BREVARD — Nothing has been routine for Catawba’s young football team, so when Brevard scored the last 10 points of the first half to creep within 13-10, it appeared another SAC game might slip away.
“We’d had control of the game and we’d let it go,” Catawba coach Curtis Walker said. “What we talked about halftime was getting that control back. We needed to seize the game.”
Catawba seized it and opened the second half with a 15-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by a Cary Littlejohn touchdown run. That was the start of 21 unanswered points, and the Indians beat Brevard 34-17.
“We hadn’t tasted a win in almost a month, so it does feel pretty good,” Walker said. “Some people wanted the coaching staff and the players to feel good about moral victories, but none of us felt good about just playing people close.”
Catawba (4-4, 2-3) obviously isn’t going to win the SAC championship this season, and the Indians aren’t going to the D-II playoffs. A winning season is the primary objective now, and that’s still achievable.
And after 3-8 and 4-7 seasons, a winning year would be good stuff.
“Yes, we started out with loftier goals, but a winning season is still important, and we’ve talked about that in our team meetings,” Walker said. “Everyone associated with this program wants a winning season to lay the foundation for achieving those bigger goals in the future.”
Catawba had a huge and balanced offensive day.
Danny O’Brien completed 28 of his 40 passes for 292 yards and threw scoring passes to Tyler Hamilton and Nate Charest.
Charest (89 yards) and Carlos Tarrats (85 yards) had eight catches each, and Tarrats scored a TD on a 12-yard run. Littlejohn’s 146 rushing yards on 19 carries led a ground game that piled up 250 yards. Trey Mashore, David Burgess, Lorenzo Pooler and O’Brien chipped in.
“Our offensive line did a good job and we were able to do most of the things that we wanted to do,” Walker said.
Brevard is almost exclusively a running team.
The Tornados (2-6, 1-4) completed only two passes, but they did rush for a net of 202 yards. Jordan Ollis rushed for 108 yards on 20 carries.
“He was a guy you had to tackle by the ankles, a hard runner,” Walker said. “But we carried out our assignments and had two sacks when we put them in passing situations.”
Linebackers Jason Taylor and Dennis McFatten had those sacks.
Catawba plays Mars Hill next Saturday at home.
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