In 1965, Ferrum won its first of four National Junior College Athletic Association National Championships. In 1966, they were National Runner up, losing to Kilgore Texas 28-7. This loss ended a 19 game unbeaten streak for the Panthers, likely leaving a very sour taste in the mouths of the entire team. It would stand to reason that the team that Ferrum opened the season against in 1967, would be the object of much pent up frustration.
The team that drew the short straw was the Shenandoah Hornets. While I have no statistics from this game, and I do not even know where it was played, I do know that Shenandoah was the victim of a much better team that was still brooding over the way the season ended, and the victim of a team that decided that it needed to make a statement from the start. Ferrum exterminated the Hornets 80-6. The 80 point mark has been reached twice by the Panthers, but the highest point total ever was against Baltimore Community College whom the Panthers defeated 83-3.
I do not look for that type of a blowout by any means. These two teams are far different from those fielded by their respective Colleges in 1967. Ferrum is a strong team, but likely very different than the 67 Panthers. I think it is also a safe bet to think that Shenandoah has improved greatly since then. That 1967 season would be the final year of football at Shenandoah until it was re introduced in 2000. Overall, Ferrum and Shenandoah have played 14 times, and Ferrum leads the series 12-2. The Hornets won in 2003, and 2004.
This year, Ferrum is in nearly a must win situation. They can eliminate Shenandoah from contention of the USA South title, and return home on Nov. 5th for a showdown for all the marbles against Christopher Newport University. A loss will likely result in utilizing the USA South tiebreaker system to determine who goes to the playoffs.. I will explain that in another article.... if necessary.
The weather forecast for Saturday, is cold and snow. I really think this will help Ferrum as they will tend to keep it on the ground, and Shenandoah will pass often.
This game will not be a 1967 style blowout, rather it may be low scoring due to the weather, but 1 point or 80, Ferrum needs to win.....Go Panthers!