|Randolph-Macon 26, Catholic 18||Sept. 28, 2002|
ASHLAND, Va. - Catholic's Bill Sutton (Columbia, Md./ DeMatha) threw for a career-high 382 yards on 21-for-51 passing but the Cardinals came up short as Randolph-Macon held off a late CUA drive to win 26-18 in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference game.
With less than a minute remaining and no time outs and starting at their own 11 yard-line, Catholic was able to put together one last scoring drive. The Yellow Jacket's Chris Headrick intercepted a Sutton pass with just 42 seconds remaining to seal the win.
Randolph-Macon (3-1, 1-0 ODAC) took an early lead when quarterback Hunter Price hit Matt Gardner on a 5-yard pass in the first quarter. Senior Mike Martin (Allentown, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) blocked the extra point.
The ensuing drive by Catholic resulted in a three-and-out but punter Pete Welsh (Medford, N.J./St. Joseph's [Pa.]) could not handle the low snap and was tackled in the backfield by RMC's Bobby Akers at the Catholic 10-yard line. On the very next play Price hooked up with running back E.J. Bush on a 10-yard score on a dump-off out of the backfield and into the end zone to raise the lead to 13-0.
Catholic had several chances inside the red zone in the first half but only managed two field goals. Freshman kicker Chris Waechter (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg Catholic) connected field goals of 21 yards and a 23 yards, respectively to cut the lead to 13-6 at the half.
Sophomore wideout Nick Bublavi (Norwood, Pa./Interboro) came alive in the second half as he caught four passes en route to grabbing eight receptions on the day for a career-high 161 yards and two scores. His first touchdown was off a 5-play, 80-yard drive midway in the third quarter with Sutton hitting Bublavi on a 16-yard fade to the left side of the end zone. The extra point was no good, making it 19-12.
After Catholic dodged a bullet when Randolph-Macon's David Ping missed a 39-yard field goal towards the end of the third quarter, the Cardinals gave the ball back on the next drive as a fourth-down punt was mishandled again and ended up at the Cardinal 13-yard line. Two plays later Price dove in from a yard to seemingly put the Yellow Jackets ahead for good at 26-12.
But the Cardinals rallied, using the two-minute offense to perfection as Sutton hit Bublavi for 30 yards for his second score of the day with 1:53 remaining in the game. Sutton led the troops on a 10-play, 92-yard drive using just 1:44 of the game clock. Catholic was unable to recover the onside kick but was able to force a three-and-out, giving the Cardinals one last chance.
Catholic (0-3, 0-1 ODAC) outgained Randolph-Macon 382-212 but had 11 penalties for 158 yards and three turnovers.
Senior linebacker Ryan Welsh (Glen Mills, Pa./Salesianum [Del.]) led the CUA defense with eight tackles, one for a loss and half a sack. As a team, Catholic had six sacks. Seniors Scot Lutte (Walnutport, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) and Jonathan Kadi (Farmington, Conn./Farmington) had a sack and half apiece.
The Cardinals play at DuFour Field next week, Oct. 5, for the first time this season as Catholic entertains LaSalle. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.