On a sun splashed autumn homecoming, Ferrum gave the large partisan crowd a lot to cheer about. With plenty of offense, and some strong defensive plays, the Panthers defeated the North Carolina Wesleyan Battling Bishops, 51-35. Rather than writing a re-cap article, I will provide a link to the article posted on the Ferrum website
Panthers defeat NCW 51-35
While this was an impressive win for Ferrum, and there were many stand out performances, it was what else happened in the conference that really altered the USA South landscape.
After Ferrum easily defeated Averett on Sept. 29, they, the next week, headed to Newport News to take on the perennial favorite Christopher Newport. While Ferrum headed East, Averett headed to the deep South to face the LaGrange Panthers. LaGrange, who is new to the conference, had gotten off to a rough start. They lost their first three non conference games, and did not pick up their first win until the played North Carolina Wesleyan.
In week 6, Averett arrived in Georgia, and in my mind, there was every reason to believe that LaGrange would pick up win #2. I however was wrong, and surprised that Averett came away with the win.
While this contest was going on, Ferrum was preparing to take on CNU in a night game. I felt that Ferrum would make a solid showing, and could come away with a win, but would likely have too many struggles with a very good CNU team. As it turned out, it was a close game, but Ferrum did come up short, 38-31.
So at this point, going into week 7, Ferrum found themselves one game back of the Captains in the standings, with the head to head match up favoring CNU. What that meant was that in order for Ferrum to have a remote chance at an outright conference championship, Ferrum has to not lose another game, and CNU would need to lose two.
So with CNU hosting LaGrange, I had little confidence that the Panthers would be able to keep pace with CNU. Again, I missed the mark on this one as CNU fell to LaGrange 20-6. With Ferrum's win over NCW, Maryville knocking off Methodist, and Greensboro edging out Averett, there is a 5 way tie for first place in the conference.
For the Panthers, they must focus, on one thing- defeating their current opponent. They cannot worry about the other conference games, as they cannot control them. Their attention must be on what they can control, and this week that is defeating Methodist. Things are about to get really interesting...hang on!
As for my predictions, I was again 2-2, missing the Greensboro win, and the LaGrange upset. In case you are wondering, Ferrum has it's next two games on the road, and it's final 2 at home, as does CNU. LaGrange has three of it's next four games on the road.
Greensboro has two at home, and two away, and Maryville has the same, closing their season at Ferrum.