Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ferrum Drops Opener in a Close Game

Captains- #8 Matt Dobson, #38 T.J. Grzesikowski, and #45 Maureik Goode
Coin Toss
At Emory and Henry 9-5-09
Photo by Tammi Armstrong

The Ferrum Panthers traveled to Emory and Henry today, and were considered somewhat of a long shot to win. With just over 2 minutes to go, they looked like a cinch to win. In a game that was as evenly matched as I can remember in a long time, Emory and Henry relied on their All American Caleb Jennings to guide them to their first victory of the year, 24-21.

In a good show of offensive power, Ferrum moved the ball well on the ground and through the air. The Panthers had 237 yards on the ground on 47 rushing attempts, and had 87 yards through the air as Matt Dobson was 6-9 with one interception (That interception was on a desparation pass at the end of the game, and was the only turnover by either team.)

It's really hard to point to one thing that proved to be Ferrum's achilles heel, but in reviewing the statistics, one major thing stands out. Time of possession was won by the Wasps, and they made more opportunities of their possessions than Ferrum did. E&H maintained possession for 31.07 while Ferrum had the ball for 28.53. A difference of 2 mins. 14 seconds. In that time Emory and Henry ran 16 additional plays, and overall had 29 more yards on offense.If you drill through the statistics a little deeper, you find that E&H was 2-2 on fourth down opportunities.. This is very important as it gave the Wasps at the minimum 6 more plays on offense.

Caleb Jennings, the All American running back for Emory and Henry had 163 yards on 25 carries. He proved hard to stop, but overall both running games were about even.
In reviewing the Keys to a Ferrum Victory, the Panthers showed improvement in most all areas that hindered them last year.

No Turnovers- Except for the pass late in the game- No turnovers
Must capitalize evry time E&H turns the ball over. Takeaway and Score- No Turnovers for E&H either
Must pressure and sack the QB, and play agressivly in the secondary. Ferrum recorded 3 sacks of the Quarterback this last year against E&H
Minimal penalties- Far improved in this department
Special Team execution- No missed scoring opportunities. Kicker perfect on extra points- No FG attempts
Score First- Set the Tone!- Did not score first, but after falling behind 17-7 at the end of the third period, Ferrum battled back and took the lead.

It came down to an exceptionally gifted running back for Emory and Henry who had a good day, and it was just enough for the Panthers to come up on the short end of the score. Ferrum gave a great effort, and this will prove to be a learning opportunity for Ferrum. Ferrum played hard, and played clean, with very few mistakes. It was not meant to be today, but with a weeks rest coming up for the Panthers, I believe they will be ready to roll at their home opener against Bridgewater.

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