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Roach to play in Cactus Bowl

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Brad Roach has at least one more football game to play. He’s hoping a strong performance will help lead him to a few more.
The record-setting quarterback for the Catawba Indians has accepted an invitation to play in the Valero Cactus Bowl, the postseason all-star game for NCAA Division II football student-athletes. The game will be held Friday, Jan. 11, at Javelina Stadium in Kingsville, Texas.
The Cactus Bowl started as the Snow Bowl in 1994 at the Fargo Dome in Fargo, North Dakota. After a seven-year run, the game moved to Kingsville in January 2001.
After being played for six years in Kingsville, there wasn’t a bowl game last year. It returns to Kingsville in 2008.
According to the Cactus Bowl web site, the bowl committee’s mission is to “bring together the finest football athletes from the 150 plus universities who play NCAA Division II football.”
Roach will be one of two quarterbacks on the East squad.
Roach, named the All-South Atlantic Conference quarterback, put up some big numbers his senior season. He was 224-of-376 (59.6 percent) for 3,322 yards with 32 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He also ran for 91 yards and three touchdowns.
The Catawba co-captain led the Indians to an 11-2 record, including a playoff victory.
The former Williamston High School standout who now resides in Washington with his father, retired Martin County sheriff Keith Roach, and mother, Amy Roach, is looking to showcase his talents in front of NFL scouts.
NFL teams signed over 100 players who appeared in the then-Snow Bowl over its seven-year period, while the first Cactus Bowl produced 25 players who signed NFL contracts. That helped inspire the game’s slogan, “The best players you’ve never seen.”
In his college career, Roach completed 608-of-1,099 passes (55.3 percent) for 7,874 yards. He threw 62 touchdown passes and 49 interceptions.
The Catawba senior also had 138 rushing yards and six scores.
Roach set a handful of records at Catawba. He holds the school record for passing yards in a season (3,322 in 2007), touchdown passes in a season (32 in 2007), touchdown passes in a game (five against Albany State in 2007), completions in a season (224 in 2007), efficiency rating in a season (153.4 in 2007) and passing attempts in a season (384 in 2005).
Roach will be able to suit up one more time as a college football player in front of his parents, who both plan to make the trip to Texas.