Sunday, November 8, 2015

Ferrum Suffers Unlikely Overtime Loss

Momentum shifted in a very big way Saturday as Ferrum, who held a 28-7 lead in the third quarter, fell in overtime 31-28. It is not a lot I can say to dull the pain of this one, and while I don't want to assign blame to any one person or event, lets just say that in this game there were plenty of errors that hurt the cause.
I was at my second job, and tried to keep up with this via my cell phone. I last saw the score being 21-7 in the third quarter, and remember thinking thats a nice lead, but they have to finish. As I was about to leave work, I tried my phone once again, and when I got no broadcast, I felt it was over. I then checked the USA South website, and saw the final score. My first thought was that it probably happened through the Cougars strong passing game........yes they did pass a lot in the second half, but after watching the game when I got home, I have to say it was more like a karma shift.

At just over 6 mins. left in the third quarter, Ferrum led 28-7 off of a Harvey Taylor touchdown run. After the kickoff, Averett took 9 plays to find the endzone. (5 passes). After the Bailey extra point, Ferrum still led 28-14.
On Ferrum's next possession, Helton fumbled, and Averett recovered. The Panther defense rose up and stopped Averett, taking the ball back on downs. On the first play of the next drive, R.J. Lee fumbled, and Averett again recovered.
With :11 seconds left in the third quarter, Averett found the endzone again, and cut the lead to 28-21.

On their first possession of the fourth quarter, Ferrum had to punt, and Averett took over and began a 17 play drive that took over 5 minuets off the clock. They were held by the Ferrum defense, and had to settle for a field goal. The attempt was blocked however, and Ferrum still had a 7 point lead with 7:20 remaining.
This possession was pivotal, as Ferrum was deep in their own territory. They were not able to mount any kind of a drive and were held to a 3 and out. Ferrum punted, Averett's Travis Jones returned the ball 38 yards to the Ferrum 21. Jones would score an an 11 yard rushing touchdown on the drive, and with the extra point, Ferrum and Averett were tied 28-28 with 5:10 left.

Ferrum was again held to a three and out, and withe the defense on its heels, Averett looked to finish Ferrum off. Things were not that easy however as Ferrum's Sam Soloman forced a fumble, and Ferrum fell on it at the Averett 14, with 3:33 to go.

I at this point, already knowing the final score, and that it finished in overtime, realized Ferrum would come away empty.....but 1st and 10 at the Averett 14 with over three minutes left?????  The strength of the Averett defense continued, stopping Ferrum on three plays. This time however, Ferrum was well within range of Hunter Ferguson, who was perfect with field goals to this point (7 for 7). This time however, Ferguson's kick hit the left upright, and fell no good. The result was an overtime.

It was at this point that the series of unbelievable events, got completely whacky. Ferrum won the toss for the overtime period, and elected to take the ball first. This flies in the face of logic, and leaves me bewildered as to how something like this can happen. Three plays on offense resulted in another interception. Averett took over and after four plays, they sent their kicker, Chase Bailey into the game for a 35 yard game winning attempt. He had not made a field goal the entire year, but we all know what happened this time.....he nailed it, and the game was over.

There are three ways to look at this game. It had it's good, it's bad, and it's ugly.

The Good

The good for Ferrum was mostly in the first half. Ferrum stymied Averett through the first half, and in a portion of the third quarter as the Panthers led 28-7. During this time, I saw some strong plays by the defense, and it looked like the D was really getting on track. It was a solid performance for the first 8:51 of the third quarter, but at this point, the wheels, one by one, started coming off.

The Bad

Before I further detail the loss of wheels, I have to go back to a play in the first half. Ferrum had Averett in a 3rd and 25 position. In was not impossible to think that the Cougars could make up that much, but it seemed like things were in Ferrum's favor. On the third down play, Al Matthews stopped the ball carrier for a three yard loss. Averett was looking at a fourth and 28. Then however, Matthews did or said something, and I could not tell you what he did, but his antics earned him an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and gave Averett a first dowm. This was a huge mistake, and while it did not lead to points for the Cougars, it may have resulted in points for Ferrum had Averett been forced to punt.

After what would be Ferrum;s final score of the day, Averett completed a nine play drive in less than three minuets. In this drive, there were 4 complete passes, and the total drive covered 69 yards.
Ferrum's next two possessions would total three plays, and yield two fumbles, both lost, the second, resulting in a touchdown for Averett, and exhausting the Ferrum defense.

The time of possession was only won by Ferrum in the first quarter.

Ferrum only had 5 first downs in the second half.

The Ugly

The Ferrum offense. It was shut down by Averett in the second half, and looked one deminsional. It appeared to be frustrated, and mostly ineffective. No real adjustments, or so it appeared.

Five turnovers, resulting in 17 Averett points.

Averett had 83 yards on punt returns......two punt returns.

Lastly, the simplest part of the game, the part with no pressure of clock, and no athletic ability required, the overtime coin toss was muffed. I cannot blame the player on this one. This one  to me, has to fall at the feet of the coach, and it could have made a difference. This may not be something that is discussed at every practice, but any player, who is expected to make a specific call after winning the coin toss must not only know what call he should make, he should understand why that call is important. Without this information, anything could happen.

Ferrum must now put this one to bed, and focus on beating North Carolina Wesleyan. It will be difficult, but it is a real possibility. Like this game, the NCW game could come down to who has the ball last. Everyone has to be ready.  It would be nice to end the season with a win.

A Bloggers Note:

From time to time I receive comments from readers, but today, I received a comment that was personal in nature, and totally unwarranted. I write a blog called the Ferrum College Football Report.
This makes me a "homer" and apparently biased. I am called a homer, and I will agree to that. I am a fan, and if that comes with a small amount of bias, then that is ok. The problem with the people who decide to assail me with names and personal attacks and choose not to identify themselves, is that they represent themselves as Ferrum fans, but only comment when they lose. They are not Ferrum fans, but rather are only interested in berating the coaches, the style of offense run, and apparently me and what they think is an unwarranted positive spin I put on Ferrum football.

Use some sort of an ID, so I at least know who I am talking to.....I receive multiple anonymous comments, and an ID would help me. Call yourself anything you want, just make it the same on each comment. If you can do that and keep the attacks less personal, and the language clean, I can publish more comments.
If you cant do that, I really think you should consider reading a different blog......oh! or maybe writing your own blog.


  1. Allen, I personally think that you do a fine job in your analysis. Keep up the good work. Personally I feel if you don't have the balls to identify yourself you've got no business commenting on any blog. Just my opinion

  2. Man Allan, I guess your like Ferrum a team that can't cut it and can't accept criticism!!! Be thankful that people read your blog and tell you the truth!!! I don't know what this person said, but they might be right because be real Ferrum has made some shady deals over the years at least the last 10 years to where you see now that they lose to teams they should beat and there are people like you who would defend them at any cost!!! Don't call your readers out without being able to take the heat!!!!! It doesn't matter if Ferrum was winning or losing Ferrum has done a lost of shady deals that leaves this Ferrum Alum question the coaching staff and being told to not express the truth is not right!!!!! You know better than to make excuses for a program that knows better and doesn't do it!!!!!


    Joe From The Hood!!!!!!!

    1. Thanks Joe-

      I accept criticism fine, but even that does not have to be made personal. I am glad you and others read the blog, and while I may disagree on the problem, It seems to me that true fans would be quicker to post comments after a win, and show support rather than only after a loss where they are given a chance to blister the coaches and the college. I guess we will have to agree to disagree that the coaches are the problem.

  3. I was there. The personal foul was a typical case of the quarterback for Averett said something, and the retaliater always gets caught. And a case of poor discipline. That comes from the top.
    You know those blinders they put on horses to keep them from spooking? It looked like somebody put a set on the Ferrum defensive backs, numbers 15 and 13 in particular. They got toasted so many times in the second half they looked like burnt toast.
    But the real crux of the problems that cost the game was, once again, a simple inability, or indeed, refusal to make any adjustments on both sides of the ball. On offense, when Averett's defense changed tactics and started to slant, Ferrum never changed a thing and got shutdown offensively. Seemed like at times the only thing important was the rushing record. You spoke about the personal foul. The real killer was the fumble while chasing the record. On defense, when you get defensive backs who CAN'T cover, how about trying some different players? How about making an adjustment? How about doing something?
    Ferrum has other players on their team besides the same 25. These other players never get a chance. If you team had a winning record, it would be one thing. But they are in the cellar. Einstein's definition of insanity was trying the same thing over and over again looking for a different result. If things stay the same with the staff, a player that goes to Ferrum to play is a fool.
    Far as the blog, I attend every game and give a fair appraisal of what is happening. I can tell you from sitting in the stands, a majority of the people there feel the same way. I took time to speak with in the Panthers Club seats. The are disgusted. The thug like play and attitude displayed by the team does not sit well with these boosters. And listening to a minority of fans who think this is good ball because all they care about is their son playing and not what the score is is sad. The language and terms being used may have a place on the street, but not in the stands of Hank Norton Field. Straight out of the 757.
    Far as what I post, it is my opinion. And in the end I think you will find it is pretty close to the truth. I have never personally berated you, but I have given my opinion and told the truth about a couple situations, which were taken down. You can delete my comments, but doing that will not change the truth of what is happening. Ferrum football is a smoldering dumpster fire. Change is needed. To delete comments such as this is simply a refusal to accept the truth.

    1. Thanks,

      I do not always publish comments, but I have only taken two down this year. Those were both supposedly about an article quoting Abe Naff. One of them mentioned a link to the Roanoke Times article, but no clickable link, or url appeared, and the other mentioned the same article, and had a link to, and highlighted the demise of football talent in the 757. It never mentioned anything about Ferrum, or Abe Naff. That is why they were removed. If there is an article out there, I have not been able to find it, but would very much like to see it.

    2. I appreciate your assessments, you have an excellent grasp of what is goin on.

  4. The article about the demise of the 757 was in referral to recruiting. Personally, I think it is a mistake to wholesale recruit players from outside the area as a priority. In many cases they don't give a hoot about the area where Ferrum is located. You would do better to recruit your area, then maybe look outside. Players from your area know about Ferrum College and it's heritage and are more likely to have pride in the area. Along with family and friends are more likely to attend games.
    It is disingenuous to recruit players knowing that you never plan to play them. If this is a tactic to boost enrollment, then it is a dishonest ploy that needs to cease. When you have 100 players on the sidelines and only 25 playing, then there is something seriously wrong. Either you have dishonest and recruited players that you never planned on playing or you are incapable as a staff to capably substitute players and create packages for different players. Either way what is happening is wrong. And you don't have to sit in the stands long to hear the issue being discussed, and not in a good way.
    Even worse, to have as many blowout losses as Ferrum has had and not give other players an opportunity to get playing time is just dead wrong.
    Tell you another impact the way players and the team are being coached and played. Boosters and alumni that donate to Ferrum College come from teams after players graduate. I can tell you that there will be little coming from the teams of the past few years. And if something doesn't change, this trend will become reality. One day there will be no one in the Panther Club seats.
    There were only a half a dozen seniors recognize on Senior Day Saturday. Wonder why? Because at least 15 seniors quit in the first week of camp. They did so because it was obvious the direction the team was headed. When players have been in camp a week and you still don't know their name, then there is a problem. And that was 15 graduates that will never donate or support Ferrum College football.
    Ferrum College has a top notch facility. Ferrum College has a legacy deserving of better. It deserves top notch coaching to go with that facility and legacy. To continue any further down the path this program is taking is futile and and embarrassment to alumni and students associated with Ferrum College.