In a game that saw many momentum shifts, Ferrum in the end proved to be the stronger of two evenly matched teams coming away with a hard fought 19-13 win over Shenandoah University. Ferrum started strong out of the gate as their first scoring drive took only three plays to find pay dirt. After the strong runs by Matt Dobson, and Steven Harris, Mike Vann took the ball in from five yards out for Ferrum's first score. Scott Puschell missed his first extra point of the season, and the score stood 6-0.
On Shenandoah's ensuing drive, the Hornets used just five plays to find pay dirt when at the 10:58 mark, Vern Lunsford found Rico Wallace in the endzone with a 40 yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 6-6. Ferrum blocked the extra point attempt, and the score remained knotted at 6. The first quarter ended with the score tied.
After a Ferrum drived stalled, Scott Puschell connected on a 27 yard field goal to put Ferrum back on top 9-6. This lead was short lived however as Shenandoah answered with a 10 play drive that culminated with a three yard run by Anthony Cordero. With the extra point, Shenandoah for the first time took the lead 13-9. On the next drive for Ferrum, Dobson was intercepted. This gave Shenandoah the ball at their own 25, and a high level of confidence. Shenandoah proceded to put together another drive that lasted 10 plays, but netted the Hornets only 19 yards. The half ended with no further scoring, and Ferrum trailing 13-9.
The third quarter was marked by tough defense and turnovers by both teams as neither scored in this period. After an eight play drive resulted in the Hornets having to punt, Ferrum took the ball with the hopes of getting back in the lead. This was a short lived dream as on the first play, Mike Vann coughed up the ball and the Hornets recovered. Shenandoah took over on the Ferrum 9 yard line, and was poised to come away with points, but the Panther defense took possession right back as Dennis Hardy intercepted Shenendoah quarterback Vern Lunsford in the end zone resulting in a touch back. After a four play drive, Ferrum was forced to punt.
Shenandoah tokk over looking to extend their lead but Lunsford was intercepted again by Dennis Hardy, and the Panthers began a drive that would span the third and fourth quarters.
Ferrum's offense looked strong on this drive as they pushed the ball all the way down to the SU 3 yard line. The drive ended with a missed field goal by Puschell, and Ferrum still trailed 13-9
The Hornets next drive was took 12 plays, but again the Ferrum D did its job, and the result was a punt, setting Ferrum up to go to work on it's own 40.
It took two plays for Quintel Banks to find the end zone. The first play saw Steven Harris run for 52 yards, giving Ferrum 1st and goal on the SU 8. Banks scored on the next play, and with the Puschell extra point, the Panthers reclaimed the lead 16-13.
Ferrum would be the recipient of one more Shenandoah turnover, leading to another Puschell field goal with 5:08 left in the game. This would be the final points of the game, leaving the final score of Ferrum 19 Shenandoah 13.
Keys to a Ferrum Win
Establish a mix of running and passing. Maintain possession.
Passing game never took off, but the running game was solid as a rock. O Line looked great!
Be ready to defend the pass. They are not strong statistically passing, but will try to exploit your statistical weakness. Pressure the QB.
3 sacks of the QB, 2 interceptions, and only allowed 123 yards passing....Overall I would say the best performance of the year! Great Job!
Dominate the Red Zone- It is important to put up points every time you are there.
Well this could have been better as the missed FG and a fumble in the Red Zone made Ferrum 4-6 on scores in the Red Zone.
No turnovers- this is imperative!
1 Int, 2 lost fumbles...these did not lead to points for the opponent, but certainly could have prevented the offense from putting points on the board.
All Special Teams must execute every time. This may take an FG to win.
Not the best special teams day as 1 xp and 1 FG was missed. Going forward, the competition gets tougher, and all scoring opportunities are going to be crucial. Punting and return coverage were strong.
Overall this was a solid performance by Ferrum against a good Shenandoah team. Take this win, and build on it this week in practice. Christopher Newport comes to town next week, and this is an important game. Ferrum has only beaten CNU once, (2003 at Ferrum 19-17) Think back to last year and remember the three point loss that could have meant the conference title. This game will not have those implications, but this can be a major win for Ferrum. CNU is a strong team, but based on some of their results, they are vunerable.....They beat Shenandoah by three in 2 OT's, They beat Greensboro by 7, and lost to NCW 35-7. This is a game you can win, and that is where 100% of your focus needs to be. Prepare and Execute.