October 16, 20041st2nd3rd4thFinal
1st Quarter
CATFG12:13Rohrbaugh 32 Yd
NEWTD08:31J. LaBarge 19 Yd Pass From Josh Stepp (R. Lukshis kick)
CATTD03:16Crowe 5 Yd Run (Rohrbaugh kick)
2nd Quarter
NEWFG13:10R. Lukshis 43 Yd
CATFG10:36Rohrbaugh 33 Yd
CATTD00:29Ready 10 Yd Pass From Samples (Rohrbaugh kick)
3rd Quarter
NEWTD11:34T. Zimmerman 27 Yd Pass From Josh Stepp (R. Lukshis kick)
CATTD10:39Crowe 75 Yd Pass From Samples (Rohrbaugh kick)
NEWTD06:58A. Surratt 10 Yd Pass From Josh Stepp (R. Lukshis kick)
CATTD05:03Wall (Rohrbaugh kick)
4th Quarter
CATTD12:24Samples 1 Yd Run (Rohrbaugh kick)
NEWTD09:09T. Davis 3 Yd Pass From Josh Stepp (R. Lukshis kick)
Stats at a GlanceCATNEW
1st Downs1821
3rd Down Conversions5-113-13
4th Down Conversions0-02-3
Passing (Comp-Att)171 (10-18) 289 (20-35)
Rushing (Att)262 (41) 102 (37)
Total Yards
Fumbles Lost00
Catawba College wins shootout, 41-31, with Newberry College

Catawba College wins shootout, 41-31, with Newberry College
Saturday, October 16, 2004 | by Scott McCain, Newberry Sports Information

NEWBERRY - Newberry College and Catawba College combined for 800 yards and 72 points on Saturday, but it was the Indians from Salisbury that captured a 41-31 victory Saturday afternoon in South Atlantic Conference football action at Setzler Field.

Junior running back Mario Crowe (Charlotte, N.C.) hit the 100-yard mark in the second quarter and turned in a game-high 123 rushing yards to give Catawba a 262-102 edge in yards on the ground.

The win keeps Catawba (6-1, 3-1 SAC) in contention for its second straight conference crown, while Newberry (3-4, 0-4 SAC) remains winless in league play.

With five of the first seven drives culminating in points, it was obvious that the contest would be a shootout.  Catawba took the opening kickoff and drove to Newberry's six-yard line, but Newberry lineman Emil Gibson (Spartanburg, S.C.) stopped Rodney Wallace (Bamberg, S.C.) for a nine-yard loss, setting up a 32-yard Allan Rohrbaugh (Lexington, N.C.) field goal for the game's first points.

Newberry came back with an eight-play, 65-yard touchdown drive.  Sophomore quarterback Josh Stepp (Pelion, S.C.) hit on three consecutive pass completions to Tymere Zimmerman (Bennettsville, S.C.), Antwan Surratt (Spartanburg, S.C.), and Junior LaBarge (Ellis, Kan.) to gain 15, 26, and 19 yards, respectively.  The touchdown to LaBarge was his second of the year and Stepp's 13th through the air.

Catawba regained the lead on the next drive, converting all three third down opportunities.  From the Newberry 31, senior quarterback Luke Samples (Elkin, N.C.) found Duran Lipscomb (Kannapolis, N.C.), who took the reception to Newberry's five.  Crowe took it the rest of the way on the next play and pounded in his 11th touchdown of the season.

After a stalled Scarlet drive, Newberry safety Octavius Whiteside (Greer, S.C.) intercepted the first pass of the second quarter and returned it to Catawba's 28.  Newberry gained two yards on three plays and then called upon Ryan Lukshis (Irmo, S.C.) to split the uprights on a 43-yarder, the Indians' longest of the season, to tie the game at 10 all. 

Rohrbaugh answered for Catawba on the following drive, connecting on a 33-yard attempt following a 54-yard drive, to give CC the lead for good.  A ten-yard touchdown from Samples to junior Corey Ready (Aiken, S.C.) gave Blue a 20-10 edge that it would take into halftime.

Newberry scored two touchdowns in the third quarter, only to be answered by Catawba on its next possessions.  On fourth-and-four at Catawba's 27, Stepp threw a pass to a crossing Zimmerman, who stopped, reversed direction, and outran all Catawba defenders to the corner of the endzone to trail 20-17.

Crowe put in his own entry for play of the game three offensive plays later.  With Catawba facing a third-and-five situation, Samples hit Crowe out of the backfield for first down yardage.  After the catch, Crowe broke tackles and juked his way down the right sideline, then turned on the nitrous to simply outrun the defense.  The Samples-to-Crowe pass covered 75 of the 80 yards in the series to give Catawba another ten-point cushion.

Starting on Newberry's 35 after the kickoff sailed out-of-bounds, Stepp took a play from Catawba's playbook and connected with tailback Deshon Rodell (Allendale, S.C.) for a gain of 31.  The Indians converted its second fourth down attempt of the afternoon with a three-yard Stepp run to put Newberry on the visitors' 22.  Charles Brandon (Union, S.C.) carried a reverse to the Catawba 10, and Newberry scored on a controversial pass reception that popped out of a leaping Antwan Surratt's grasp when he fell to the ground.  The reception stood, and the Indians trailed 27-24.

The Scarlet and Gray defense held Catawba to three-and-out, but Catawba's defense one-upped Newberry when Eddie Wall (Albemarle, N.C.) picked Stepp off a tipped pass and took the theft 50 yards to paydirt.

Catawba took over in the fourth quarter following a blocked punt and return that placed the Tribe in the red zone.  The Indians needed only three plays to find the endzone, with Samples doing the honors on a one-yard sneak to put Catawba up 41-24.  Newberry answered immediately with completions of 25, 8, 15, and 16 yards to place the home team on Catawba's 28.  Stepp spotted LaBarge on another crossing route, this completion good for 26 yards.  On second-and-goal, the Indians called an innovative play from the I-formation that saw fullback Titus Davis (Cross, S.C.) slip undetected to the sideline while Catawba focused on the deep back and Stepp's rushing threat.  Stepp put the ball in Davis' hands with enough room to get one foot in-bounds for the score.

At 41-31, Catawba would score no more, but neither would it allow Newberry points.  The final two NC drives ended in an interception and a sack on fourth down.

"It was a very close game, maybe the closest ten-point game I've ever coached," head coach Zak Willis said following the game. "I know this isn't what a lot of [Newberry fans] want to hear, but we played a pretty doggone good game.  To put 31 points on a team like Catawba, without them turning the ball over a lot, is a good showing by our team.  Boy, they are a good football team."

Stepp climbed higher in the record books with 289 passing yards and 42 rushing yards today.  He is only the second Indian to top 2,000 yards in total offense (currently with 2,048), trailing only Tim Singleton with 2,500 yards in 1990.  With 1,793 passing yards so far, he already has the fifth-best season number in Newberry history and is on target to top Singleton's season-best 2,084 passing yards.  Also, his four-touchdown passing performance tied a Newberry single-game record.

"[Stepp had] another solid performance," commented Willis. "He really only made one mistake.  If I could go a day with only making one mistake, I'd think I was doing pretty well.  You have to remember that he entered this season with only two college starts.  He's young, but we are excited about what we have seen so far from him this season."

Zimmerman moved to fifth on the career reception yards list with 1,375 (57 today) and is only one touchdown away from tying the touchdown reception mark (13) set in 2003 by Kendal Brown.

Newberry will try for conference win number one on the road at Wingate next Saturday, while Catawba travels to Tusculum.