Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bobcats football -- Homecoming

(Posted on Frostburg's The Bottom Line here)

In their latest matchup against NAIA opponent Southern Virginia, the Bobcats fell behind by 14 early and were unable to maintain much offensive rhythm as they turned the ball over five times. Playing without senior tailback Shanorm Young, the Bobcats pulled within eight in the 4th quarter, but the Southern Virginia offense drove down the field for a late touchdown to seal the game and pull out a 35-20 win.

Freshman tailback Anton Wade started in place of Young and ran for 102 yards and 2 TDs. Senior quarterback Andre Dixon also added a rushing TD of his own along with 85 yards on the ground and 103 through the air.

The key for the Bobcats, though, was losing the turnover battle. During the second half, Frostburg State fumbled on three consecutive possessions, leading to two Southern Virginia touchdowns.

The Bobcats (1-5) have struggled this season, but they look to salvage part of their season heading into Saturday's Homecoming game against NAIA Union (Ky.).

In last year's game against Union, the Bobcats pulled out an exciting 7-3 win on the road. After three scoreless quarters, the Bobcats surrendered a field goal midway through the fourth quarter. With a little over two minutes left in the game, the Bobcats sent a huge rush and blocked Union's punt and returned it 15 yards for the eventual game-winning touchdown.

In that game, the Bobcat offense outgained Union's 255-175, and the defense forced Union to punt nine times. But they didn't force any turnovers and turned the ball over themselves twice on fumbles, keeping the game close until the end.

With only two home games and this Homecoming game being the last of those two, the Bobcats need to score points this year in order to keep the pressure on Union's defense. So far this season, though, the offense has had its share of problems. Unable to lead a balanced attack, the Bobcats have had to rely on a rushing game which has more than doubled the output of the passing game (957-467). The Bobcats have been outscored 185-64 and a whopping 91-16 in the first half. Scoring so few points has put tremendous pressure on the defense, often forcing them to stay on the field longer and play significant minutes.

But even though they've had their struggles, the Bobcats refuse to fold. In the loss to Southern Virginia, they never rolled over. They cut into the Knights' lead a few times and were right on the verge of evening the score if not for a few untimely turnovers and penalties.

The Bobcats won't be able to attain a winning record this year, but they won't give in or stop trying. They desperately want to win their last home game of the year and will give everything they have for a win on Saturday.

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