A win is a win, and one point works just fine for me. It had been since 2005 that Ferrum had beaten Emory and Henry, and to be quite honest, I held limited hope that Ferrum would come out on top today. Thankfully I was wrong. I knew very little about what to expect from Ferrum, and while I knew some things that I could expect, what I did not factor in was the Panther Pride.....Talk about a team that did not give up.
After the first quarter, it was my opinion that a couple of things had to change:
1. Ferrum had to get Harvey Taylor more time to pass
2. Ferrum had to get more pressure on the Emory and Henry quarterback
Ferrum trailed 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, and it seemed that the passing game was struggling to say the least. Taylor was 1 of 5 in the first quarter for 5 yards, and was sacked twice. Where as Saxton, the Emory and Henry QB was 8 of 10, and was not sacked.
Ferrum trailed 21-7 at the half, but that lone touchdown gave them some hope. Nick Pearce hauled in a Harvey Taylor pass to get the Panthers on the board, and what could have been a 21-0 defecit was now only a 14 point difference.
In the second half, Ferrum seemed to really find their footing. Defensively, Ferrum forced a fumble on the Wasps opening possession of the second half, and kept them out of the end zone on their second possession. The only problem was Ferrum was not able to take advantage of either stop.
Before you knew it, Emory and Henry had scored again, and Ferrum trailed 28-7. I was a bit worried, but it still seemed that they were playing better than the score showed. With 00.25 left in the third quarter, Taylor hit Chris Guy for a 29 yard pass for a touchdown, and with the first of four consecutive two point conversions, Ferrum trailed 28-15.
In the fourth quarter, Emory and Henry added a field goal to get the score to 31-15. This was where it stood as Ferrum found themselves down by 16 with just under 13 mins. to go. From this point, Ferrum scored two more times, and converted their second and third consecutive two point conversions. This left the score tied at 31 as Ferrum kicked off with 1:17 to go in the game. It was here where I almost broke my coffee table in half as the Wasps return man took the ensuing kickoff 97 yards to the end zone. With their extra point kick, Ferrum again trailed 38-31 now with 1:00 to go in the game. The final drive was epic!
Taylor threw three consecutive completions. First a 15 yarder to Chris Guy, then a 19 yarder and a 16 yarder to Johnny White. With :18 seconds left, Ferrum called timeout. Taylor again targeted Johnny White, but the pass was incomplete. This did not deter Taylor as he again went to White for an 18 yard touchdown completion with :07 seconds left. This made the score 38-37. Ferrum benefited from an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Wasps, and had good field position for their fourth consecutive two point conversion attempt. Taylor took the ball an ran it in untouched to give Ferrum the lead and eventual win.
Mann was the Man
Freshman Brian Mann was an integral part of this win. He really dominated as he led all rushers with 28 attempts for 167 yards. He scored two touchdowns. Mann was not the only Freshman who had a big day. Linebacker Billy Higgins led Ferrum's defense with nine tackles, and a pass break up.
In the final analysis, Ferrum showed me some very strong characteristics.....they did not panic, they stuck with what worked, and made adjustments when something didn't, and above all, they did not give up. Great Job Panthers!