Saturday, November 30, 2019

Just My Opinion:
56, 22 and 5

In 1986, Ferrum entered the world of Division III football. Until then, the Panthers had had huge success on the field playing as a Junior College. Since the inception of football in 1955, Ferrum had won four National Junior College Athletic Association national championships, and had been runner up in one contest. There were many great players who had graced the field while Ferrum was a Junior College. With the transition to DIII in 1986, Ferrum entered a new realm of competition. It was thought by many that Ferrum had stepped too far out of their comfort zone, and would have a hard time being a force in this league. 
While there have been both good years and not so successful campaigns since 86, no one can argue the 1988, and 1989 teams have been the two most successful teams in the D3 era for Ferrum.

In those years, Ferrum went to the playoffs, and made it both years to the national semi finals. They had great seasons and playoff runs led by a host of top notch players, but two seemed to stand out above the rest in their time in the Black and Gold. 

David Harper - A linebacker who went on to take quite a prominent place in the Ferrum record book. Harper still holds the record for most total tackles in a game (25), most total tackles in a season (161), and most total tackles in a career (421) most solo tackles in a season (61), and holds the second highest number of solo tackles in a career (155)

Chris Warren - A running back who transferred form University of Virginia, and who also lit up the Ferrum record book. Warren holds the record for scoring the most points in a season (138), second all time for scoring the most points in a career (270), total touchdowns in a season (23) is fourth on the list for total touchdowns in a career (45) Is tied for first for rushing touchdowns in a season (17) is fourth for total rushing yards in a season (1443) and is third for the most yards in a career (2708). It is important to note that Warren was only at Ferrum for two seasons!
Beyond Ferrum, Chris Warren went on to play for 11 seasons in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a premiere athlete, and is under consideration for the NFL Hall of Fame.

To look back at the careers of these two Ferrum greats, it is no wonder that they are in the Ferrum sports Hall of Fame, and that they to date, are the only two Ferrum players with their numbers retired. This is a sacred honor, and it has only been done twice since 1955.

I am well aware that the retirement of a number makes it more difficult for a coach to outfit his players, but there have been many times that two players have worn the same number......they just cannot be on the field at the same time.

With this post I want to put forth my recommendation that Ferrum College retire the number 5, in honor of the stellar college career of Brian Mann. The records and accolades he has received in his time at Ferrum are astounding. Currently, Brian either holds the record or is tied for the top spot in the following:

  • Most Points in a game (30) 2x
  • Most Points in a Career (316)
  • Most Rushing touchdowns in a game (5) 2x
  • Most Rushing touchdowns in a season (17)
  • Most Rushing touchdowns in a career (50)
  • Most Rushing attempts in a season (274) (Also holds record for second and third most rushing attempts in a season)
  • Most Rushing attempts in a career (875)
  • Most yards rushing in a game (260) Also holds second and third most yards rushing in a game (258) (254-2x)
  • Most rushing yards in a season (1605),(1556),(1459)
  • Most yards rushing in a career (5013)

Additional Honors For Brian Mann

  • 7X USA South Offensive Rookie of the Week: 9/5/16, 9/12/16, 9/19/16, 10/3/16, 10/10/16, 10/24/16, 10/31/16
  • Set school record for single game rushing yards with 254 vs. LaGrange, 10/22/16
  • D3football Team of the Week, 10/25/16
  • Set new school record for single game all-purpose yards (344) vs. Methodist, 10/29/16 (205 rush, 139 KR)
  • Named WDBJ-7 Anchor All-Star, 10/29/16 (watch video)
  • Set new school record for season rushing attempts (259), 2016
  • Set new school record for season rushing yards (1453), 2016
  • USA South All-Conference 1st team (RB) & 2nd team (RS), 2016
  • USA South Offensive Rookie of the Year, 2016
  • VaSID All-State first team, 2016
  • VaSID Offensive Rookie of the Year, 2016
  • Roanoke Times All-State first team, 2016
  • Touchdown Club of Richmond Willie Lanier Award Finalist, 2016
  • Roanoke Times Small College Offensive Player of the Year, 2016
  • Set school record for single game rushing TD with 5 vs. LaGrange, 10/14/17
  • Tied school records for single game rushing yards (254) and single game points (30) vs. LaGrange, 10/14/17
  • 4X USA South Offensive Player of the Week: 10/16/17, 10/23/17, 10/30/17, 11/6/17
  • Team of the Week, 10/17/17
  • Roanoke Times All-State 2nd team, 2017
  • USA South All-Conference first team, 2017
  • USA South Offensive Player of the Year, 2017
  • All-Region 3rd team, 2017
  • VaSID All-State 1st team, 2017
  • Roanoke Times All-State 2nd team, 2017
  • ODAC Football Offensive Player of the Week, 10/28/18
  • Google Cloud Academic All-District 1st team, 2018
  • ODAC All-Conference 1st team, 2018
  • ODAC Academic All-Conference, 2018
  • All-Region 2nd team, 2018
  • American Football Coaches Association All-America 2nd team, 2018
  • Google Cloud Academic All-America 2nd team, 2018
  • VaSID All-State first team, 2018
  • VaSID Academic All-State, 2018-19
  • Preseason All-America 2nd team, 2019

While Brian did not have an ideal Senior season due to an injury, his body of work speaks for itself. Many of the records he now holds were once held by Chris Warren. He has been an excellent example, both on and off the field. And for me personally, it has been a pleasure to watch him. He is one of the best ever to wear the black and gold, and enshrinement into the Ferrum Athletics Hall of Fame is a lock.
This young man has been an excellent example of how Ferrum football is played, and his accomplishments and abilities, in my opinion, make him an ideal candidate for the retirement of his jersey.....#5.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Panthers End Season On Sour Note

It was a tall order, no matter what, but Ferrum went out to Emory and Henry for the last game of the season playing for nothing more than to salvage a .500 season, and to hopefully send the Seniors off with one final win. It took very little time for the Wasps to take control, and before the first quarter was over, Ferrum's tall order had turned into an almost impossible task. Emory and Henry scored early and often and led 21-0 at the end of the 1st quarter. The lead would stretch to 28-0 before Ferrum would find the end zone on a Zack Clifford to Ryan Beidleman 75 yard touchdown strike. A two point conversion made it 28-8. Each team would score once more in the half, making the score 35-15 at the break.

The third quarter did not go well for Ferrum as the Wasps added another 17 points, making the lead 52-15 going into the last quarter. One of those scores resulting from a return of a blocked punt. Things did get a little better in the fourth quarter, but the damage was already done. Zack Clifford scored on a run of three yards, and hit Quentin Wallace on an 18 yard touchdown strike. Brian Mann also scored in the fourth quarter for his final touchdown of his career. The final score was:

Emory and Henry 59

Ferrum 36

Overall, this was a bit of a disappointing year. From the start of the year, I really thought Ferrum would have a better chance to contend in the conference. It was not meant to be. The needs are many as we close the season. Replacing Brian Mann and Zack Clifford, chief among them. Ferrum loses 18 Seniors. They are:

Chris Baker TE

Keyshawn Barnes DL

Aaron Branch LB

Taylor Brown LB

A.J. Camp LB

Zack Clifford QB

Dakota Crouse TE

Zamir Echeagaray DL

Tyler English WR

Ben Foster DL

Gahlia Gwangwa'a LB

Adam Keiser DB

Brian Mann RB

Sam Messer OL

Jordan Patti OL

Austin Pennington RB

Jeremy Quarles K/P

Dustin Swaine DB

Jaquice Sydnor DB

8 Offensive, 10 Defensive, 1 Special Team

My guess is that the recruiting efforts are already underway. There are definite holes to fill, but there is huge talent on the bench, and Ferrum will be in the hunt next year. Keep supporting the Panthers, and congratulations Seniors!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Panthers Humble Tigers for Fourth Win of Season

The Panthers took to the road last Saturday to take on the one win Hampden-Sydney Tigers. The Tigers, who are usually a force in the ODAC have not had their typical year. Their lone win to date was against Christopher Newport University, in overtime. Beyond that, the season is one all Tiger fans would just as soon forget.
Ferrum came in after they had suffered a defeat on Senior Day to Shenandoah. This was a game that Ferrum, as I looked at it, should win, but I did not know if things would go in Ferrum's favor. The big news of the day was the return of Brian Mann. While Mann did not play every down, he did accumulate 47 yards, and scored a rushing touchdown. To date, Mann has, according to my calculations, 4965 yards, He needs just 35 yards to break the 5000 yard rushing mark for his career. If this is correct, then this should be well within his reach. This will be the only year he will not have a 1000 yard season, but his accomplishments have been a joy to watch.

In Saturday's game, Ferrum amassed 412 yards on offense. 243 of those were on the ground. The first half seemed like a fairly even competition, as the first quarter ended scoreless, and the halftime score was 7-7. It was the second half, where Ferrum pulled away. Ferrum outscored the Tigers 24-7 in the second half. It was a big win as Ferrum wrapped this one up 31-14, but the biggest, most amazing stat of the game, came from Senior Linebacker Taylor Brown. This may be a first in Ferrum history as Brown led the team in tackles, and rushing yards. That is worth repeating. He led the team in tackles, and rushing yards. Brown secured 4 tackles on defense as linebacker, but as the game unfolded, Ferrum found themselves in a punting situation. Brown who was on the punt team, took a direct snap on a called fake punt, and ran 65 yards for a touchdown.

Down the Crooked Road

Ferrum will close the season on the road at Emory and Henry as the traditional Crooked Road Classic will be played. The Wasps are playing really good football, and come in with a record of 6-3 with wins over Bluefeild, Hampden-Sydney, Southern Virginia, Washington and Lee, Shenandoah, and Guilford.

This will not be an easy task for Ferrum, but a win will give Ferrum a .500 season. The Wasps are averaging about 249 yards per game passing, but are giving up about 254 yards per game.
The wasps are averaging 37 ppg, while Ferrum is averaging just over 26 ppg. It will not be an easy game, and Ferrum will need to force turnovers, and capitalize on them to stay with Emory and Henry.

I would look for Zach Clifford to light up the skies with passes. Ferrum can win, but on the road, it will be an uphill climb.

Emory and Henry  42
Ferrum 32

Go Panthers!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Ferrum Falls to Hornets on Senior Day

It was a beautiful day in Ferrum, and the stage was set for an important Panther win. The Ferrum marching band were able to roll out their new uniforms, the crowd was loud and supportive, and it was Senior Day. The final home game for the Seniors on the Ferrum football team. Unfortunately, Ferrum would not end up on the correct side of the score.
We knew, coming into this game that the opponent, Shenandoah, had an offense that relied greatly on the pass. This game was no different. Chris Sonnenberg, the Freshman quarterback for the Hornets, had a very strong performance, but in many aspects of the game, so did Ferrum.

Zach Clifford was 18 of 35 with 250 passing yards and two touchdowns.Clifford also carried the ball 17 times for 71 yards and a touchdown, Overall, Ferrum out gained Shenandoah 492 total yards to 467. Ferrum ran 22 more offensive plays than SU, and won the time of possession battle by over 11 minuets. On the ground, Ferrum had 242 yards whereas Shenandoah had only 74. Finally, Ferrum averaged 7.1 yards per passing play, and over 5 yards per play on the ground. On most Saturday's these stats would get a team in the W column.....not this time.

Sonnenberg lit up the Ferrum secondary as he was 21 of 27 for 393 yards and 6 touchdowns! Three of these scores went to Casey Stewart. Sonnenberg did not suffer an interception, and was sacked just once. The Shenandoah offense was very efficient to say the least.

Austin Pennington led Ferrum's  ground game with 82 yards. Frank Ross contributed 69 more yards. Ferrum and the Hornets were tied at the end of the first quarter, and Ferrum trailed 21-14 at halftime, but the third quarter saw Ferrum score only three points, while the Hornets added another two touchdowns. Both teams scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. For Ferrum, these came via a Zach Clifford touchdown run, and a blocked punt recovered by Quinten Wallace in the endzone. It was a strange game as evidenced by the statistics, but also different as Ferrum had three field goals missed. In the end it was the Hornet passing game that won out as Ferrum fell 49-31.

On to Hampden-Sydney

This week, Ferrum travels to Hampden-Sydney, to take on the 1-7 Tigers. This 1-7 record is quite unusual for the Tigers, and has come as quite a shock to me. This is a team I see as a contender for the ODAC crown almost every year, but they have struggled badly this year. They seem to have most of their success through the air, with a primary target being Senior Major Morgan. Morgan, has proven to be one of the best receivers in D3 football, and will be used extensively today to try to get points on the board. At 6'5", Morgan presents a huge challenge for any DB.

Ferrum's fortunes rest with Zach Clifford and company. Look for Ferrum to be quite aggressive through the air also. The running game will likely be led again by Pennington and Clifford, but the question remains.....will Brian Mann be in the lineup? My guess is no, but he may see limited action.
Today is Senior Day for the Tigers, so their emotions will run high. The will have plenty of motivation. For Ferrum, a win means they can still finish 5-5. The Panthers have really grown, and become a cohesive unit. The end of the season is drawing nigh, but a win today will give the Panthers the boost they need to prepare for another edition of the Crooked Road Classic against Emory and Henry next Saturday.

Ferrum 36

H-SC  27

Go Panthers!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Panthers Breeze Through First Half
Hold On For Win

It was a game, where I really felt Ferrum could win, but there was no doubt, the Southern Virginia Knights had talent, and could put points on the board. For the Panthers, it started with problems as they received the opening kickoff, but fumbled it on the tackle. Colin Shaw was able to recover his own fumble, and the Panthers started first and 10 on their own 15. On the third play of the drive, quarterback Zach Clifford hit Ryan Beidleman for a 20 yard pass play, but Beidleman was not able to hold on to the ball, and fumbled. This time, the Knights recovered, and were set up first and ten at the Ferrum 38. From there, it took six plays, and the Knights found the endzone and took a 7-0 lead.

From this point on in the first half, Ferrum was in control. On the Panthers next possession, Clifford hit Dakota Crouse on a 32 yard pass play for a touchdown, and with the Brad Green extra point, the score was tied 7-7.
Ferrum never looked back in the first half as on the next possession, Clifford would find Tyler English for an 8 yard touchdown pass and Ferrum would lead 14-7. A Brad Green field goal, and a third Zach Clifford touchdown pass, this time to Ryam Beidleman would give Ferrum a 24-7 halftime lead.

After Ferrum kicked off to SVU, the Knights started the second half first and ten at their own 24 yard line. On their first play of the second half, Jaquice Sydnor intercepted the Pinkston pass, and after the return, Ferrum was in business 1st and 10 at the Southern Virginia 17. It would take just four plays, and Ryan Beidleman would score his second touchdown of the day on a two yard run. With the Green extra point, Ferrum led 31-7, and appeared in total control of the outcome. Southern Virginia however had some fight left in them and was not ready to call it a day.

At 1:35 left in the third quarter, the Knights found the endzone on a five yard run, and cut the lead to 31-14. On the next possession, Ferrum moved the ball well, but their drive was stopped by the Knights defense, forcing the Panthers to settle for a 37 yard field goal attempt. The attempt was wide left, and marked the first miss by Brad Green this season.
Southern Virginia would score again on a running play with just over 5 mins. left in the game to bring the score to 31-21. At this point, it seemed as though the momentum had definitely shifted.

After the kickoff, Ferrum's next drive quickly stalled and the Panthers were forced to punt. The Knights took over and after a 19 yard punt return, had it 1st and 10 nat the Ferrum 42 with 3:33 remaining. At the 2:28 mark, SVU found the endzone again, cutting the score to 31-28. This time they scored on an 8 yard passing play.

Ferrums next possession was again futile as they were un able to get the offense untracked. After three plays, Ferrum only netted one yard on the drive. It was time to punt again, and Grayson Harvey did not disappoint as he launched a 62 yard punt, sending the returner all the way back to the SVU 24 yard line. SVU started this drive with 1:04 left in the game, but on the second play, Pinkston was again intercepted, and the Panthers sealed the win.


Saturday marks the last home game of the year for Ferrum as the Hornets of Shenandoah University come to W.B. Adams stadium. Shenandoah has a 4-3 record with wins over Southern Virginia, and Guilford. They have also defeated North Carolina Wesleyan, and Hampden-Sydney. From what I see, there are many similarities between the two teams, and this game could go either way.

Shenandoah quarterback Ben Agostino is not afraid to pass, in fact it seems he prefers it. Look for the Shenandoah offense to be pass heavy. This may work in favor of the Ferrum 3-4 defensive scheme. This game could be a barn burner.

Either way this is the last home game for Zach Clifford, Chris Baker, Keyshawn Barnes,
Aaron Branch, Taylor Brown, A.J. Camp, Dakota Crouse, Zamir Echeagaray, Tyler English, Ben Foster, Gahlia Gwangwa'a, Adam Keiser, Sam Messer, Jordan Patti, Jeremy Quarles, Dustin Swaine, Jaquice Sydnor, and Brian Mann.
Mann, and Clifford, in this list, bookend what is an excellent group of Seniors. All have held true to the coaching philosophy of Rob Grande and his staff. This, like all Seniors are a special group, and the two bookends are closing in on the completion of two awesome college football careers.

Clifford has set many records in the football record book at Ferrum. Below are the ones he holds:

  • Game pass attempts (38 vs. Averett, 2017)
  • Season pass attempts (249 in 2017)
  • Career pass attempts (613 from 2016-present)
  • Game pass completions (20 vs. Apprentice, 2017)
  • Season pass completions (133 in 2017)
  • Career pass completions (332 from 2016-present)
  • Game touchdown passes (4 vs. Greensboro, 2018)
  • Season touchdown passes (17 in 2018)
  • Career touchdown passes (38 from 2016-present)
  • Game passing yards (347 vs. Apprentice, 2017)
  • Season passing yards (1,858 in 2017)
  • Career passing yards (4,453 from 2016-present)
Many of these will be added to as the final three games play out. Nonetheless, Zach Clifford will go downs as one best all time quarterbacks in Ferrum history.

For Brian Mann, this has to have been a disappointing season so far. Injured in the fourth game of the season, Brian came into this season with a very realistic chance at having over 6000 yards by years end. as it stands now he will have to fight to be able to get to 5000 yards. I am of the understanding that Brian will dress for today's game, and I am thinking he will get on the field if for nothing else as curtain call of sorts. I am doubtful that he will touch the ball today. He too owns many records at Ferrum. The largest one is he is the all time career rushing leader for the Panthers.
Brian, Zach, and all of the other Seniors have given a lot of themselves to be in this position today. Time moves quickly, and this was a fast four years. They have been a pleasure to follow, and I am really looking forward to these next three games.

Go Panthers!!

Ferrum 34
SU 31


Saturday, October 26, 2019

Ferrum Blasted On The Road By Eagles 53-10

Being undefeated is quite a feat, especially at the midpoint of the regular season. I thought Ferrum, coming off of a great homecoming win, may just be poised to end the Eagles aforementioned winning streak. When you are undefeated, you get that way for a simple reason...….the team is good. Ferrum found this out the hard way as Bridgewater ran roughshod over them all day. The scoring came early and often for the Eagles. and by the end of the first quarter, they led, 15-7. The halftime score was 32-10. It only got worse in the second half as Ferrum was held scoreless. While Bridgewater scored 21 more points in the third, Ferrum continued to struggle on both sides of the ball.
For the game, the Panthers gained just 46 yards on the ground, but allowed 127 yards to be gained by Bridgewater. The game through the air was not much better as Ferrum gained 134 yards passing, and converted their only touchdown through the air. Bridgewater gained 269 yards passing, and scored two touchdowns through the air.

Digging a little deeper into the stats, Ferrum ran 10 fewer plays, and lost the time of possession battle by almost 9 mins. The Ferrum ground game was nearly non existent as Ferrum had 30 rushing attempts, and averaged 1.5 yards per play. That will not get it done. Yes, Brian Mann is out with an injury, but there are plenty of reserves on the bench that have to fill his shoes. For the running game to flourish, it, like everything starts at the line of scrimmage. Ferrum has some size, but in some respects, they seem to be overmatched in the trenches.

There were some positives. Ferrum did get to the Bridgewater quarterback twice, and did not turn the ball over. The overall picture is that the offensive numbers are nowhere near what they need to be, and we are allowing too many points. Yeah that sounds like a real "duh" deduction, but it really is that simple. When you have to punt 9 times in a game, you are not effective on the offensive side. When you are giving up about 29 points per game, and only scoring around 23 points per game, that will not convert to many wins.

Now, in Ferrum's defense, they have faced some very strong teams so far into the schedule. Between W&L, Averett, Bridgewater, and Randolph Macon, their combined record is 21-4, with Washington and Lee owning 2 of those losses. In order to be the best, you have to beat the best, and Ferrum is still working hard to get better. I believe that Ferrum has a strong set of coaches, and you will see improvement, starting Saturday.

Vs. Southern Virginia

Today, the Knights come to Adams stadium, and with the same record as Ferrum, will try to hang another loss on the Panthers. This could be a fun game. If Ferrum can do the basics, and win the time of possession battle, they should come away with a win. Southern Virginia is a better team than when we last played them. They can put points on the board. The Knights started their season with a win over Montclair State. Montclair State, last week, shut out Christopher Newport University 24-0. Don't be too alarmed, CNU is having a rare off year as they only have one win so far.

Look for this to possibly be a high scoring affair as both teams can score, and may give up points.

Giving Ferrum the edge, its at home, and it's Folklife Festival weekend!

Ferrum 37

SVU 30

Go Panthers!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Ferrum Rolls Over Quakers In ODAC Contest 45-23

Homecoming could not have been sweeter for the alumni, family, friends and fans of Ferrum football last Saturday as the Panthers seemed to find their stride. After losing three straight games, Ferrum was hosting a Guilford team that also had a record of 1-4. Knowing that they had identical records, and remembering that last years game was only a one point difference, I felt like the potential was there for another close game.

In the preceding weeks, Ferrum had not shown a lot of promise in the offensive points column as they were averaging just over 21.75 points per game. If you take out the blowout against Greensboro, Ferrum was averaging just over 10 points per game. While over those same last three games the Ferrum defense was giving up 32 points per game...…..something had to change.

With Brian Mann on the sideline, Ferrum would look for Joe Burris III to fill in. But it was more than Burris that shined on Saturday. Ferrum had many strong performers. Zach Clifford was 16 of 25 for 238 yards and 3 touchdowns. In addition to Burris having a strong day (9 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown) the running game was greatly enhanced by Frank Ross (Freshman, Amherst H.S.)
Ross, who had completely been off of my radar, ran for 115 yards and one touchdown. In looking back, Ross has played in all 5 games, but until Saturday, his playing time was fairly spotty.

The surprise of the day for me was Sophomore Wide Receiver Ryan Beidleman (Giles H.S.) who hauled in 3 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown. (Giles H.S. has become a sort of pipeline for Ferrum. Mann, Pennington, and now Beidleman…….keep 'em coming.)

This game represented a full football effort for the Panthers. Offensively, Defensively, and Special Teams. Ferrum's defense was exceptionally strong in the first half, only giving up 3 points, and allowing the Panthers to take a 35-3 lead to the locker room at intermission.While the Quakers were more successful in the second half, the final outcome was not in doubt after halftime.
Notably, Brad Green raised his season totals to 9 of 9 in field goals, and 15 of 15 in extra points.

This win was much needed, and showed a definite improvement. If there was momentum gained, the Panthers will need it this weekend as they travel to Harrisonburg to take on the undefeated Bridgewater Eagles.  A Panthers win may keep Ferrum in the conference chase. A loss will likely eliminate their hopes. This will be on paper, as tough an opponent as Ferrum has faced all season. The Eagles are averaging almost 41 points per game, and are only giving up a little over 12 points per game. The interesting caveat is that they do not seem to have faced all that tough of an opponent so far. That's about to change starting today.  The Eagles are the home team, and they will be a tough foe. The game is winnable for Ferrum, but it will take a great effort.

Bridgewater  32

Ferrum 27

Go Panthers!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Ferrum Falls in Lexington
W&L 30 Ferrum 10

Ferrum hit the road to Lexington Va., hoping to try to get a conference win against a strong Washington and Lee team. The Generals came into the contest fresh off of a solid win against Hampden-Sydney, and kept their momentum rolling against Ferrum. After a scoreless first quarter, Ferrum would give up three touchdowns in the second quarter to the Generals, and go into the break down 21-0.
Unfortunately, things did not improve greatly for Ferrum as the offense continued to struggle. With 10:32 left in the third quarter, Ferrum got on the board with a 37 yard field goal by Brad Green. This made the score 21-3, and gave some hope to Ferrum…...the hope was short lived as Washington and Lee, on their next possession, scored on a 32 yards pass play. With a missed extra point, the Panthers trailed 27-3. The Generals would close their scoring out on their next possession with a 31 yard field goal to make it a 30 to 3 game with 32 seconds left in the 3rd quarter.
Ferrum would tack on a touchdown at the 3:38 mark of the 4th quarter as Joe Burris III ran for 13 yards to find the endzone and with the extra point, cut the lead to 30-10. That unfortunately would be the final score.

Things to take a look at...….

Ferrum, since Greensboro,  has played some pretty darn good teams. In the game Saturday, Ferrum lost the time of possession battle by about nine minutes. The Panthers punted 7 times. I had to check to see if that was a was not. The record for most punts in a  game for Ferrum is 12.
Ferrum's third down efficiency was 0 for 11. This is a problem. Ferrum's quarterback, Zach Clifford, who was back under center Saturday completed 50% of his passes for 127 yards. Those are decent numbers, but they have to be stronger against a team like W&L. The running game took a blow as Brian Mann went out with an injury. I am not sure of the extent, but a reliable source indicated that he may be out 2-4 weeks. Look for Joe Burris III to continue to carry the load in Mann's absence.

Defensively, Ferrum is giving up 160 yards per game on the ground, and 192 through the air. If you remove the Greensboro game from these stats, Ferrum is giving up 205 yards per game on the ground, and 201 yards through the air.

So where do we go from here? This week is homecoming, and Guilford comes to Ferrum. The Quakers are 1-4 also, so that, on the surface would indicate that the game could be more evenly matched. Last year, Ferrum lost by the score of 28-27. In this game, 2 extra points were blocked by the Quakers.
It has been a rough start, but with the homecoming crowd, Ferrum could be in a good position to get a win. Before I close, it is important to point out that Ferrum is putting up strong numbers in their kicking fact, perfect numbers. Brad Green is 8 of 8 on field Goals, and 9 of 9 with extra points! Way to go Brad!

Fan support will help Saturday, so try to be there.....I will be there!

Go Panthers!

Ferrum 24

Guilford 21

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Panthers Fight Hard, But Fall Short
Generals Up Next

If there was a surprise, it was the one sidedness of the loss. Ferrum continues to struggle offensively, as the Panthers could only manage 10 offensive points against Randolph Macon. The previous game, they notched 12 points against Averett. Lets make no mistake, both of these losses were against the projected winners of their respective conferences. Randolph Macon, and Averett are both very good teams, and both have a real shot at making the playoffs.

Titus Jones started at quarterback in place of regular starter Zach Clifford. Jones was 8 of 21 for 87 yards in his first career start. he also ran for 35 yards on 8 carries. Brian Mann was held under 100 yards for the second consecutive week. That is a rare occurrence, but there is no doubt, he will be the main focus of all defenses.

As sluggish as the Ferrum offense has appeared, the defense does not seem to be quite on track either. They have given up 35 and 31 points in their last two games. The opponents have thrown for 261 yards and 182 passing yards in the last two games. and the ability to stop the run is questionable as the last two games the Panthers have given up 294 rushing yards.

It is now important to focus on Washington and Lee. Ferrum needs this win to stay in the race. It will not be easy as the Generals are 3-1, coming off a win over Hampden-Sydney. This is another good team, but Ferrum must play a consistently dominating game to come out on top. Look for Mann to have a better game. Not sure who will start at quarterback, but the O line needs to give strong protection. I think Ferrum improves today, but the road win may be just out of reach for the Panthers.

W&L  35
Ferrum 24

Friday, September 27, 2019

Randolph Macon @ Ferrum

For the fist time in my memory, Randolph Macon is coming to Ferrum. (Although I doubt it is the first time, its the first time in a long time.) The Yellow Jackets are the pre season favorite to win the conference, and you can be sure they are looking to avenge last years loss to the Panthers. Randolph Macon (2-1) has its only loss to national power Johns Hopkins, and are coming off of a conference win against Emory and Henry. This is a very good football team, with their other win coming against Averett…...remember them?

Randolph Macon manages all three phases of the game well, averaging 185 yards through the air, and 201 yards on the ground per game. Special teams look strong, but they are only 50% on field goals. Ferrum will be tested, and this will not be an easy game. For Ferrum, the O line must give better protection to the quarterback, and open more holes for Mann. The defense has to strive to pressure the quarterback, get sacks, and interceptions. The potential is there for a Ferrum win, but it will be more difficult to attain than last week.

Randolph Macon 26

Ferrum 20

Ferrum Takes Its Lumps Against Cougars

Last week, I identified two areas that Ferrum needed to be successful in to contend with Averett. First, the Panthers needed to disrupt the Averett quarterback, hopefully affecting the passing game negatively, and second, they needed to produce through the air offensively...…….neither of those goals came to fruition as well as I had hoped. On the surface, Zach Clifford had reasonably good numbers 17 of 34 for 162 yards. 50% completion percentage, but unfortunately no touchdowns. There were two interceptions. As for the running game, Brian Mann was held in check to say the least. 15 carries for 74 yards, no touchdowns. Not your typical day for number 5, but as a team, Ferrum had more rushing yards than the Cougars.

Stopping the passing game seemed to be the Achilles heel for the Panthers. Averett's quarterback Jacob Wright was 16 of 23 for 234 yards and two touchdowns. He utilized five receivers. Ferrum had no interceptions.

The Averett defense played a strong game, and the Cougars did what was necessary on both sides of the ball to win. Ferrum has a lot to do to get better, but I believe they will. Its not going to get any easier in the next two weeks. Conference play begins Saturday. Ferrum is at home again to host the Yellow Jackets of Randolph Macon for Fan Appreciation Day. RMC was the pre season favorite to win the conference. After that, Ferrum will travel to Lexington on October 5th to face the Generals of Washington and Lee.

Go Panthers!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Averett @ Ferrum

The Panthers will host the Cougars in the final non conference game of the season. Averett 1-1, comes into the game with a win over Hampden-Sydney, and a 3 point loss to Randolph Macon, That should be enough to tell you that this weeks opponent is nothing to scoff at. Ferrum has had its ups and downs lately against Averett. The Panthers have not come out on top since 2016, and have not won at home against this team since 2013. Here is hoping that changes today.

Look for the passing game for Ferrum to be pivotal today. I think Ferrum will use Mann on routes out of the backfield, and will spread the field to try to open the middle. Averett gave up 370 passing yards to Hampden-Sydney, and 250 yards to Randolph Macon. If the passing game can be successful, it will open up lanes for Mann when he is called on to run.

Averett can throw the ball also, so this ability will definitely test the Panthers secondary. The key to stopping the Averett offense is to try to alter the game of quarterback Jacob Wright. If Ferrum can pressure him, and disrupt his timing, Ferrum may put them in a hole early.

This will not be a Greensboro type game. Averett is picked to win the USA South this season. They are a good football team. Look for this to be a close and exciting game. Panthers need to strike early and often, but need to mainly strike first.

Go Panthers!

Ferrum 34

Averett 30