With the Halloween spirit in the air, I was hoping that Ferrum would have lots to be happy about with a win over Christopher Newport. While the Panthers played hard, it just was not enough to take down the Captains. Final CNU 28 Ferrum 14.
When I go back to look at key moments, I can pick the 91 yard run for a TD by the Captain QB, or the fumbled punt by the Panther return man, but these plays were not the difference makers...they were contributors, but it seemed to me the difference was the ability of the Captains to control the ball and the line of scrimmage, both offensively and defensively...especially in the second half. It became a test of stopping All American running back Tunde Ogun in the second half. It was a difficult, time consuming task. It took time that the Panthers did not have, and in the end the punishing ball control running game proved to be the undoing of Ferrum. Credit also the CNU defense for keeping the Panthers out of the End Zone in the second half.
There were bright spots for the Panthers, and I don't want this to go unnoticed.
Matt Dobson threw for 137 yards. (8-15-0)Because of the typical running attack of Ferrum, these are good numbers. This week while Ferrum did put up good rushing numbers, they were below what we have come to expect. Defensively, Ferrum kept the Captains under 100 yards passing, and got one interception. These are all positives, but credit has to go to the Captains as their defensive schemes and power running gave them the advantage they needed.
Keys to a Ferrum Win-
Contain their Running game. Ogun is capable of putting up big numbers, He may be hard to stop, but you must limit his effectiveness. Great job in the first half- His ability took him a long way in the second half.
This team will blitz in passing situations....Play action passes, and screens will help with this...Use quick slant patterns also. This did not prove to be an issue, and if they did blitz, it was handled effectively- No sacks. Great Movement on Dobson's part to elude the rush.
Continue the punishing running attack, but be aware their pass defense is vulnerable
A good day passing, but the overall running game was limited as compared to the entire season by a solid defense.
No turnovers/Few penalties. Mistakes will make a hard job harder.
1 turnover- led to a CNU Touchdown. Penalties were far lees this week.
Secondary be ready- They will throw a lot also. Watch for Ogun to come out of backfield on pass routes. This was not an issue.
So in looking back, Ferrum came up short. And it could have been different with a play here, a mistake by CNU there. It was not to be, and Ferrum has to get ready for Senior Day, and the Averett Cougars. Another tough foe...The Panthers need to keep working and get this win next week. The thoughts of a USA South title are now impossible, but you cannot quit. You can't change today, but you can learn, and focus on tomorrow.