defensive Player of the Week after recording two sacks and eight tackles (four for loss) against Wingate. He also blocked an extra point attempt.
“I want to be the one they call on to make a big play,” Sutton said.
RINGS OF HONOR: Sutton was wearing two rings at the Catawba press conference on Tuesday.
One is for Catawba’s SAC championship last season. The other is from the East-West prep all-star game in 2007.
Sutton, out of Greene Central High School in Snow Hill, came to the East practice at 215 pounds and was one of the biggest players on the team.
“Everybody on the West was bigger,” he said.
Bigger, maybe, but not better. Sutton finished the game with 10 tackles and three sacks.
“I’m just known to dominate,” he said. “That’s where I got my nickname: ‘The Beast of the East.’ ”
But Sutton wants everyone to know that he changes when the game ends.
“I’m a cold-stone killer on the field,” he said. “I’m a gentleman off of it.”
LEADING MAN: Sutton hopes to be known by another nickname next season: “The Leader.”
He acknowledges Catawba isn’t likely to make the Division II playoffs. But his junior campaign looks promising and that fires him up for the rest of 2008.
“We’re going to keep giving it our all,” Sutton said. “Finishing strong will mean a lot toward next year. Our entire defensive line is coming back.
“And I’m coming back to lead this team.”
TOP PLAYERS: Joining Sutton as players of the week are guard Kevin Hamaker on offense and Terrence Jones on special teams.
Hamaker, a 6-3, 295-pound junior, graded out at 91 percent and had three knockdown blocks.
Jones, who played at Richmond High in Rockingham, blocked a Wingate field-goal try. The 5-9, 160-pound sophomore is a defensive back.
SAC PLAYERS: Winning league honors were Tusculum quarterback Corey Russell on offense, Mars Hill linebacker Stan Galbraith on defense and Mars Hill’s John Brown on special teams.
Tusculum beat Newberry 45-33 and Mars Hill rallied to beat Lenoir-Rhyne 37-24.
HOW IN THE WORLD? Hester was shaking his head after watching the film of one particular play.
Former East Rowan star Aaron Cauble crashed through to attempt a block on a Bulldog punt in the third quarter with Catawba trailing 21-14.
He was called for roughing the kicker and Wingate took advantage, scoring a touchdown.
“I’ve watched it 10 times,” Hester said. “I don’t know how he didn’t block it. It went under his arm.”
TRYING TIMES: If you had told Hester before Saturday that Wingate would accumulate 17 penalties for 156 yards, he’d have liked his chances to win.
“It just proves how big turnovers are,” Hester said of an interception and fumble, both of which Wingate cashed in for scores.
SAC REPORT: Wingate (8-1) and Carson-Newman are both 4-1 in the league and meet this week in Jefferson City in a game that will probably decide the championship.
Carson-Newman (6-2) is the highest-scoring team in the SAC (348 points) and has the best defense (166 points allowed).
Besides Catawba’s home game, Tusculum is at Mars Hill on Saturday.
NOTES: The most glaring stat in Catawba’s loss was the 0-for-11 on third downs. … Chris Noel returned a blocked PAT for two points. … This Saturday will be Catawba’s last home game of the season. It is Senior Day.
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