Raymond Franze

Closing the book on Week 4 in the MEC

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Fairmont State 19
Charleston 16


Just as Fairmont State had me writing that they were beginning to look like the playoff-caliber team of yesteryear, the Fighting Falcons struggled on the road at Charleston. They managed less than 10 total rushing yards on 28 carries, turned the ball over twice while recovering two additional fumbles of their own and trailed 16-3 into the fourth quarter following a 41-yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by Jalen Nelson.

Putting the fight in Fighting Falcons though, Fairmont State didn’t let things get too out of hand; putting themselves in position where a couple of opportunities could swing the outcome in their favor. And despite the Golden Eagles success moving the ball against Fairmont State’s defense—especially on the ground, they came up cold when it was time to put the game away. Their four fourth-quarter possessions resulted in a missed field goal, 36-yard interception return for a touchdown by Stephen Turner to tie the game, a punt and another interception by Stephen Turner that put Fairmont State in position for Sam Keil to kick the game-winning field goal as they did against Urbana not long ago in a come-from-behind win.

Jujuan Young-Battle(20-44-279-1-1) hooked up with Laurence King (6-93-1) for Fairmont State’s lone offensive touchdown. The Golden Eagles also had one offensive touchdown only, a 44-yard run by Kane Roush (16-66-1).

Charleston utilized Mason Olszewski (9-16-86-0-0; 9-27-0) in both passing and rushing; but they also used Jermaine Kelly (1-6-5-0-1; 13-23-0) and Colar Kuhns (1-4-5-0-1) who each completed an equal number of offensive completions and interceptions.

Despite their play, Fairmont State currently sits near the top of the MEC standings with a 3-1 record.


WV State 41
Shepherd 56


Ram Stadium has played host to a shootout in each of the first two games this season. In the opening week Shepherd defeated Notre Dame College 54-48—with another 95+ points scored in this past Saturday’s 56-41 win over the WV State Yellow Jackets.

The Rams helped WV State stay in the game. Exiting the first quarter with a 14-0 lead, Shepherd coughed up a fumble on offense that was returned by the Yellow Jackets’ Trent Williamson 24 yards for a touchdown. Following WV State’s second touchdown of the game, Shepherd fumbled the kickoff return setting up the Yellow Jackets in the red zone at the Shepherd 15-yard line. Three plays later quarterback Matt Kinnick (32-51-371-3-0) hooked up with receiver Quinton Gray (3-61-1) for the go-ahead score giving WV State a 24-21 lead—its only lead of the game.

Despite the help, WV State was able to move the ball down the field, particularly against Shepherd’s secondary. Kinnick was placing passes in spots only his receivers could catch the ball; and his receivers were making impressive catches throughout the game. Both Gray and Tyrell Henderson (11-166-1) had long catches of 40+ yards. They did however, also sustain drives throughout the game. Their other scoring drives were (plays-yards) 10-67, 8-85, 8-65, 8-37, and 5-90. Shepherd head coach Monte Cater spoke about injuries and youth having an impact, but also knows excuses will get you nowhere and the unit needs to get better going forward.

Fortunately, while the Rams’ defense finds its health and execution, the offense proves it can continue to outscore any opponent in the conference. While his passing yards were relatively pedestrian compared to his previous outings, Connor Jessop (26-38-283-5-0) added 5 more touchdown passes. Receiver Ryan Feiss (10-168-1) continues to haul in double-digit receptions for lots of yards. Each game the Rams also have different receivers stepping up to complement Feiss. In the first week it was Hakeem Holland, last week it was Duron Norris and this week it was Antonio Smith (8-39-1). Half of the time Wanya Allen (4-45-2) caught the ball it was for a touchdown. Running back Jabre Lolley’s (18-239-3) style was a combination of hungry and angry. While rushing for over 200 yards, his stiff-arm technique resulted in at least one defender getting shoved to the ground on each carry.

This was the second week in a row WV State allowed a running back to rush for over 230 yards and team rushing yards to exceed 300. Perhaps the Rams need to send Notre Dame College a “Thank You” card for any lessons learned watching film from last week’s game.



Glenville St 47
Alderson Broaddus 42


The I-79 Barrel Classic featured two teams refusing to go away, rolling around in a giant back-and-forth battle. Glenville State earned its first win of the season thanks in large part to the four passing touchdowns by quarterback Jaylen McNair (17-28-4-1) who now has four passing touchdowns in each of his last two games. One of his touchdowns was a flea-flicker. The game also featured three rushing touchdowns for Battler running back Jamil Collison-Cofie (22-91-3), a fumbled PAT attempt by Alderson-Broaddus that they picked up and completed for a two-point conversion and a Pioneer fumble recovered in the end zone by the Battlers late in the game to keep it interesting.

Alderson-Broaddus took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter after two Collison-Cofie rushing touchdowns. McNair’s first passing touchdown for Glenville State would pull the Pioneers within a score of the Battlers. The teams would remain within a score of each other through the second and third quarters until Glenville State began to pull away late in the third quarter on McNair’s fourth passing touchdown.

Wide receiver DJ Williams (6-134-3) was on the receiving end of McNair’s big day. Dominique Gibson (26-171-2) helped provide the Pioneers with a balanced offense with a big day of his own on the ground.

While the playoffs may be out of reach with three losses on the season already, Glenville State has to be optimistic about the returns they are getting out of freshman quarterback Jaylen McNair and what the future possibly holds for them.


Concord 13
Notre Dame 44


The Falcons entered the game averaging over 43 points per game. And they follow that up with 44 points. Concord can be known for having a stingy defense, but Notre Dame College is just too good of a team to slow down right now. The Falcons more than doubled Concord’s first down totals, over four times the rushing yards, more than double the total offense, and where it mattered most—over three times the points on the scoreboard.

The Mountain Lions scored first and added a second touchdown midway through the third quarter, but 9 punts and turnover-on-downs for their other 11 possessions makes it hard for the defense to stay rested to limit the opposing team’s offense. Moreso when 7 of those drives are 3-and-outs where the media timeouts last longer than their offense on the field.

Falcon quarterback Malik Grove (16-25-231-2-0; 15-105-2) had four all-purpose touchdowns with two in the air and two on the ground. Between Grove and DJ Greene (24-136-0), the Falcons had two net over 100 rushing yards. Tay Johnson (6-129-1) and Emmanuel Smith (4-62-1) caught Grove’s two passing touchdowns.



West Liberty 19
UVA-Wise 31


The Hilltoppers’ 2-2 record is a perfect representation of what they have showcased on the field this season. Half of the games they demonstrated effectiveness and the other half were simply put—sloppy. Under 100 passing yards with three interceptions, tipped punts, more missed extra points and 14 penalties for 128 yards will make for a long day. Running back Jeremiah Ortiz (22-166-0) did have a good day for the Hilltoppers.

At the beginning of the season I would tell you I wouldn’t be surprised to see UVA-Wise 3-1 four games into the season. Watching the season unfold, their 3-1 record is shocking. The Cavalier offense went five quarters without scoring a point; and they are seriously threatening Shepherd’s reputation as the most penalized team in the conference (and nation).

The game featured 18 punts between the two teams and 26 penalties for 249 yards. The Cavaliers only managed to get 7 points off of the three interceptions; following two of them up with punts. Fortunately for UVA-Wise, the 24-6 lead they assembled between the second and third quarters just proved to be too big of a gap for the Hilltoppers to overcome.


Urbana 21
WV Wesleyan 7


The Blue Knights followed their first win of the season against the Lake Erie Storm with their first conference win of 2017 against the WV Wesleyan Bobcats. Future games will show us how much of this game was due to a strong Urbana defense opposed to a weak Bobcat offense.

WV Wesleyan was 1-of-14 for 3rd-down conversions, had less than 100 yards (76) of passing offense, and their penalty yards (126) weren’t too far off from their total offensive production (184). They had nine punts in the game and turned it over once with a fumble which Urbana failed to convert.

Quarterback Tajuan Green (14-25-123-2-1; 12-36-0) produced two-thirds of Urbana’s points with passing touchdowns. Trevon Saunders (7-51-1) and Rodell Rahmaan (2-44-1) were on the receiving end of those scores; while Maurice Warren (31-171-1) added one of his own on the ground. WV Wesleyan’s lone touchdown came on 63-yard scamper during Chad Pinson’s (1-63-1) only rush of the game.



MEC Players of the Week

Offense – Jabre Lolley, RB, Shepherd
Defense – Stephen Turner, DB, Fairmont St
Special Teams – Sam Keil, K, Fairmont St

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Updated 09-29-2017 at 08:00 AM by Raymond Franze

Categories
GMAC , ‎ MEC

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