SALISBURY, N.C. – The Lions' football team lost on the road at South Atlantic Conference rival no. 25 Catawba 37-13, Saturday night in Shuford Stadium. Five turnovers plagued the Lions in the loss. Mars Hill fell to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the league. The Indians improved to 4-0 on the season, 1-0 in the SAC.
Keshaun Taylor caught five passes for 119 yards and one score while Craig Rucker pulled down the same number of catches for 99 yards and one touchdown reception. Malik Prescott rushed for 107 yards on 17 carries averaging 6.3 yards per run. David Salmon completed 17-31 passes for 294 yards throwing two touchdown passes. Unfortunately he was picked off twice. Jacari Williams led the Lions defense with a game high 10 tackles (9 solo). Preston Lockwood followed with nine tackles. Chris Leamon added six tackles and three pass break-ups. Mars Hill accumulated 393 yards of total offense, 294 in the air.
For Catawba, Eamon Smart rushed 30 times for 147 yards and one touchdown while Patrick O'Brien completed 16-29 passes for 214 yards and two touchdown strikes. Sam Mobley was on the receiving end of five passes for 106 yards and one score. Kyle Kitchens led the Indians defense with three sacks, three tackles-for-loss and four total tackles. Cris Page added seven tackles (5 solo), an interception and a fumble recovery. Catawba recorded 465 yards of total offense with 251 of those yards coming from their rushing attack.
After a Mars Hill fumble, Lee Brackman hit a 32-yard field goal with 9:45 left in the first quarter to put the first points on the board. Salmon then found Rucker in the endzone on a six-yard pass to give Mars Hill a 7-3 lead with 5:03 left in the first period. A little over two minutes later, Mobley hauled in a 62-yard pass from O'Brien to give the advantage back to the Indians (10-7) with 2:54 left in the first quarter of play.
A 10-yard touchdown strike by O'Brien to Keyon West put Catawba ahead 17-7 with 9:27 left in the second quarter. This score was setup by a MHU fumble. Taylor snagged a Hail Mary pass in the Indians endzone as time expired in the first half of play to cut the Lions deficit to 17-13 after a missed PAT kick attempt. Mars Hill suffered three costly first half turnovers as 10 of Catawba's first half points came directly off of Lion miscues.
Kenyatta Greene extended the Indians advantage to 24-13 with 6:20 left in the third stanza after he scampered 28 yards into the endzone. Greene found the end zone again on a 29-yard rush with 14:52 left in the fourth quarter to put Catawba on top 31-13. Smart than ran in from 13 yards out with 6:44 left in regulation to make the final score 37-13 in favor of the hosts after Catawba missed the ensuing PAT kick.
Mars Hill will host Limestone in SAC action on Saturday, September 30 in the Ammons Family Athletic Center and Meares Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.