Sunday, September 18, 2022

Panthers Improve, Still Fall Short

 Ferrum took huge strides compared to their first two games and seemed to really be in a position to secure their first win Saturday......but someone forgot to tell LaGrange.  There are many positives to point to in this one. Ferrum out rushed LaGrange 213 yards to 123. They also led in total yards 408 to 343. The passing yards category was led by LaGrange 220 to 195. so just looking at that, Ferrum seems like they would be in good shape. Ferrum had 109 yards in penalties, and that is way too many. Interceptions were also another area that hampered Ferrum's efforts. Even though quarterback Brayden Hawkins completed 11 passes for 123 yards and one touchdown, his three interceptions led to 10 points for LaGrange, and proved to be too much for the coaching staff as he was replaced in the fourth quarter by Freshman Jesper Korkalainren. Korkalainren ended the game with 9 completions on 11 attempts, with one passing touchdown.

After a stellar first half that yielded three touchdowns, Zach Smiley was hardly used in the second half. I have not seen any updates and am concerned about the possibility of an injury but am hoping that is not the case. 

In the long run 38 points is usually enough to win a football game, unless the opponent scores more of course. As this was the case Saturday, questions about the defense must be asked. I am not sure what the answer is, but a wholesale review about the defensive approach, as well as personnel should take place. This is just way too many points, to give up.

Conference play starts Saturday October 1st, as Ferrum travels to Winchester to take on the 3-0 Shenandoah Hornets. It will be an important game for Ferrum, and hopefully the improvements that came about this past week will continue and put the Panthers in a position to get their first W of the season.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Ferrum Heads South Seeking First Victory

 Saturday will be Ferrum's final non-conference contest before the ODAC season gets into full swing. This week, the 0-2 Ferrum Panthers, will visit the 0-1 LaGrange Panthers. LaGrange is coming off of a scathing defeat, at the hands of the Berry College Vikings, 56-10.  As this was the first game for LaGrange, it is hard to determine exactly what we will face Saturday, but in looking over the stats, I am thinking that their pass defense may be an area to exploit.

It would also appear that LaGrange while pretty balanced offensively, may lean toward passing rather than running. This would be only by the slightest of margins. It is difficult to say how this will play out as I know very little about LaGrange, and even less about Berry, but I see this as a very tough game. Look for Ferrum to possibly ride the arm of Hawkins and utilizing the talents of Lamb and Gray to give the offense the edge. 

Ferrum has some work to do tomorrow to get into the win column, but this opponent will be the most evenly matched opponent so far, this young season. Look for the defense to continue to work to improve, and I am of the opinion that this week will have given the defense the chance to get closer as a unit, and to gel. My hope is the defense will make some crucial, confidence building plays, and at the same time demoralize the LaGrange offense.

It could be a very close game, and I am looking forward to following every play.


Ferrum 21

LaGrange 19

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Ferrum Falls Hard to Muskingum 31-3

 On a rainy day with a sparse home crowd, I sat in the stands and watched what amounted to another lesson on fundamental football. I don't want to sound too negative, because Ferrum did show flashes of strength, and for most of the game they were in striking distance to keep the game close. It just was not meant to be. The Fighting Muskies had a large and strong offensive line. This gave them a solid offensive advantage. Personally, I am not a fan of a three down linemen defensive front, and that is what Ferrum is running. This gives the linebackers more responsibility to stop the run. Personally, I would like to see a more traditional 4-3-4 defensive look.

Offensively, Ferrum was able to move the ball, but mainly between the 20's, their red zone offense was not able to produce. I would like to see a traditional option look from time to time. Just to keep the defense uneasy. Quarterback Brayden Hawkins was able to make many accurate passes, but in the end, there was not enough production. 

Even after missing 2 of the three field goals, I still believe that Deaton will be fine. I am thinking his set up position seemed a little too straight on. I am quite confident he will rebound.

The Panthers have a lot to work on before they travel to LaGrange Georgia this week. I am hoping that there will be continued improvement, and who knows, Ferrum may just be starting to gel at the right time.


Friday, September 9, 2022

Muskingum @ Ferrum

 Wait....who?  Muskingum (OH) comes to Ferrum Saturday, and this will be the first meeting between these two teams. When I saw that game on the schedule, I must admit I was taken aback as this was not a typical non-conference opponent. The Fighting Muskies will open their season with this game, so there is no video from last week. 

Delving back into 2021, they ended with a 5-5 record, finishing 5th in a 10 team conference. A conference that includes the Mt. Union Purple Raiders. This could be an interesting game for Ferrum. I am not sure what to expect, but I believe the Panthers will have a more evenly matched opponent....at least from a division perspective.

Look for Ferrum to have more success on the ground, and to open the passing game even more. Defensively, Ferrum must get more pressure on the quarterback, and will hopefully have more success defending the pass. Their Quarterback Jordan Garrett is not afraid to put it up as he averaged 232 passing yards per game last year. He can also run the ball. 

Ferrum will continue to develop with this game, and as this game is at home, I am looking for an added boost from the crowd. I think Ferrum's QB Brayden Hawkins improved as last week's game went on. There were not a lot of apparent positives in a shellacking like last weeks, but I do believe they will come into this game better prepared, and with the same never say die spirit. It will be that spirit that will carry them to the win.


Ferrum 27

Muskingum 20

Friday, September 2, 2022

Bigger, Faster, Stronger

 These are the qualities you find in an opponent that is in a higher division than you are. A quick primer on NCAA College Football divisions. There are four divisions in the NCAA:

FBS

FCS

Division II

Division III

 

FBS is the Football Bowl Subdivision. This is one of the two subdivisions that make up Division I. FBS schools are allowed to offer a maximum of 85 full ride football scholarships.  

FCS is the Football Championship Subdivision, which is the other division I subdivision. They can give out 63 full ride scholarships.

Typical FBS schools are Alabama, Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Virginia Tech, UVA, Clemson......The BIG programs

FCS schools have smaller stadiums, and smaller enrollment numbers. Typical FCS Schools are William and Mary, University of Richmond, University of Delaware, University of Rhode Island, University of Maine.

Division II schools are usually even smaller and are allowed even fewer full ride scholarships. These schools are allowed 36 scholarships. 

DII schools in Virginia are Virginia Union University, Virginia State University, UVA Wise, and Emory and Henry.

DIII schools are the smallest of the bunch and are not allowed to offer scholarships for athletics at all.

DIII schools in Virginia are plentiful and they include Randolph- Macon College, Hampden-Sydney, Bridgewater, and Ferrum just to name a few.


When you offer scholarships, you will be able to field a team with more talent, and that is exactly what Ferrum ran into last night.... a team with more talent. This 41-9 loss should not be a surprise, and as long as Ferrum did not incur any serious injuries, they will benefit in the long run. There will be much to be gained from this, and after the film is reviewed, and the coaches break down individual performances, they will make corrections, and show the players what they need to be doing going forward.

There is no need to pour over statistics from this one. They will only show how a Bigger, Faster and Stronger team imposed their scholarship athlete's talent over a non-scholarship program. They would be as one sided as the score and would surprise very few.

I got several messages both during and after the game, and there was a resounding theme that Ferrum did not quit. They played hard for the full game.........in that situation, that's about all you can ask.

So now it's time to get ready for next week as Ferrum opens their home season against Muskingum (OH). This will be the first ever meeting between these two schools, and as they are both DIII schools, it should be more of an evenly matched game. I am hoping to be there.

In case you are wondering, UVA Wise will travel South to take on the FCS team, the University of North Alabama Lions. My guess is that the shoe will be on the other foot for the Cavaliers next week.

Stay Tuned-

A Letter From Coach Adams

 

Ferrum College football header



Hello Black Hat Nation! It is officially gameday. The team and I are heading to UVA-Wise for tonight's game, and I wanted to take a moment to send you a few program updates as we kick off the 2022 season. 

 

When the dust settled we returned 90 plus upper-classmen and brought on 70 newcomers. As a program we met and exceeded our retention and recruiting goals, which was a testament of all the hard work my coaching staff has put in from January 2022 to present. Like always there are always anticipated losses during training camp and this year was no different. As a staff we designed and coordinated a training camp that required a mental and physical toughness that was representative of the traditions of Black Hat Football.

 

We began training camp with 164 potential Black Hats and broke camp with 159, which was a 97% retention rate for what was a physically demanding training camp. I have no doubt that the effort we put into our team during the recruiting process and summer call-list provides us with a foundation that makes it hard for our young men to easily walk away.

 

I’m sure there will be additional losses along the way as we move into the competition season. The game of football can only be played with 11 players at one time and everyone will not be happy. As a coaching staff it is our job to prepare Team #68 and create an expectation and level of competition that requires every member of this team to maximize his potential daily. We have established a roster foundation that will allow us to establish depth and accountability.

 

As we transition into week one we are in a solid position as a team. Because our training camp was so physical, we are dinged up a bit, but are quickly getting healthier by the day. As a head coach there is a delicate balance between managing team health, but one thing is for certain, there is no substitute for physicality! We have a theme around here now, that we will establish the toughness calluses required to compete at a high level!


 

Key Program Highlights


Offense

I’m pleased with the progress we have made to date. The offensive unit has grown in ways that I could only imagine from January to present. Our search for an identity of toughness is coming together. We are committed to running the football with a physicality that is easily recognized as intentional. Our offensive personnel will provide us with the ability to be flexible when necessary. The QB position is very promising, our stable of Running Backs is encouraging, our Wide Receiver unit could be very special, Tight Ends are developing daily, Super Back (FB) has provided our offense with a unique addition, and our Offensive Line is getting better by the day. The key is to provide this unit with realistic goals in the early stages of the season and commit to flawless execution of our foundation and not focus on variety. We need to establish game day experience and confidence during the non-conference schedule and prepare for the Old Dominion push.

 

Defense

This group has worked extremely hard during training camp. It has been a huge advantage to begin training camp being familiar with the system unlike last season when the introduction of the system happened during the 2021 training camp. Our defensive personnel arrived with a far better schematic foundation and have gotten better every day. The defensive line has been very impressive with the return of three starters and has set the tone for what we want to look like at the line of scrimmage. Our linebacker unit has a wealth of talent led by returning senior and team captain Drew Hill. We have established some much needed depth, but still require the experience of the non-conference schedule to build the game day confidence we will need prior to starting league play. Our secondary is getting better daily and with the help of Coach Dave Davis as another set of eyes, we are establishing a foundation of detail and ownership to execution and technique. We have the raw talent and will continue to work at the little things. The defensive unit is a close knitted group that plays extremely hard at all times. The goal is to harness that aggression and take our execution to the next level.

 

Special Teams

Our specialist group is led by returner Seth Deaton who will be taking on the bulk of the place kicking responsibilities as we begin the 2022 season. QB Josh Luckett will still be handling the punting duties providing us with a right now threat every time we line up to punt. Parker Watkins returns and provides us with consistency at the long and short snapping position. We have established a solid specialist roster and each player continues to grow with the help of Co-Coordinators Sam Martin and Scott McConnell along with the analyst and coaching support of Pete Shaw. Special Teams will be critical to the success of Team #68 and we have committed a great deal of time during training camp to stabilize our units.

 


Currently we are in the second week of classes and as a staff we are putting in the off the field work to establish our academic tracking systems. In my experience as an assistant coach and head coach, the commitment to academic success has always been a priority. The off the field commitment to academic success and strength development requires an enormous amount of man hours! Our success with retention and recruiting requires our staff to work just as hard off the field as we do on the field.

 

My goal is to provide a winning program on the field and off the field, creating a product that players and families see value in. To do what we do, the WORK HAS TO BE DONE!!! My goal is always clear: find a way to make 40 West the place to be for our guys and to take over the Old Dominion Conference and to be the top small college program in this region. To do so the house must be taken care of – “A bird in the hand is worth two on the bush.”


 

Important Program Information

 

Season Tickets

Ferrum Football is offering season tickets! $40 provides one ticket to each home game in Adams Stadium for the 2022-2023 season. Purchase yours on the Football page at Ferrumpanthers.com or by clicking here.

 

 

Upcoming Games

  • September 1: Game #1 on the road v. D2 UVA-Wise; kickoff at 7:00 PM
  • September 10: Home opener v. Muskingam University; kickoff at 1:00 PM. Come early for tailgating beginning at 8:00 AM and the Black Hat Walk at 11:00 PM.
  • October 15: Homecoming: v. Washington & Lee; kickoff at 2:00 PM.
  • Come early for tailgating beginning at 8:00 AM and the Black Hat Walk at 12:00 PM.

 


Local Hotel Information

 


Bottom Line Reminders


The question I ask you is the same question I asked the Athletic Director when I arrived, what do we really want Ferrum Football to be?


  1. Simply competitive in the Old Dominion .500
  2. Old Dominion contenders every other year
  3. Old Dominion front runners every year
  4. First round of the NCAA playoff caliber
  5. or National Championship worthy?????

 

Men there are true levels of expectations and you all know what my initial target is and that is to take over the Old Dominion. To do so it requires more than just what’s on the surface. There are so many more challenges within these walls that go beyond nice facilities and I need you all to ask the right questions as well as be ready to step up as much as you can and as little as you can. EVERYTHING MATTERS AND EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS.  Big time programs require a hardworking committed staff, and relentless support from our alumni, families and friends of the program.

 

Your support will help us grow the program and provide critical needs such as a full-time strength and conditioning coach, and additional field coach, and academic support staff member and help with improvements to the stadium, such as a new scoreboard and paving of the press box lot.

 

I’m also looking for class representatives to help with program outreach. The True Black Hat Club Council Group needs representatives from the 60s,70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s. Please let me know if you are interested.

I want Ferrum Football to be significant in this region and to do so it takes support and understanding of our advantages and disadvantages. Any support you can provide no matter how large or small is greatly appreciated. Many hands make for lighter work!!! With your support I truly believe we can get Black Hat Football to the level we all expect. THE WORK HAS TO BE DONE IF YOU WANT THE RESULTS! 

 

My goal is to create as much exposure to Ferrum College and our storied football program as possible. It means something to be a Black Hat and we have something special going on back here on 40 West! We will find a way!! I’m all about finding Ferrum Guys and Ferrum Families and with your help we can get it done. We will find a way to Take Over the Old Dominion Conference and to do so I need The Black Hat Nation behind me!


I look forward to seeing each of you in the stands soon.

Go Panthers!


Cleive Adams '02

Head Football Coach

P.O. Box 1000 | Ferrum, VA 24088-9000 | 540-365-4493 | ferrumpanthers.com

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Ferrum @ UVA-Wise

 Football season is here and thus begins the fastest eleven weeks of the year. This year is starting out differently from my perspective. This team, to me seems young... or at least I don't have a lot of information about them. Yes, there are some returning starters, but a few of the names from last year are gone. Ray Alexander, Tmahdae Penn, Titus Jones, and Billy Higgins just to name a few. Those guys brought a wealth of talent to last year's program, but if recruiting numbers are any indication, Ferrum may just have as full of a stable as anyone around. Let's take a look at just a few that will strap on the Black Hat tomorrow night.


QB- Brayden Hawkins 6' 3" 210 lbs.  This may be the tallest quarterback at Ferrum since Scott Camp. (Folks that's going back a while) Brayden shows some really solid QB skills in some film I have seen of him. That is high school film on HUDL. He is a transfer from the Junior College ranks but has held a roster spot on three different FBS teams. I expect him to be the starter.

QB- Joshua Luckett 6'2" 185 lbs.   A local Franklin County product, Luckett is in his sophomore season with Ferrum. Although listed as a quarterback, last year Josh saw a great deal of success punting. I believe he will be the number 2 quarterback, but he may maintain his punting duties as well. Not to worry, Ferrum has 6 more quarterbacks on the roster if needed.

RB Joshua Ellerbe 6'0 180lbs. Saw a good amount of playing time last year and brings valuable experience to what seems to be a young backfield.  Ferrum will be looking to impose a dominate running game with a total of 9 RB's on the roster.

RB Zac Smiley 6' 0" 210lbs.   Brings the ability to run and receive out of the backfield. Appeared in 5 games last year with a strong showing against Christopher Newport University. Look for Zac to be a workhorse in the Panthers plan.

With 18 Wide Receivers on the roster, and more than half of them as Freshmen, Ferrum should have quite a few options in their passing game. Some notable returning receivers are Na-shawn Greene,  Devan Gray, and Daniel Lamb. These three will serve as the most experienced receivers on the team, but this position is wide open for any of the 18 to take the starring role.

The Ferrum offensive line may be as big as I have seen since I was a student there. There are some hosses on the front.......Look at these numbers! 

6'6" 315

6'0" 380

6'2" 283

6'2" 355

6'6 305

6'4" 330

6' 300

6'8" 270

6'2" 370

6' 308

 That represents almost half of the offensive linemen on the roster. 

Defensively, I am not sure what we will see. First of all, Ferrum only has 7 Defensive Linemen on the roster. This concerns me but there will likely be some really strong linebackers behind those linemen. There are 26 Linebackers on the roster, and 14 Safeties. Look for good production out of Drew Hill, RahQuan Payne, Michael Lopez, and Sincere Adams out of the defensive backfield.


So, what about the game? I don't have all that much info. on UVA-Wise. These two schools have met, but it's been 25 years. Wise was an NAIA school and played their home games at a local high school. They now have their own stadium and have moved to DII. This means they can offer scholarships. The Cavaliers have a 2-0 lead in the series, and according to the Wise coach, he stated in an interview, and I am paraphrasing, that he anticipates getting some of his guys some game time that don't get to play all that much...Last year, Wise went 5-6, but they have a good number of returners bringing back strong experience and have a strong secondary to defend against the pass.

It is hard to predict how this one will turn out, but I tend to be realistic. A team that has scholarship athletes, playing at home against a non-scholarship school will likely get the favorite nod. If Ferrum can show well in this game, or possibly upset the Cavaliers, it will tell a lot about the Panthers and how the season may go. If they lose it should not be a surprise. It will count as valuable experience to prepare them for the ODAC. I look for Ferrum to have the right attitude, come in and play hard....and who knows, upsets have happened, but I think Ferrum may fall short in this scenario, but not without putting up a good fight.

UVA Wise 34

Ferrum 20 




Saturday, August 27, 2022

Panthers Look to Build on Their 2021 Success

 After Going 6-4 last season, Ferrum will look to move past that mark, and prove themselves as a contender in the ODAC. The ODAC poll came out this week, and it has Ferrum finishing fifth in the final standings of eight teams. Randolph Macon is picked to finish first with Washington and Lee, Hampden-Sydney, and Shenandoah finishing ahead of the Panthers. I have a hard time with these polls, as there is very little current information to go on, and its mainly based on how many returning starters a team has and the bench experience that will fill holes left by graduation.

As for losses to graduation, Ferrum is going to definitely have some holes to fill. Some of those names that are gone are Raymond Alexander, Christian Caldwell, JA'Kari Williams, Titus Jones and Daniel Lamb, just to name a few. One of the biggest losses from last year did not come from graduation, as star Wide Receiver Tmahdae Penn transferred to DII school Emory and Henry. While this is a tough pill to swallow, Ferrum has quite a full stable of athletes. Among them are 18 Wide Receivers listed on the roster.

Other positions have the following depth:

Corner Backs 14

Defensive Backs 1

Defensive Ends 13

Defensive Linemen 7

Fullbacks 5

K-K/P  3

Linebackers 26

Long Snappers 2

Offensive Linemen 22

Quarterbacks 8

Running Backs 9

Safeties 11

Tight Ends 5


If my math is correct, that gives Ferrum a 144-man roster. To my knowledge that may be the most ever suited up at one time for the Black and Gold. I have not had a lot of time to research the Freshmen, but of the 144, 65 are new recruits. Other roster numbers show that of the eight quarterbacks, 6 are Freshmen, and 2 are Sophomores. 9 of the 22 Offensive Linemen are 300 lbs. or better with the heaviest being Quintell Henderson at 6' 380 lbs.

My biggest concern is the lack of Defensive Linemen. While there is pretty solid experience on the DL, the fact that there seem to be so few worries me that injuries could leave the DL vulnerable. I think it will be a wait and see proposition. There is good returning experience, but I feel this team is overall pretty young. I am hoping for the team to bond, and to fully buy into the coaches' game plan. I have reason for optimism, but we will have to wait and see.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Ferrum Falls to Wasps
Closes season at 6-4

 It was a tough day for the Panthers most of the game. The last game of the season with no conference hopes available, and playing on the road against a non conference foe made the outcome, no matter what it was, sort of anti climactic. To me it seems like it may be hard to get up for this game, but there was the crooked road trophy to play for.  The tie that binds there two SWVA rivals. This game loomed as possibly the final crooked road classic, as Emory and Henry will move to the DII ranks next year. While I had an inkling that this may be a tough one to get motivated for, I was clearly wrong. Ferrum was ready to go, and fought really hard in this one.

The Wasps opened the scoring on a 37 yard pass from Kyle Short to Jermawn Ford. This came with 12:52 left in the first quarter. The extra point was missed leaving the score 6-0. With just over a minute elapsing on the clock, Ferrum answered with a 35 yard Seth Deaton field goad, closing the Wasps lead to 6-3. Emory and Henry would answer back with another Jermawn reception, this time of 15 yards, making the score 13-3. 

Ferrum did not waste any time as Josh Ellerbe capped of a 69 yard drive with a one yard run to make the score 13-10. The home team would strike for one more score as Devonte Jordan scored from 2 yards out with 0:40 left in the first quarter making the score 20-10.

The second quarter would only yield one score as Cameron Jones hit a 31 yard field goal to give the Wasps a 23-10 halftime lead.

Ferrum would score first in the second half as Titus Jones hit Joshua Ellerbe on a 53 yard pass. THis brought the Panthers within 6 points as the score was 23-17. Emory and Henry would score three more times in the third quarter to extend the lead to 41-17. Ferrum would score once more in the fourth quarter when Deven Gray hauled in a 10 yard pass from Jones. The extra point was missed and the final score would be E&H 41 Ferrum 23.

This was a tough game, but Ferrum played hard the whole game and while ending the season with a loss, they have laid the foundation for a strong, bright future. This season has shown me as a Ferrum fan something. Ferrum is moving in a strong steady direction and will definitely be a force to contend with in the next few years. I believe that by 2024, Ferrum will bring home an ODAC championship.

There will be roster losses to graduation, and there are areas that need to be addressed, but make no mistake, Ferrum can and will have success recruiting, and this will lead to a championship.

It was a good year Ferrum. No you are not in the playoffs, but stand tall, you are on the right path.


Go Panthers!

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Ferrum @ Emory and Henry

 The Panthers look to close their season out with a road win in what will be the last version of the Crooked Road Classic. The Emory and Henry Wasps will be climbing the ranks and becoming a Division II program next year. Ferrum will arrive in Emory Va. with a 6-3 record to face the 5-4 Wasps. Some of Emory and Henry's most interesting game results have been:

Loss to Randolph-Macon 34-31

Win over Hampden-Sydney 37-13

Loss to Shenandoah 9-7

Loss to Washington and Lee 30-28


Comparing the two teams:


On Offense E&H is averaging 436 yards of offense per game. Ferrum is averaging 389.7 ypg.

Of those the Wasps are averaging 254 rushing per game, while Ferrum is averaging 135.2 ypg.

E&H through the air has a 182 ypg average while Ferrum is gaining 254.4 yards per game by pass.

The Wasps are averaging 39 points per game, and Ferrum is averaging 28.3

E&H's defense is allowing 19.6 points per game, and Ferrum's defense is giving up 28.1 ppg.


While on the surface this may come across as a meaningless game, I think nothing could be further from the truth. This may be the final installment of the Crooked Road Classic, and the Cup needs to come back to Ferrum. Look for these two teams to play like this is a championship on the line. Some of the above stats on the surface do not appear bode well for Ferrum, but I think this game could easily defy those statistics. During this season, I have been very impressed at Ferrum's level of preparation for their opponents. I do not expect today to be any different as I am betting the coaching staff will have the boys ready to go. The game has many meanings. A 7-3 record would mean a lot to this team, but for the Seniors, it would mean even more. Today marks the last time the Seniors will strap the Black Hat on. It ends a career that for most began either in middle school, or possibly in Pee Wee football. It is likely the last time they will wear a football uniform. It is for these reasons that I think Ferrum will have just a little something extra in the tank today and bring back a win for Ferrum. Thank you, Seniors!

Go Panthers!

Ferrum 32

E&H 28

Ferrum Falls Short, but Gave the Generals All They Wanted

What a game! Ferrum went into this one with but one mission. Upsetting the Generals of Washington and Lee, and they almost pulled it off. This game was just an all-out slugfest as the lead in the game changed hands 6 times. The Generals came into the game with a chance to capture the ODAC crown, and at days end they were the conference champs but by no means did Ferrum make it easy for them.

The Leads- 

>Ferrum would get on the board first with 7:42 left in the first quarter on a 6 yard pass from Titus Jones to Deven Gray. The xp made the score 7-0. 

> W&L would not score until 5:54 left in the first half when Coby Kirkland took it in from 2 yards out to tie the score at 7.

> Kirkland would again find the endzone for the Generals as time expired in the first half. W&L 14  Ferrum 7.

>Ferrum's Seth Deaton would provide the only points of the third quarter as he hit a 36-yard field goal to make the score 14-10.

>As the fourth quarter was just underway, Titus Jones hit Nic Cook for a 14-yard touchdown and Ferrum re took the lead 17-14 with 14:47 remaining in the game.

>W&L would come back and capture the lead again as Stephen Murrin would run the ball in from 6 yards with 9:57 left. W&L 21 Ferrum 17.

> Titus Jones would give Ferrum the lead back with 5:49 left as he scored on a one-yard run after leading an 8 play, 70-yard drive. Ferrum 24 W&L 21.

The Generals would score with 1:42 left in the game to ice the win as Josh Breece found the endzone from 1 yard out. W&L 28 Ferrum 24.

This was possibly the most exciting game Ferrum has played this season, and they really stood toe to toe with Washington and Lee. I wish it could have turned out differently, but the Generals are going to the D-3 playoffs. Ferrum played an excellent game, and has absolutely nothing to regret about their effort in this one. The Panthers will close their season out on the road next week as they travel to Emory and Henry for what may be another barn burner. 

Lastly, I want to acknowledge a few comments that came up after the pregame post. There were several readers who were concerned that I maybe should not predict a winner and loser before a game. I totally understand that feeling as I have wondered the same thing. I want to be as accurate as possible, and that is just the way I saw the game turning out. I have also been criticized before for picking the Panthers to win too often, being called a "homer" and not being realistic. So, is the score prediction necessary? No, I could totally omit that part of the post, but this is about trying to put out an accurate portrayal of what I think the game will be like. Picking Ferrum to win in every situation is not realistic, at least to me not right now. I will say that Ferrum's football program is really headed in a positive direction. The coaching staff has done a superb job with this team, and I think they have gotten stronger as time has gone on. Given just a couple of more successful recruiting classes, and I think you will see the ODAC trophy coming to Ferrum in the not-too-distant future. But to be the best, you have to beat the best, and Ferrum is getting closer, but they are not quite there yet. They have a huge foundation to build on from this season, and while there is one more game to play, Ferrum has a bright football future and there should be a lot of Ws down the road. Thanks to everyone for reading the blog!

Go Panthers!


Friday, November 5, 2021

Ferrum @ Washington and Lee

 On to Lexington! After posting a big Senior Day win over Guilford, Ferrum heads up I 81 to take on the Generals of Washington and Lee. The Generals are the first place team in the conference with a 7-1 record. They rely on a strong running game as they have accumulated 2767 yards on the ground. They have a stable of running backs and run a triple option type of attack, but from video I have been able to find online, it seems to be run out of a shotgun formation. Not your typical  wishbone by any means, but the triple option can be run in many ways. No. 1 Josh Breece seems to be the work horse for W&L. He has a lot of speed, and has carried the ball 118 times for 652 yards with 10 touchdowns on the season. Quarterback duties look to be primarily carried out by No. 6 Stephen Murrin. Murrin has carried the ball 66 times for 488 yards and he has scored 4 touchdowns. This team seems to have a very capable offensive line which has allowed the triple option to be as successful as it has. 

The defense is led by #51 David Onyejekwe, a 6'1" Linebacker out of McLean High School. Onyejekwe leads the team in tackles with 23 solo tackles and 23 tackle assists. He has 1 interception on the year. If there is an area Ferrum can exploit, it may be their pass defense. Most teams that they have played have shown some success through the air. If there is a chance to win this game, Ferrum must be able to stop the option, and limit their time of possession. Take advantage of their secondary with a strong passing attack, and do not give them anything.....especially in the way of penalties. This is going to be a difficult climb. The Generals are on a roll, and can claim the conference crown with a win Saturday. Ferrum is not in the running for the conference crown with two losses, but they could sure throw the conference race into a tailspin with a win Saturday.

All in all Ferrum has it's work cut out for them. If Ferrum can play solid football with few mistakes then they can win. Overall I think the task will prove to be too much for the Panthers.


Washington and Lee 41

Ferrum 32

Go Panthers!