College Football: Catawba's Charest brothers showing chemistry
By Ryan Bisesi
SALISBURY — As siblings, Jacob and Nate Charest have a built-in chemistry on the field
Both play positions that depend on the other, with Nate at wide receiver and Jacob at quarterback.
Completions, just like brotherhood, are a two-way street.
Nate, the Catawba offensive player of the week, gave the Indians their first touchdown of the season as a bright spot in the SAC opener, a 21-13 loss to Newberry at Shuford Stadium.
Just like his first high school touchdown, Nate’s first collegiate score came via his big brother’s arm on a 67-yard reception. Newberry called a corner blitz on a bootleg pass, leaving a safety having to cover Nate.
“We saw on film they’ll blitz their corner a little bit,” Catawba coach Chip Hester said. “They ran a bootleg coming back to him so he did a good job coming back to the ball, outrunning the guy, making a little move and getting in the end zone.”
Nate was open most of the way, but Jacob decided to get the most out of the broken coverage.
“I was hoping Jake would hit me in the hole faster then he did, but I guess he wanted to see me run,” Nate said.
The touchdown brought Catawba to within 14-13 early in the third quarter.
The Indians, the lone 0-3 team in the SAC, have relied heavily upon the sophomore from Butler with the offense struggling to score points. Nate is far and away the team’s leading receiver with 307 yards on 19 catches. He had 172 yards by catching six passes Saturday after a 102-yard game against Coastal Carolina.
Hester hopes Nate can emerge as the difference maker the Indians desperately need. Depth is a major concern at receiver after the injuries of Jason Williams and Levon Curtis along with the ineligibility of Gerron Bryant and freshman Joe Watson.
“[Nate’s] playing really hard,” Hester said. “We need more guys to get in with him and be playmakers.”
If the Indians offense hopes to turn it around, Nate should play a pivotal role. The running game has struggled with Josh Wright only gaining 32 yards on 18 carries last week. The Tribe has scored 21 points in three games.
Charest is dubbed a fun player to coach by Hester because of his desire to make plays.
“Touchdowns have been few and far between for us,” Hester said. “Being able to get in the end zone was really big. He’s definitely that guy who’s the constant competitor.”
Nate stands 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds and had 62 catches for 1,045 yards in his senior year at Butler, helping the Bulldogs to their second straight state title.
Jacob transferred in from Illinois and had his best game passing with 254 yards against Newberry.
“Who else would you rather catch touchdown passes from than your brother,” Nate said.
The Indians are 10-5 lifetime against Tusculum as they hope to get a win in time for Oct. 1 home date with UNC Pembroke. The Indians have lost five consecutive since last year’s loss to Tusculum.
“It’s just one or two things that are stopping us from being successful,” Nate said. “That’s the most frustrating part.
“Receivers missing blocks downfield, offensive linemen missing assignments, little things that can get us a victory instead of a loss.”