College Football: Catawba at home; Livingstone on road

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 16, 2011

By Ronnie Gallagher
SALISBURY ó Chip Hester was pleased with his defense in a 20-3 loss to Coastal Carolina last week.
Now, he has to get his offense going as Catawba plays host to Newberry tonight in the South Atlantic Conference opener. The battle between the 0-2 teams begins at Shuford Stadium at 7 p.m.
ěWeíve got to execute a little better,î Hester said. ěOn film, and even in practice, weíre a move away here or a mistake here. Weíve just got to find ways to gain some confidence. People have to step up and make some plays. The thing that stands out to me is the lack of explosive plays.î
Most look toward quarterback Jacob Charest to turn things around. He certainly expected bigger things from himself after transferring in from Illinois last year.
ěJacobís got a really good mentality,î Hester praised. ěHeís mentally tough and physically tough. He takes the attitude that heís going to work, Iím really pleased with how he has responded to the guys.î
Newberry is a mirror image of Catawba. Todd Knightís offense mixes it up.
ěYear in and year out, theyíre as talented as anyone in our league,î Hester said.
Newberry will be coming after Charest. Hester is impressed with its defensive front.
ěThey like to put pressure on the quarterback,î he said. ěThose four on the front are talented pass rushers. And they like man-to-man coverage. So weíve got to make some plays at wideout. Thatís just the way it is.î
Newberry did not play well in its opener but came close to defeating Valdosta State last week, losing 24-17. Like Catawba, this can be a new start if it can pull out a win on the road.
ěWhen itís all said and done, itís your conference that matters,î Hester noted. ěOur record is 0-0 in the conference. I hope our guys will respond accordingly.î

NOTES: Hester said that among the injuries, defensive back L.J. McCray is doubtful. ěSome argue he may be our best football player,î Hester said. … Buddy and Dan will call the game on WSAT 1280 AM.
n Livingstone on road
Former West Rowan star Justin Avery is already making his name known around the CIAA with three interceptions and 15 tackles in Livingstoneís 0-2 start.
Avery and the secondary will have their biggest test today at 1 p.m. when the Blue Bears travel to Bowie State (2-0).
The Bulldogs are averaging over 400 yards of offense, 228 through the air.
The defense has been the bright spot, forcing four interceptions and four fumbles. Kirkland Davidson also had an interception last week in a lopsided loss to Elizabeth City State.
The offense needs work and coach Elvin James will start his third quarterback in three games. Jaren Troutman is eligible after sitting out the first two games. He is a transfer from Saint Paulís.

NOTES: Fans can can follow live updates at … Livingstone will host its home opener next Saturday at 6 p.m. against the Dragons of Virginia University of Lynchburg. Lynchburg is fielding a football team for the first time in more than 50 years.