We knew going in that Maryville was in first place in the USA South, and that this game was not going the be easy for Ferrum. We also knew that for Ferrum to win, they would need to play nearly flawless football. I watched the game online, and while there were bright spots to the Ferrum game, The Panthers were, in my opinion, very much over matched by a strong Scots team.
The first half seemed to suggest that Ferrum was going to give the favored Maryville team all they wanted. Ferrum led by as much as 7 points in the second quarter, but trailed by the same amount at half time, 17-10. This was not ideal, but it could have been worse, and Ferrum was set to receive the second half kickoff. Instead of being able to keep it close in the second half, things began to deteriorate for the Panthers. The Scots, already leading by 7, would put up 18 more giving them a 25 point lead before Ferrum would score again. In the end, Ferrum only scored 9 points in the second half, while Maryville put up 25 after half time.
Numbers Tell the Tale
Looking over the stats, several things jump out at you. Let's start with Time of Possession. You cannot score if you do not have the ball. (ok safeties do not apply to this adage) Maryville had the ball a total of 31:45 compared to Ferrum's 28:15. On the surface, three minuets and a few seconds may not seem like a lot, but this team needed no extra advantages going in, and three plus minuets is a lot of time to put points on the board.
Maryville had 31 first downs, compared to Ferrum's 18. The Scots had 17 first downs by the pass, and 8 by rushing........where did the other 6 come from? PENALTIES!
Ferrum had 101 yards in penalties. In essence, 100 yards in penalties would by itself equate to a touchdown, but how many Maryville drives were kept alive due to penalties? And how many of those drives resulted in points for the Scots? I have not even tried to calculate this answer, but I think it would be a high percentage, especially since Maryville only punted once.
Maryville had 375 yards passing and three passing touchdowns. I said it was a pass heavy offense, and that it was. The Ferrum defense against the pass continued to struggle.
Lastly, The Ferrum offense, which had been primarily based on the skill of Brian Mann, saw Mann stifled, and held under 100 yards for the first time this season. Mann collected just 48 yards, and While Harvey Taylor did throw for 154 yards, the offense was overall struggling most of the day.
So now all that can be done is to get ready for LaGrange. This will be another tough test. I will give a detailed preview later in the week, but know this. If you think Maryville is a pass heavy offense, you aint seen nothing yet. Going into Saturday, Connor Blair, the LaGrange quarterback, was ranked number 2 nationally in passing yards. Only five yards separate the LaGrange quarterback from first place. Get ready secondary.