Frostburg State faces Widener for just the second time ever and the first time at Leslie C. Quick, Jr. Stadium. The Bobcats look to snap a four-game losing streak, their longest skid since 1987, while the Pioneers seek their first back-to-back victories of the season. It's Widener's Homecoming game, but it will also be a homecoming for Bobcat Head Coach Rubin Stevenson, a graduate of Chester (Pa.) High School.
Frostburg State hopes to rebound from a 22-0 loss to Wesley last Saturday. The Bobcats suffered their first shutout since October 29, 1988 (9-0 at Apprentice), a span of 162 games, and their first shutout loss at home since October 24, 1987 (49-0 to Dayton).
Frostburg State was held to just 150 total yards, including 10 rushing yards, committed three turnovers, turned the ball over twice on downs and punted 12 times.
Widener is coming off a 52-35 upset of then-No. 24 Albright last Saturday. Senior wide receiver Tyreak Saviour caught ten passes for a game-high 193 yards and three touchdowns to lead the win. Widener currently owns 598 wins in program history and is seeking to become just the second Division III program to record 600 all-time victories.
Widener owns a 1-0 lead in the brief series, having posted a 26-19 overtime win last season at Bobcat Stadium.
Frostburg State Head Coach Rubin Stevenson (Salisbury ‘87) is in his fifth season at the helm of the Bobcat program. Stevenson, who holds a 20-24 record, 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’s squad won nine straight ACFC games from October 27, 2001 to September 25, 2004.
Widener Head Coach David Wood (Widener ‘91) is in his second season guiding his alma mater. The first alumnus to direct the Pioneer football program, he has led the team to a 7-8 record. Wood served as the football program's defensive coordinator since rejoining the Widener staff in 1997. He was previously an assistant coach at Widener from 1991-95 before coaching the running backs at Division I Lehigh University for the 1996 season. Wood coached the secondary unit for his first year at Widener before coaching the running backs in 1993. Beginning in 1995 he became the special teams coordinator and linebackers coach until his departure following that season. Wood is also in his fourth season as Widener’s head golf coach.
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS
The Pioneers posted a stunning 52-35 road upset of No. 24 Albright last week. Senior wide receiver Tyreak Saviour caught 10 passes for a game-high 193 yards and three touchdowns, while freshman running back Dominic Rock rushed for 83 yards and two scores. Senior quarterback Mike Lomas finished 24-of-42 for 351 yards and four scores.
The Pioneers forced seven turnovers, generating 21 points, and recorded seven sacks. Sophomore David Barger had an outstanding game with 11 tackles, including five for loss and four sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery for a touchdown. Widener ran 85 plays for 483 yards (5.7-yard average) and converted 11-of-18 third downs.
Lomas is 115-of-222 for 1,407 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. Saviour is averaging 12.9 yards per catch (38-492), while junior Jeff Chick is averaging 12.3 yards per reception (32-394).
The Pioneers are averaging 84.6 rushing yards per game but broke loose for a season-high 132 against Albright. Senior Bob Warden leads the way with 265 yards on 74 carries, while Rock has 114 yards on 20 attempts.
Senior linebacker Nick Rubino and senior defensive back Fran Golden each have 39 tackles to pace the defense.
BOBCATS LAST WEEK
Wesley scored 16 points in the third quarter to break open a tight battle en route to a 22-0 victory over Frostburg State in Atlantic Central Football Conference action last week at Bobcat Stadium.
The Wolverines improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACFC, while the Bobcats fell to 1-4 overall and 1-3.
FSU was shut out for the first time since a 9-0 loss at Apprentice October 29, 1988, a span of 162 games. It was also the Bobcats’ first shutout loss at home since a 49-0 defeat to Dayton October 24, 1987.
The first half was a defensive struggle that ended with Wesley holding a 3-0 lead at the break on a 22-yard field goal by Chris Carlton with 5:58 left in the second quarter. The Wolverines had other opportunities, but Carlton missed field goal tries from 47 yards and 35 yards and junior Kevin Nelson fumbled at the Bobcat five to end another threat.
Wesley finally found the end zone when senior safety Rocky Myers stepped in front of a pass by Bobcat sophomore Jimmy Ward and returned the ball 30 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the half. The lead grew to 16-0 as sophomore Chris Warrick found a wide-open Nelson down the far side of the field for a 15-yard touchdown with 4:59 left in the third. Carlton’s extra point attempt was no good.
Carlton added a 22-yard field goalwith 2:33 left in the third and capped the scoing with a 29-yarder with 13:37 remaining.
Frostburg State had three chances to score in the fourth quarter but came up empty. Romaine knocked the ball loose from Nelson and the Bobcats recovered at the Wesley 24 with 8:32 to play, but a fourth-and-four pass from the 18 was incomplete and the Wolverines took over on downs.
Freshman Johan Owens then picked off a Warrick pass and returned it 32 yards to the Wesley 11 with 3:00 remaining. However, four straight passes into the end zone were incomplete and gave the Wolverines the ball back with 2:30 to go.
FSU had one final attempt after forcing a punt and taking over at the Wesley 30 with 50 seconds left. A pass interference penalty set the Bobcats up at the Wesley five in the closing seconds, but Ward threw three straight incompletions into the end zone, and his final pass of the day was tipped by sophomore Mario Harris and picked off by senior Chris Horsey at the one as time expired.
Nelson, who came into the day ranked eighth in the nation at 160.5 rushing yards per game, was held to 86 yards on 25 carries. Senior Ken Busch added 81 yards on 21 carries as Wesley amassed 183 of its 337 total yards on the ground.
Warrick was 12-of-24 for 154 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Frostburg State managed just 150 yards on 82 offensive plays, a 1.8-yard average. The Bobcats gained just 10 rushing yards on 31 carries for the day.
Sophomore Antoine Lewis led FSU with 22 yards on nine carries in his first start of the season. Ward completed 21-of-51 passes for 140 yards but threw three interceptions and was sacked five times.
Myers led Wesley with eight tackles, while junior Chris Lentz had a game-high 13 stops for FSU.
BREAKING UP THE SHUTOUT
Frostburg State didn’t allow a point in the third quarter in its first four games of the year. Wesley snapped that streak with 16 points last week.
Frostburg State junior linebacker Chris Lentz recorded his second straight 13-tackle performance in last week’s loss to Wesley. Lentz, whose career-high mark is 15 stops against Waynesburg last season, ranks third in the ACFC with 10.8 tackles per game this season.
Frostburg State has allowed 20 sacks in just five games this season. The Bobcats gave up 17 in nine games last year, 11 in 11 games in 2002 and nine in nine games in 2001.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303