Story courtesy of Catawba Athletics
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. - Catawba shut down West Liberty State to open its 2012 football season with a 24-3 win on Saturday afternoon. The Catawba Indian defense stymied the Hilltoppers, recording 11 sacks and causing eight turnovers in the victory. The 11 sacks tied a school record that was set in 2005 against Mars Hill.
After a scoreless first quarter, Catawba took control with a pair of scores in an 18 second span. Jake Charest (Charlotte, NC/Butler HS/Illinois) capped a drive with a 26-yard pass to Payton McCollum for the fist score. On the next West Liberty play from scrimmage, Damein Lee (Reidsville, NC/Reidsville HS) caused a fumble as he sacked Hilltopper quarterback LD Crow and Jarrod Cave (Dobson, NC/Surry Central HS) ran it in from 15 yards out and a 14-0 lead at the 12:24 mark.
West Liberty trimmed the margin to 14-3 late in the first half then looked to be poised to trim the deficit even further with a first-and-goal at the Catawba five early in the third quarter. The Tribe defense responded, pushing the Hilltoppers back on three straight negative plays to force a 34-yard field goal try which was missed.
Early in the fourth quarter, Richard Miller (Elon, NC/W. Alamance HS), who also had two sacks, recovered a Hilltopper fumble and Bobby Morrison (Statesville, NC/W. Iredell HS) cashed the opportunity in on a six-yard run for a 21-3 lead with 11:28 remaining. The Indians capped the scoring on a 31-yard field goal by Chad Hollandsworth (Kernersville, NC/E. Forsyth HS). That score was set up by a Lucas Reibe (Wellington, FL/Wellington HS) interception inside the West Liberty red zone.
Joining Miller with two sacks was freshman Jonathan Jean (Orange Park, FL/Fleming Island HS). Others that were in on the record sack day were: Cory Johnson (Fayetteville, NC/Britt HS), Jacob Hanes (Charlotte, NC/Butler HS), Antoine Parker (Columbia, SC/Ridge View HS), Gabriel Evans (Fayetteville, NC/Pine Forest HS), Ivan Cann (Bamberg, SC/Bamberg-Ehrhardt HS) and Ed Robinson (Callahan, FL/Paxon School). Chad Endres (Wellington, FL/Wellington HS/Jacksonville), Javon Powell (Currie, NC/Pender Co. HS) and Jumal Rolle (Wilson, NC/Beddingfield HS) added interceptions.
On offense, Charest completed 13-of-27 passes for 120 yards. He connected with McCollum three times for 63 yards and the score. Morrison, who ran for 33 yards and a score also caught three passes. Wade Moore (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS) led the Tribe ground game with 36 yards, while BJ Sherrill (Cleveland, NC/W. Rowan HS) added 29 yards.