Football Faces No. 10 Montclair State in Road Tilt Saturday
Frostburg State meets Montclair State for just the fourth time ever Saturday in the home opener for the Red Hawks. The Bobcats are looking to go 2-0 for the 12th time in school history and the first time since 1999.
ON THE AIR
Saturday's Frostburg State-Montclair State can be heard live on 91.9 WFWM Frostburg. The game will also be carried live on the internet at www.wfwm.org. The pregame show with Jeff Krone and Bernard Wynder will start at 12:45 pm with kickoff to follow at 1 pm.
Frostburg State opened its 44th season of football with a 14-0 blanking of Apprentice last Saturday at Bobcat Stadium. The Bobcats posted just the second season-opening shutout in school history (the other was 21-0 over Gallaudet in 1965) and their first overall shutout since a 13-0 win over New Jersey City October 21, 2000.
Montclair State was idle last week. The Red Hawks opened their season September 3 with a 42-27 victory at Division I-AA Iona. MSU picked off five passes and returned two for touchdowns.
The Red Hawks have won all three previous meetings with the Bobcats. Montclair won the first-ever match-up, 20-0 in 1962, and also posted a 30-27 victory at Sprague Field in 2002. The Red Hawks won last year’s meeting 27-3 in Frostburg in a game postponed a day due to Hurricane Isabel.
A pair of Frostburg State defensive players earned Atlantic Central Football Conference weekly honors for their efforts in a 14-0 win over Apprentice last Saturday.
Bobcat senior defensive end Kevin Culbert took home ACFC Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors after making a game-high 14 tackles, including 5.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks. Freshman linebacker Moses Fokou was named the ACFC Rookie of the Week after making 10 tackles, including one for loss and a half sack, in his collegiate debut.
FSU’s held Apprentice to 191 yards on 71 plays, a paltry 2.7-yard average.
WARD-ING OFF THE JITTERS
Sophomore quarterback Jimmy Ward’s first pass attempt of 2004 was one to forget, as he fumbled the ball at the FSU 35 while rolling to his right on just the third play from scrimmage. Ward, making just his second collegiate start, shook off the miscue and went on to complete 10-of-19 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns (74, 45) in a 14-0 win over Apprentice.
His career start came against Oberlin October 5, 2002 when he completed 1-of-4 passes for three yards as a true freshman. Ward red-shirted last season.
Senior defensive back Turon Kendrick thwarted a pair of Apprentice scoring chances with interceptions deep in FSU territory. His first came at the FSU one-yard line in the opening minutes of the third quarter, and his second came at the Bobcat 19 early in the fourth. Kendrick had two interceptions all last season.
With its 14-0 win over Apprentice last Saturday, Frostburg State has now won four straight openers and 10 of its last 12. The Bobcats improved to 20-23-1 all-time in season-opening games.
IN THE RANKINGS
Montclair State is one of four Bobcat opponents ranked in various national polls this week. The Red Hawks are No. 10 by D3football.com, No. 14 by Don Hansen’s Football Gazette and No. 18 by AFCA. Waynesburg (No. 23, No. 25 and NR, respectively), Salisbury (No. 25, No. 30, No. 20) and Brockport (T-40th, No. 31, NR) are also ranked this week.
The Bobcats have added four new members to the coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Mike Silecchia and defensive line coach Trevor Zeiders. Silecchia was the head coach at Lebanon Valley the last six years and previously served as the offensive line coach at Lycoming for three seasons, helping the Warriors reach the national quarterfinals in 1995, the national semifinals in 1996 and the national championship game in 1997. Zeiders served the last three seasons as the defensive line coach at Gettysburg. The WVU graduate was also a student-assistant for the Mountaineers when they defeated Mississippi 49-38 in the 2000 Music City Bowl. Mike Boni (inside linebackers) and Jeremy Cheshire (offensive line) also join the Bobcats as graduate assistant coaches.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS ...
Frostburg State has won two straight Atlantic Central Football Conference championships and three overall in the league’s five-year history. The Bobcats won the conference’s first official title in 1999 (Wesley finished 3-0 in the ACFC in 1998 but scheduling difficulties prevented a full league schedule). Wesley won back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001.
BUT NOT THE FAVORITES
Despite winning the past two ACFC titles, Frostburg State is picked to finish third in the league according to the preseason coaches poll. League newcomer SUNY Brockport, which has advanced to the NCAA playoffs each of the last five seasons, is the favorite, while Salisbury, the runner-up to FSU the last two years, is predicted to finish second.
2004 ACFC Preseason Coaches Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses)
1. SUNY Brockport 25 (5)
2. Salisbury 18 (1)
3. Frostburg State 17
4. Wesley 15
5. Buffalo State 10
6. Apprentice 5
TAKING HOME THE (PRESEASON) HARDWARE
Senior defensive end Kevin Culbert has earned pre-season All-America honors from Don Hansen's Football Gazette (first team), Lindy's Magazine (second team) and D3football.com (second team). The 6-5, 235-pound Culbert led the Bobcats with 80 tackles, 47 solo tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 10.0 sacks and two forced fumbles in 2003. He also added three pass breakups, a blocked kick and a safety.
Frostburg State is coached by Rubin Stevenson (Salisbury ‘87), who is in his fifth season at the helm of the Bobcat program. Stevenson is 20-20 in his four seasons and has led FSU to two ACFC championships (2002 & 2003), three Regents Cup titles (2001, 2002 & 2003 – awarded to the annual winner of the FSU-Salisbury game) and one ECAC Southwest Championship game appearance (2002). Stevenson has led the Bobcats to nine straight ACFC wins dating back to October 27, 2001.
Montclair State is guided by Rick Giancola (Glassboro State - now Rowan - ‘68), who is in his 22nd season. He is the all-time winningest coach in MSU history with 148 wins (148-68-2/.683). Giancola has led the Red Hawks to eight New Jersey Athletic Conference titles (1983-86, 1989, 1999, 2000, 2003) and seven NCAA playoff appearances (1983-86, 1989, 1999-2001, 2003). He began the 2004 season ranked ninth all-time in Division III in victories and 31st in winning percentage.
SCOUTING THE RED HAWKS
Freshman running back Josh Walkowitz rushed for two fourth-quarter touchdowns and sophomore defensive back Derrick Simmons returned a pass 50 yards for the final score as Montclair State, ranked 10th in Division III, scored 21 points in the final period for a 42-27 victory over Division I-AA Iona College at Mazzella Field on Saturday afternoon.
Senior wide receiver Steve Armstrong caught six passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns as the Red Hawks saw a 21-6 halftime lead evaporate before rebounding to snap a two-game opening-day losing streak and take a 3-2 lead in the series with the Gaels (0-1). It was the first time that the visiting team won a game in the short series.
Montclair built its 15-point lead at half thanks in part to four interceptions in the first 30 minutes, however, the Gaels came back as William Martini scored on a one yard run (two-point conversion added) and Rick Wroblewski pulled down a five-yard pass from BJ Antonelli to tie the game at 21-21 with 13:26 to play in the fourth.
The Red Hawks would regain the momentum with an 85-yard drive as quarterback Mike Passero connected on two third-down conversions before Walkowitz burst 38 yards for the touchdown and a 28-21 lead.
Iona would not go away as it used a solid kickoff return to midfield and pulled within one with 6:45 left as Dennis Calacione brought down a 36-yard pass from Antonelli. Montclair would then keep the lead as Morgan Burklow blocked the extra point.
The teams then traded possessions before Montclair State added to the lead with a 61-yard drive. Eugene Vick picked up a large part of the yardage as he ran 38 yards with another 15 added on a personal foul penalty. MSU moved to the one yard line and went for it on 4th-and-1. The move paid off as Walkowitz dove in for the touchdown with 1:11 to play. Simmons would seal the game as he intercepted Antonelli's pass and returned it for the touchdown.
Passero, making his first start for Montclair State completed 11-of-21 for 204 yards. Vick carried 23 times for 118 yards while Walkowitz gained 55 yards on his seven carries.
Seay Fletcher collected 14 tackles while Burklow added nine. Troy Bishop, Shawn Murray and Sal Fama accounted for the other MSU interceptions.
Calacione had six catches for 138 yards while Antonelli completed 15-of-36 passes for 233 yards. Rudy Arcara rushed for 83 yards on 20 carries.
Montclair State jumped out to a 7-0 lead with 9:34 to play in the first quarter as Passero hit Armstrong in stride for a 76-yard touchdown. Iona would answer as a penalty negated what would have been a sixth Red Hawk interception and the Gael capitalized as Antonelli hit Campbell from 10 yards out. The extra point was wide left.
The Red Hawks went back on top on its next possession as Passero and Armstrong hooked up again, this time on a 42-yard score for a 14-6 lead. Linebacker Fred DeFinis extended the lead to 21-6 early in the second as he intercepted a pass and raced 49 yards for a score.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303