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Thread: Mountain East Conference Week 8 Round-Up

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    Default Mountain East Conference Week 8 Round-Up


    Image courtesy of West Liberty University

    Capturing week 8 in the Mountain East Conference as Notre Dame College sought to solidify their chances of being conference champions and entering the playoffs. Fairmont State and Shepherd fought to keep an outside chance alive, while other schools are still fight for pride and their future. A lot of young talent throughout the conference contributing this week, which is a good sign for the future of MEC football over the coming years. Congratulations to Clifford Clark of West Liberty, one of D-IIs best defenders, for two-consecutive seasons of 100+ tackles.


    Zero For Zero!

    Notre Dame 41
    WV Wesleyan 0


    If you’re the only undefeated team in the conference and you want to keep that going, holding your opponent to zero points is a great way to remain undefeated. The Falcons did just that shutting out WV Wesleyan 41-0; and their reward is staying in 1st place in the Mountain East Conference.

    The Falcons put up 41 unanswered points in record-setting fashion. Marvelle Ross got things going with a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown early in the first quarter. Ross went on to score on a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown in the early part of the 4th quarter as well. While Ross (4-34-0) was limited in the passing game, his 176 punt return yards were good enough to establish a new single-game record for Notre Dame College; beating the previous record he set a year earlier. Ross’ three punt return touchdowns lead all of NCAA Division II. He is second in D-II for average yards per punt return.

    The wealth was spread around on the ground game as three different rushers found the end zone. Vasean Davis (9-128-1) lead in rushing yards while Jaleel McLaughlin (16-90-1). Micah Massey (12-58-1) completed the triumvirate with a touchdown as well. McLaughlin’s touchdown was his 13th rushing touchdown on the season—a new Notre Dame College record for rushing touchdowns in a season. McLaughlin ranks second in NCAA Division II for Rushing Yards, and Yards Per Game. He is tied for 5th in Rushing Touchdowns and 7th for Yards Per Carry.

    Fun Fact: Notre Dame College ranks #1 in the first installment of the Super Region 1 regional rankings—the poll that matters when it comes to making the playoffs.



    Arrest the Descent

    WV State 24
    West Liberty 36


    The Hilltoppers’ win-loss record was getting incrementally worse since their 6-5 record in 2014. That downward trend ended with their 36-24 win over WV State. The Hilltoppers will, at worst, equal their 3-win total from a year ago.

    West Liberty converted on 57% of their 3rd Downs which helped them possess the ball for nearly 10 minutes longer than WV State; and the Hilltoppers scored on 7 of their 8 trips to the red zone—successfully scoring on their first tree drives and converting on each of their three field goal attempts. Lead running back Charles Westbrook (13-61-1) left the game due to an injury, but DJ Frisby (14-95-1) filled in nicely nearly reaching 100 rushing yards for the day. Also, in addition to his two passing touchdowns, quarterback Zach Phillips (11-19-128-2-0, 14-101-0) ran for over 100 yards in the game.

    Yellow Jacket quarterback Faustino Saucedo (21-36-281-1) put up solid numbers. Wide receiver Tyrell Henderson (6-80-0) led in both receptions and receiving yards. Calil Wilkins (15-74-0) was limited compared to his typical numbers, but freshman running back Carl Garmon (3-50-2, 2-76-1) made up for it with 126 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. WV State didn’t help it’s cause moving backwards 158 yards from 17 penalties.

    WV State only converted 33% of their 3rd Downs. Leading the stop for the Hilltopper defense is senior linebacker Clifford Clark. Clark’s 12 tackles put him over 100 total tackles for the season; for the second consecutive season. He leads NCAA Division II with 65 solo tackles, and his total is good enough for third best in D-II.


    Fun Fact: Freshman kicker Owen Rozanc made 11 of his 12 field goal attempts with a long of 38. His 11 field goals lead the conference, and his 90+% rate is the best of any kicker in the conference among those who have attempted at least six field goals—numbers that are good enough to have him in the Top 10 in NCAA Division II



    Battle for the Bit

    Glenville St 9
    Fairmont St 52


    Fairmont State continues to fight in an effort to stay relevant in the playoff conversation. The Falcons scored on their first six possessions, going into halftime with a 42-0 lead. They scored 49 unanswered points before Glenville State got on the scoreboard.

    The Falcons put together a well-rounded effort—rushing for 268 yards, passing for 302 yards and holding Glenville State’s entire offense to a season-low 198 total yards. Quarterback Takwan Crews-Naylor (17-21-301-4-0) had his third 300+ passing yards game of the season and running back Khalik Hamlin (21-119-1) had his sixth 100+ rushing yards game of the season. Crews-Naylor shared the wealth through the air with his three favorite targets being Shawn Harris (3-125-1), Alquawn Vickers (4-78-1) and Javon Hayes (5-72-1).

    The Pioneers only managed 10 first downs, converting 20% of their 3rd down attempts. They weren’t on the field often indicated by the Time of Possession which favored the Falcons by almost 17:00.

    Fun Fact: Fairmont State will finish with a winning record for the fourth consecutive season.



    Unfair Scheduling Practice

    Shepherd 44
    Urbana 21


    The Blue Knights remain undefeated during night games, but after Week 5 each remaining game on their schedule is an afternoon game. I’m not sure the upcoming time change in November will come soon enough for Urbana.

    Urbana took an early 7-0 lead following a 74-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cee Jay Hale (6-13-98-1-1) to Jesse Bray (1-74-1). Unfortunately for Urbana, Hale only completed five more passes for 24 yards throughout the remainder of the game. Shepherd went on to score 37 unanswered points before Urbana would find the end zone again. Freshman running back Antwan Squire (23-132-3) led the Rams’ ground game with over 100 yards rushing and helped account for nearly half of Shepherd’s points with his three rushing touchdowns. Shepherd’s defense held Urbana to just 225 yards of total offense, recovering three fumbles and taking one of them to the house for a touchdown.

    Fun Fact: Urbana (4-4) needs to finish 2-1 in order to secure their first winning season since 2013 when they finished 7-4 during the Mountain East Conference’s inaugural season; 3-0 to tie that record. They finish @ Glenville State, vs. WV State and @ Concord.



    Trying to Salvage A Winning Record

    UVA-Wise 10
    Charleston 24


    The Cavaliers jumped out to a 10-0 lead midway through the opening quarter, but by halftime the Golden Eagles had a 17-10 lead. On the first play of the second half, quarterback Mason Olszewski (11-20-194-2-0) connected with Gerron Fryer (2-98-1) on for an 81-yard touchdown reception that ended up being the final scoring play of the game. The rest of the second half the teams evenly split six punts and two turnover-on-downs; with a UVA-Wise 4th-quarter interception being the proverbial “cherry on top” for the Golden Eagles. Running back Jimmy Wheeler (35-148-1) had a big day for Charleston as he had his fourth game of the season with 100+ rushing yards.

    Charleston had a little more than twice the first downs recorded by UVA-Wise—and five of their 25 first downs were the result of a penalty against the Cavaliers. UVA-Wise’s opportunities to stay ahead or mount a comeback were limited as a result of Charleston holding onto the football for 14 minutes more than UVA-Wise.

    While Charleston opened the season 4-0, this win over the Cavaliers ended a three-game losing streak. The Golden Eagles can end the season with a winning record while the Cavaliers, at best, can break even at 5-5. Both schools still have to face the Notre Dame Falcons and Shepherd Rams.

    Fun Fact: The Cavaliers are the fifth worst out of 167 NCAA D-II football programs in Turnover Margin at -12.



    Defense? Not So Much.

    Concord 34
    UNC-Pembroke 48


    The Mountain Lions can score points; the problem seems to be they can’t stop the other team from scoring more. Concord got on the scoreboard first with a 38-yard field goal, and up through the mid-point of the second quarter, they followed each UNC-Pembroke score with one of their own. After taking a 17-14 lead though, UNC-Pembroke scored 28 unanswered points which was too much for Concord to overcome.

    The Braves and Mountain Lions combined for 10 touchdowns, 82 points, and 837 total yards of offense. UNC-Pembroke and Concord averaged 6.3 and 7.4 yards per play respectively. Concord did have two turnovers, and the Braves spent a fair amount of time in the backfield accumulating 9 Tackles for Loss.

    Quarterbacks Adam Fulton (15-21-210-3-0) and Kyle Akin (6-10-81-1-1) combined for 291 passing yards. Running back Isaiah Bowman (11-77-0, 2-43-1) had 120 all-purpose yards and a score. Brandon Plyler (6-112-2) led the receiving corps in yardage and scores while Tywan Pearce led in receptions (7-97-0).

    Fun Fact: Concord has scored at least 20 points in each game this season—averaging 31 points per game over their recent three-game stretch. But their defense allowed an average of 47 points per game during that same stretch.
    I can be reached at raymond.franze@d2football.com.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mountain East Conference Week 8 Round-Up

    Oops! Too many late nights in one week and I post this as a new Thread instead of a new Blog. Let's just call it increasing the exposure for the conference ... yeah, that's it!
    I can be reached at raymond.franze@d2football.com.

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    Default Re: Mountain East Conference Week 8 Round-Up

    Pretty draby day for college football all over the conference.

    mid/high 40's scattered showers & some light winds

    Will the ground games rule the day or will the airforces have some success??

    Certainly not the conditions that would bring in the solid home crowds!

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