College Football: Mars Hill 35, Catawba 28
MARS HILL — Catawba tried to dig out of a 21-0 halftime deficit, but came up short in a 35-28 loss to host Mars Hill in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Mears Stadium.
Catawba (3-4, 1-3) managed just 83 yards in the opening half in falling behind 21-0 by intermisson.
It could have been worse, but the Lions missed a short field-goal try to end the half. The Lions still led 28-7 after three quarters before the Indians scored twice in a 3-minute span to close within a score.
Former West Rowan star BJ Sherrill threw a 30-yard pass to Nate Charest with 14:42 remaining then Charest tossed a 24-yard pass to Jarrid McKinney on a fourth down play to cut the deficit to 28-21 with 11:21 remaining.
Mars Hill answered that score, but following a long kickoff return by LJ McCray.
It set up Xavier Bond, who went in from 6 yards out to bring the Indians within 35-28 with 6:40 to go.
Catawba would get the ball back, but were denied on downs with just over a minute to play and the Lions ran out the clock.
The Lions jumped out quickly, scoring on their opening drive.
The score came on a fourth-down pass from Jon Richt, son of Georgia coach Mark Richt, to Jeremy Hughes from 2 yards away.
In the second quarter, Shaikel Davis ran in from a yard out and Richt added a second touchdown strike, this time 31 yards to Josh Young, for the 21-0 bulge at the half.
Sherrill finished the day with three touchdown passes for Catawba, going 18-for-46 for 155 yards.
Charest caught seven passes for 71 yards.
Richt threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns for Mars Hill.
Davis ran for 116 yards on 34 carries. Jennings and Dimitri Holmes each went over 100 yards in receiving and caught 10 passes.
Cory Johnson posted double-digit tackles for the second straight game with 15 against the Lions, as did Jason Taylor, who made 13 stops on Saturday.
Jacob Hanes had three tackles for loss, including a sack, while Lucas Riebe had an interception.
NOTE: Catawba travels to Wingate next week.