And so it is here....the end of the 2011 season. What seemed to take so long to begin, waiting through the the hot summer, looking forward to the fall and the beginning of camp, has now reached the culmination of what has been a very competitive and enjoyable season.
Ferrum, win or lose Saturday, has begun a very important process... the process of returning the football program to being recognized as a consistent contender. The playoffs are not an option this year, but I see that this as a reward in the not too distant future.
Before we start turning all of our attention to the hard court, there is one last game to play on the gridiron. This week, Averett comes to Ferrum to try to end their season with a note of respectability. The Cougars (3-6,2-4) and the Panthers are both coming off of losses last week. Averett fell to the Hornets of Shenandoah, 45-17. The Seniors will be in their football pads and uniforms for the last time, with the possible exception of some players being selected to participate in the DIII All Star game in Salem. What started with youth recreation league football for many, and continued through high school, will be over when the final whistle blows on Saturday. The pads come off for the last time.
Some interesting comparisons. Ferrum has scored 111 more points than Averett this season, have almost 900 more rushing yards, and overall have outpaced the Cougars offensively by more than 700 yards.
This being said, it would appear that Averett's rushing offense is their strength. They are ranked third in the conference, and will look to exploit a Ferrum defensive unit that, until last week, had been ranked as high as 24th in the nation against the rush. After the CNU game, Ferrum's rush defense slipped to 42nd in the nation.
I look for this to be a hard fought game, with Ferrum really out playing Averett in all aspects of the game. Look for Mayo and company to make a Senior Day statement: "Not in our house, not like 2009, and not on Senior Day"
So it has been a good year. There will be time for reflection in future articles, but for now, let's finish proud, playing Ferrum football, and go out a winner. Win the Day!
For the rest of the USA South:
METHODIST @ Greensboro
SHENANDOAH @ North Carolina Wesleyan
MARYVILLE @ CNU (Upset Special)