College Football Preview: Brevard at Catawba
By Ronnie Gallagher
Catawba coach Chip Hester remembers when Antwan Strong walked through the doors as a freshman.
It seemed just like yesterday.
Today, he’ll watch Strong, Charles McAfee and several other seniors walk through the doors for the last home game of their career.
Brevard comes to Shuford Stadium for a 1:30 p.m. start. It’s going to be an emotional day for all the Indians (4-4, 2-3, SAC). There are only nine seniors on the depth chart.
“When you look at the end of the season, who are you playing for?” Hester asked. “It’s for the seniors. We care a lot about them. We’re proud of them.”
Five defenders will play their last home game in Catawba colors: McAfee and fellow linebacker Charlie Walker as well as defensive backs Jasmon Carpenter, Chris Noel and Marcus Glenn.
Running backs Jamelle Cuthbertson and George Bell will end their home careers. Strong is a receiver, and Cory Darnell is a punter and kicker.
Hester wishes they’d wait on the pre-game hype for Senior Day. His Indians have enough to concentrate on.
“You have to get yourself together to play a football game,” he said. “And we are struggling with focus.”
Catawba needs to focus on Brevard. Despite an 0-5 record in the SAC and a 1-7 mark overall, the Tornados have had their moments. They scored 42 points against Tusculum. But they also managed just three last week in a 34-3 homecoming loss to Carson-Newman.
Still, Hester said, “this is not a team you can overlook.”
Especially the way the Tornados have played over the past three weeks. Using the triple-option offense, they have rushed for 708 yards and scored 59 points.
Since taking over at quarterback three games ago, Trey Wilborn, a sophomore, has 235 yards on 39 carries. John Taylor is the leading rusher with 383 yards and a team-high four touchdowns.
Linebacker Stanley Jones leads the SAC in tackles with 84, and the Tornados will have their hands full with a Catawba team averaging 26 points per game. Catawba won 56-21 last year, but Hester warns his Indians better not take Brevard lightly.
“They ran the ball successfully against us last year,” he said. “We’ll have to play. I tell our guys we can beat anybody on our schedule, but we can also lose to anybody on our schedule.”
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