On a beautiful fall day in Franklin County, the home standing Ferrum Panthers dispatched the Southern Virginia University Knights 20-7, to bring their record to 2-1.
Hard hitting was a hallmark of this contest as neither team let up or gave up on their goal of winning.
For Ferrum, this was the second week where the Panthers defense only gave up 7 points. The defense looked excellent as they manhandled Southern Virginia throughout the game. The SVU offense had not gained a rushing touchdown in the season, and this did not change. They did muster a 4th quarter touchdown on a pass to receiver Cam Williams, who was well covered, but made a nice catch on a well thrown ball.
Ferrum's scoring began in the first quarter as Freshman running back Kyle Chambers went in from two yards out, and with a Puschell extra point, the home team led 7-0. On that drive, Chambers, who is a hard nosed runner, carried the ball 4 times for 25 yards.
The next Panther score came at the 9:16 mark of the third quarter, when Tyler Brubaker scored on a seven yard run. The extra point failed, and the Panthers led 13-0. This drive was highlighted by a pass interference penalty by the Knights, and a 51 yard reception by Derrick West. That reception gave Ferrum the ball at the SVU 7 yd. line, and from there, Brubaker scored.
Ferrum's final scoring drive began when Chris Freycinet recovered a SVU fumble at the Knights 39 yards line. With a steady mix of running and passing plays, Ferrum was able to drive the ball down to the Knights 4 yard line. From there, Quarterback Tim Reynolds took the ball in for the score. Puschell made it 20-0 with 3:31 to go in the third quarter. The Knights lone score came in the fourth quarter, on the pass play to Williams, and that was how it ended. Ferrum 20, Southern Virginia 7.
In the post game interview, Coach Harper was very complimentary of his defense, realizing the growth they have experienced since the Emory and Henry game. His take on the offensive performance was not quite as upbeat. "I think we left a lot of points on the field." Ferrum gave up 5 turnovers, 2 interceptions, and 3 fumbles. At least 2 of those turnovers were in the red zone. These are mistakes that have to be corrected as conference play begins in two weeks.
Overall, it was a win. It was not a pretty win, but the defense kept the pressure on the Knights all day recording 6 sacks of their quarterback. This is a process, and the offense still has some work to do, but it is improving. The Panthers will have an open week to get some rest for those who needs it, and to get ready for Averett on Sept. 29th in Danville.
As for my conference predictions, I was 7-1, only missing the Guilford @ Averett game. I was expecting the Cougars to dominate over the Quakers, but it seems like Guilford may be a better team than what they showed against Greensboro and Methodist. Averett on the other hand did get better offensive production, but seemed to struggle keeping the Quakers out of the endzone. Averett has not won yet, and I am hoping this trend continues in their next game also.