College football: Indians no match for Mars Hill
Published 5:51 pm Saturday, September 17, 2022
MARS HILL — Ridge Jacobs’ crisp 53-yard touchdown pass to a sprinting Will Sheehan provided a ray of hope for the future.
Unfortunately, that one sweet Catawba football moment came with just 2:26 left to play at Meares Stadium.
All it did was turn a 38-0 deficit into a 38-7 loss. Maybe it made the ride back home a little shorter.
Under sunny skies and perfect temperatures in the mountains, it was still a dismal day for Catawba football. Mars Hill, favored by about 10 points, battered the Indians badly on Saturday afternoon in the South Atlantic Conference opener for both teams.
While the Lions (1-1) roared 90 brisk yards to score on their opening possession, there was considerable suspense regarding whether or not Catawba could ever make a first down.
The Indians (1-2) did accomplish that modest feat, but it didn’t happen until the second quarter.
The Lions led 21-0 early in the second quarter after their offensive line shoved its way into the end zone, taking running back Jervon Newton along for the ride.
It was 24-0 a few minutes later, after a blocked punt by hungry Lions set up a field goal.
Any thoughts of a Catawba rally in the second half were squelched by an 85-yard, six-minute drive for a score by the Lions in the third quarter. That made it 31-0.
Backup backs for the Lions ran amok to push the lead to 38-0, before Catawba finally retaliated with that late scoring pass. Jacobs, who had been sidelined by a high ankle sprain, made his season debut in the final quarter.
There was a time when Catawba counted on the Lions for an automatic SAC victory, but those days are in the history books.
Mars Hill smacked Catawba for the fourth time in a row.
Catawba was out-rushed 332 yards to 65. Mars Hill had a 4-0 advantage in sacks. Catawba’s defense got some stops, but never could come up with a turnover.
A bright spot for the Indians was young linebacker Jordan Goodine (North Rowan), He made a team-high nine tackles.
Christian Bennett (East Rowan) made five tackles for Catawba.
Jabril Norman (Salisbury) made six tackles for the Lions.
Catawba’s home opener is next Saturday, with a 4 p.m. kickoff against Tusculum.
Catawba 0 0 0 7 — 7
Mars Hill 14 10 7 7 — 38
MH — Newton 37 run (Teachey kick), 13:06, 1st
MH — Coffee 51 pass from Urzua (Teachey kick), 6:49, 1st
MH — Newton 6 run (Teachey kick), 13:07, 2nd
MH — Teachey FG 33, 9:56, 2nd
MH — Morrison 2 run (Teachey kick), 1:13, 3rd
MH — Frazier 15 run (Teachey kick), 6:49, 4th
C — Sheehan 53 pass from Jacobs (Crile kick), 2:26, 4th
Catawba: Bracey 7-33; Hill 7-21; Williams 7-6; Parker 6-4; Turner 2-1. MH: Newton 17-143; Frazier 10-75; Morrison 10-67; Gurvin 6-43.
Catawba: Hill 10-23-0, 86; Jacobs 5-7-1, 89. MH: Urzua 6-12-o, 122.
Catawba: Sheehan 5-88; Lockhart 3-23; Christian 2-9; Bracey 1-28; Grant 1-14; Parker 1-6; Williams 1-5; Pryor 1-2. MH: Coffee 2-89; Lauren 1-20.