- Lenoir-Rhyne claimed a share of the South Atlantic Conference Championship as the Bears rolled to a 38-6 win over host Catawba in football action on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field. Lenoir-Rhyne improves to 7-3 overall and 6-1 in the SAC and will await a possible berth in the NCAA II playoffs. The Catawba Indians end their season at 3-8 and 2-5.
The Bears went on top late in the first quarter as quarterback Major Herron Kingsland, GA) capped six-play, 70-yard drive with a one-yard run. Herron had run of 53 yards on the second play of the drive to set the Bears up on the Catawba 14. Lenoir-Rhyne added another short score, coming from four yards out by Isaiah Whitaker (Salisbury, NC), to jump out to a 14-0 edge with 12:15 left in the half.
Catawba capitalized on a fumbled snap on a punt to score its only points. The Indians took over the Bear 10 and quarterback Jacob Charest (Charlotte, NC/Butler HS/Illinois) was able to sneak in on fourth down from the one to cut the score to 14-6.
The Bears were able to add one more score before the break. Following a 35-yard punt return by Michael Green (Kingsland, GA) to the Catawba 28, Herron would run in from five yards out with just 1:11 left in the quarter to give Lenoir-Rhyne a 21-6 lead at the break.
Lenoir-Rhyne held Catawba to just 58 yards in the first half and took command of the game when Jamont Jones (Washington, NC) took the second half kickoff 93 yards to put the Bears up 28-6. Offensively, Catawba could not mount a comeback and Lenoir-Rhyne added a field goal by Colin Corpe (Ocala, FL) and a one-yard run from Jasper Thomas (High Point, NC) in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
Herron ran for a game-high 182 yards and added one completion for 12 yards. Whitaker added 87 yards and Corron Boston 52 yards. The Bears finished with 348 yards rushing and outgained Catawba 375 to 130 in total yards. Senior Lakeem Perry (Louisburg, NC/Louisburg HS) made 14 stops for Catawba, finishing the season with 108 tackles.