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SAC Football: Brevard 7, Catawba 6

By Jimmy Lewis
spoerts@salisburypost.comBREVARD ó Richard Ray returned a blocked punt 12 yards and Chase Henry added the point after try as Brevard defeated Catawba 7-6 at Brevard Memorial Stadium that was more suited for a tractor pull or mud bogging than football.
The win improves the Tornados to 7-3 overall and 3-3 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fall to 4-5 and 1-5.
The Catawba defense pitched a shutout and limited Brevard to no first downs and a mere five yards of offense in the second half. It was the Tornado special teams that provided the play for the win.
After the blocked punt was returned for a score both teams used a time out before the extra-point attempt as Henry cleared as much water and mud from the spot as he could then made the clutch kick.
Catawba was able to move the ball into Brevard territory on its final drive. Patrick Dennis converted a fourth down on a sneak and threw a 16-yard pass to Gerron Bryant on third-and-15 to the Tornado 35. On the ensuing third down, his pass over the middle to Brandon Bunn was intercepted by Donald Hudson at the BC seven with 52 seconds left.
Brevard ran three kneel-down plays as the clock ran down to 1.2 seconds. Backed up at his own two, Tornado quarterback Michael Crumbaker ran out the final seconds around the left side.
Bryant provided the spark to get Catawba on the scoreboard in the first half. He picked up a punt that died in the mud and raced 23 yards to the Brevard 36. Dennis completed a pass to Bunn for 14 yards on his first attempt of the day down to the 18 and followed with a 10-yarder to Grayson Downs. On fourth down, he found Bunn for a nine yard score, but Catawba failed to convert the point after.
Catawba had a chance to increase its lead in the third quarter following a Terrence Jones interception that he returned to midfield. On the only drive of the third quarter by either team to register a first down, the Indians moved the BC 21 only to fumble away the chance. Brevard never took a snap inside Catawba territory after the opening drive of the second quarter.
Catawba outgained Brevard 175 to 88 in total offense, but had an interception and lost two of five fumbles. The Tornados threw one interception, but lost neither of their two fumbles. Dennis completed 6-of-12 passes for 68 yards and a score. Daniel Griffith completed his only attempt as he subbed in several snaps as Dennis went to the sidelines to towel off.
Levon Curtis led Catawba on the ground with 85 yards on 21 carries. Bryant and Bunn each had two catches. Cory Johnson made 10 tackles on defense.
Neville Bryce led Brevard with 43 yards on the ground. Crumbaker had eight yards rushing and completed 1-of-3 passes for seven yards. Stanley Jones led the Brevard defense with 16 tackles, including a pair for losses.

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