College Football: Catawba preview box WSSU game

Published 7:19 pm Friday, September 9, 2016

By Mike London

Kirkland Field, Shuford Stadium — Today, 6 p.m.
MASCOTS/COLORS: Winston-Salem State Rams (red and white), Catawba Indians (navy blue and white).
2015 RECORDS: Winston-Salem State 6-5 (including win against Bowie State in CIAA championship game). Catawba 9-3 (SAC champions, lost to Tuskegee first round of Division II playoffs)
COACHES: Winston-Salem State — Kienus Boulware is 16-8, third season. Catawba — Curtis Walker is 21-14, fourth season.
LAST WEEK: Winston-Salem Sate suffered a home loss, 20-17,to UNC Pembroke. Winston-Salem State led 17-10 entering the fourth quarter. Catawba lost, 23-3, at second-ranked West Georgia.
SERIES: Catawba has won all four meetings. The last meeting was in 2006. Catawba won against the Rams in 2006 (21-7), 2005 (20-10), 1999 (17-14) and 1998 (10-7). All four previous meetings were season openers. The 1998 and 2006 games were played in Salisbury.
WORTH MENTIONING: Sheka Walker, Coach Walker’s wife, is a Winston-Salem State graduate.
“That doesn’t make it a tough week for me,” the coach said with a laugh. “But it does make it a tough week for her.”
Sheka said the last time she attended a Catawba-Winston-Salem State matchup, she found a red Catawba shirt to wear. She’ll probably be attired in navy blue this time, although that will be a game-time decision.
WATCH FOR: Winston-Salem State: The Rams managed only 175 yards of offense against UNC Pembroke, so they may have difficulty moving the ball against a very experienced Catawba defense that has nine starters back. One of the top defenders for the Rams is sophomore outside linebacker/defensive end Kyrell Williamson, a former A.L. Brown star who earned MECKA Defensive Player of the Year honors as a Wonder senior. Catawba: T.J Olsen, the right guard, and C.J. Barksdale, a starting defensive end, are in the program for a sixth season due to medical redshirt years and they give the Indians a lot of experience and leadership. Catawba outside linebacker Kyle Kitchens, a returning region player of the year, is expected to be one of the top players in Division II. Catawba’s offense will look for better execution this week after being held to a Brennan Lambert field goal in the opener.
Parking: Free
Tickets: $10, Reserved: $15, Students: $5 (ages 6-17), Children under 5: free
Radio: Memories 1280