College Football: Catawba, Livingstone on the road today

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 4, 2009

Staff report
Both local colleges are on the road today in the second week of the season.
Catawba (1-0) is traveling east to face the second of three straight CIAA foes in Fayetteville State (0-1). Catawba defeated Saint Augustine’s last week 25-7.
Livingstone (0-1) fell in its opener at home to Virginia State 37-7 and goes to Greenville, S.C., to face FCS (formerly Division 1-AA ) opponent Savannah State in the Greenville HBCU Classic.
Both kickoffs are at 6 p.m.

Catawba coach Chip Hester is quick to point out Fayetteville State was the choice to win the CIAA this season.
“They’ve got seniors all over the place,” he said, noting that eight of the 11 Broncos on defense are in their last year. “Offensively, they have more of a traditional offense. They’re a lot like St. Aug’s, just better. We’ll have a tougher test this week, that’s for sure.”
Defensive lineman Melquan Fair said the Indians weren’t satisfied with just winning the opener.
“We have to improve from last week,” Fair said. “We played a good game but made a lot of mistakes รณ little ones the fans in the stands may not see.”
Fair and his fellow defenders will see a talented quarterback in Ben Williams. He passed for 200 yards and ran for 34 in the Broncos’ double-overtime 41-34 loss to UNC Pembroke last week.
“He can run and throw it,” Hester said. “They also have several running backs they feel good about.”
Catawba is coming off an emotional opener that showcased the debut of quarterback Cam Sexton, a transfer from North Carolina. He threw for 343 yards, but as good as he was, Fair and defensive line stood out.
Hester used as many as 10 Indians on the defensive line.
“We do have depth up there,” Hester said. “The great thing is, we didn’t drop off. In years past, we’ve had talented players but not that talent pool. Keeping them fresh makes it extremely hard to block.”
To continue playing well, Fair knows what has to be done.
“To get to where we want to go, we have to take it one game at a time,” he said. “We just have to build on what we did last week.”

Livingstone has one advantage over Savannah State. It has a game under its belt. This will be the Tigers’ opener after going 5-7 last season.
One of those wins was a 45-10 rout of Livingstone.
When Livingstone coach Lamonte Massie was at Edward Waters, he played in the Greenville HBCU Classic.
“They were pleased with the programs I’ve been with and kinda went away from Edward Waters and leaned toward Livingstone,” Massie said.
There is some incentive for several Blue Bears. Justin Norton, a 6-foot-2, 330-pound offensive lineman, transferred to Livingstone from Savannah State two years ago. He also hails from Greenville.
“I hope Norton comes out and puts that big body on somebody,” Massie said.
Two freshmen running backs, Jaquell Smith and Jesse Morrell, are natives of Savannah.
Livingstone faces a giant task: stopping the Tigers’ sophomore quarterback Kurvin Curry.
“He just sounds like a baller,” Massie said. “He gassed us last year. We have to do our best to neutralize him.”
Massie said the Blue Bears were not sulking after the opening loss.
“You can tell they have a sense of purpose,” Massie said. “There’s a high level of enthusiasm about this game.

NOTES: Catawba’s game will be broadcast by WSAT 1280 AM. … The Livingstone game can be heard online at Pregame starts at 5:45 p.m.