Sunday, September 2, 2012

Emory and Henry 45
Ferrum 36
The Best Loss I Have Ever Seen

With the start of the 2012 season, Ferrum faced a strong Emory and Henry team that has enjoyed much recent success over the Panthers. Owning a win streak that dates back to 2007, The Wasps rolled into W.B. Adams stadium, intent on keeping the streak alive. In the end, they were able to keep that streak in tact, but this game, to me signaled a dramatic shift from past season openers for Ferrum. Today was different, and even though the Panthers started 0-1, this was the best loss I have ever seen.

Considering where the Panthers team thought it would be, and who they expected to return  from last years squad, it became apparent in the off season that things were not turning out as they had anticipated. Some players from the 2011 team graduated, but several players who would have had a pivotal role on this years team, either transferred, or had other reasons for not returning to the 2012 team.

As this season's offense only had three returning starters, there was no question that this unit would be very young. Trying to gauge strengths and weaknesses is difficult with so many new faces. I was expecting them to need time to get their legs under them, and while I predicted a 30-20 loss, the offense made huge strides in their development, and should be proud of their effort.

Some real bright spots from today's game include QB Tim Reynolds. In his first college start, Reynolds went 11 of 19 for 157 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He also ran for a score. He was quite impressive. I was especially in awe of his accuracy. He could have hit a dime with the ball from 30 yards away. Also worthy of mention was Jericho James, and Tyler Brubaker. They combined for 55 yards rushing, with James scoring twice. Lastly, B.J. Jennings collected 21 yards on two carries, and caught 2 passes for 62 total receiving yards and one touchdown.

The offense did things a bit different today. They did not rely on the option anywhere near as much as in years past, but they still collected 133 yards rushing. Today was rare in that the Panthers accumulated more passing yards, than yards on the ground.
While there are things to look at to make the offense better, I am sure Coach Harper is quite happy with the offensive performance.

Giving up the amount of points that they did, one has to look at the defense. The unit with the most experience by far, was the group who had more problems than expected. Many of the problems presented themselves in the form of Kyle Boden. The Wasp quarterback was very impressive, going 32 of 50 for 335 yards and 4 touchdowns. It is obvious that their game plan was to pass, and pass often, and this worked well for them.

One of the more impressive things I saw today, was that the Panthers did not give up. This was a very telling quality about this team, and I think is a strong indicator of what we can expect in the weeks to come. Overall, I have, in years past viewed this game as one where Ferrum would gain experience, in preparation for the remainder of the season. While this too was the case today, the level of preparation, was far better than it was in recent years. Ferrum is further ahead, preparation wise, at this point in the season than I ever expectedIt's not a win on the schedule, but Ferrum showed well today, and while there are things to work on, I look for things to get better each week.

Go Panthers 


  1. The front four has to apply the pressure, which didn't happen yesterday. They had all day to pass, which is what they did. The secondary was also very shaky, giving up too much ground to the receivers. A better pass rush will help that problem however. The pass interference penalties have to get ironed out as well. It all starts upfront though and with all four starters back, more experienced and stronger I expected better.

  2. The following is a comment left by an anonymous reader. I have edited out inappropriate language.

    FC played the score when they were up and got burned. I am tired of hearing of this defense this over rated defense bc if they could of stop the pass they would of won and if they are looking for success find someone who wants to play defense!!!

  3. On paper- the entire offense were new starters- and put 36 points on the board- good job offensive coordinator. Practically the entire defense were returning starters and gave up 45 points- bad job defensive coordinator. Let's just say you had 9 months to prepare a game plan for Emory - and this is the best you can do? We have to win every game against Emory for a decade to even the series- this is no longer a rivalry. Please call former Ferrum great Jack Turner who's coaching at FCHS and get him to coach this defense. Holding Greensboro and Maryville to 7 points is nothing special when you consistently give up 45 or more points year in and year out to the good teams (Emory, H-S, CNC...)

  4. The linebackers seemed to have it together. There were was some hard hits at the beginning of the game that forced Emory and Henry to open their passing game. When they found it working, they had no reason to run .linebackers showed up to play .They didnt mind chasing down a play and packed a punch on the hits. I look for Ferum College to be a great team this season.They need to work on better over the top pass coverage.

  5. Who is number 17 . Great addition to the defense