Game # 1
Frostburg State Bobcats (4-6, 3-3 ACFC in 2000)
Marist Red Foxes (6-4, 5-2 MAAC in 2000)
Saturday, September 8, 2001 • 7:00 p.m.
Leonidoff Field • Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
RADIO: WFWM, 91.9 FM Frostburg
FSU KICKS OFF 2001 WITH FIRST-EVER MEETING WITH I-AA MARIST
Looking to return to its winning ways after an injury-riddled 4-6 campaign that snapped its string of 11 consecutive winning seasons, the Frostburg State University football team heads north to start its 2001 slate against Division I-AA Marist College. The Bobcats return 23 letterwinners and 13 starters from a team that dropped three games by 10 points or less a year ago.
The Bobcats will look to increased production from their offense, which sustained several key injuries along the line and in the backfield and averaged just 15.5 points per game last season.
This year's unit features a projected starting front line that could rank among the best in school history. FSU will have senior tackle Phil Wagner and junior guard Matt Smith, who earned second-team All-ACFC selection last year, protecting the left side. Junior Ryan Long will handle the starting center duties and also continues as the team's long snapper.
The right side will feature sophomore guard Jason Cutsail, who enjoyed a solid rookie season in 2000, and junior tackle Chris Golliday, who underwent major back surgery in the spring of 2000 before returning for the final three games last season and graded out as the team's best offensive lineman over that span.
Senior Andrew Dinbokowitz (10 catches for 88 yards, 2 TD) should again be one of the top tight ends in the ACFC, while junior Aaron Deeb (11 catches for 107 yards, 1 TD) and sophomore transfer Anthony Long (Liberty University) will be among FSU's primary targets.
The Bobcat running attack will benefit from the healthy return of senior DeNelle Hale, who was limited him to just 56 carries for 136 yards and a touchdown last year due to injuries. Hale looks to return to his form of 1999, when he earned second-team All-ACFC honors after leading FSU with 209 carries and 957 yards while adding eight touchdowns.
An area of confidence is at quarterback, where redshirt sophomore Grant Burrough (26-of-56 for 261 yards, 3 TD) returns as the scheduled starter. He stepped into the starting lineup in the final three games last season, completing 26-of-56 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns and guiding the Bobcats to victories over New Jersey City and Greensboro. He will be among the keys to the team's offensive success in 2001.
The Bobcat defense, which has led the ACFC in sacks in each of the last two seasons, will feature another strong front four led by junior end Allen Jordan.The first-team All-ACFC and honorable mention All-ECAC Southwest selection posted 72 tackles and led the ACFC with nine sacks and 21 tackles for loss.
Joining Jordan on the opposite end will be junior Ron Luczak (58 tackles, 14 TFL, 4 sacks), who earned All-ACFC honorable mention recognition last season.
Junior George O'Brien is the frontrunner for the starting nod at defensive tackle. He moved from the end to the middle of the line late last season and showed marked improvement. Senior Kurtus Ormberg is the leading candidate to start at nose guard after appearing in three games and recording six tackles last year.
One major change for the Bobcats will be at linebacker, where Stevenson loses all four of last year’s starters from an area that has been a traditional strength of the FSU defense. Senior Jed Smith and sophomores A.B. Wilson and John McGraw, who combined to play in just six games last season, will battle for the outside positions and will be looked upon for quick development and strong production.
The inside spots will feature a combination of junior Junior Carmona, sophomores Andrew Siebert and David Lightner and freshman Tom Maholchic. Carmona, Siebert and Lightner saw limited action a year ago.
The Bobcats took a hit with the loss of career interception leader Brian McElhenny (19 picks) to graduation, but they do return solid experience with fifth-year senior Derek Kirk at one of the cornerback positions. Kirk earned All-ACFC honorable mention honors after tying for third in the league with 10 passes defended and finishing tied for fourth with four interceptions. A young group of returning players as well as several newcomers will be vying for the other cornerback position as well as the free safety spot.
On special teams, Long will again handle the long-snapping duties, while Hale will double as the team's punt returner after his 15 returns for 117 yards a year ago. Carroll, Kirk and Pearson also saw action as kickoff and punt returners last season and may do so again in 2001.
Freshman Nick Quisgard will be the team’s punter and field goal kicker, while fellow rookie Jarred Boehner, an All-Met honorable mention selection, will be the kickoff specialist.
With a challenging schedule, Stevenson knows his players have their work cut out for them, both with handling their opponents and with staying on the field.
"We need to stay healthy, and our offense may have to tow the line while our young guys on defense mature. We want to get back to the winning ways for which Frostburg State football is known."
SCOUTING THE RED FOXES
Marist returns 12 starters from last year’s squad that finished 6-4 overall and 5-2 (third) in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
The Red Fox ground attack will again be led by juniors Alfredo Riullano (145 att., 832 yds., 6 TD) and Chris Price (151 att., 723 yds., 4 TD), who combined to account for over 80 percent of the team’s rushing yards last season.
Junior John Corneliusen takes over a quarterback after appearing in four games and completing 22-of-33 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns last season.Among Corneliusen’s favorite targets should be senior Sean Stellato (14 rec., 200 yds., 14.3 avg., 3 TDs) and junior Jason Hooper (11 rec., 150 yds, 13.6 avg., 0 TDs). The Red Foxes ran 489 times last season, while throwing just 189 passes and completing 90.
With the loss of four of their top six tacklers from a year ago, Marist will count on senior DL Tim Cullen (58 TT, 15 TFL, 2.5 SKS) and junior OLB Shawn Lawson (55TT, 4 TFL, 2.5 SKS) to lead the defensive charge.
Frostburg State is just 16-23-1 all-time in season-opening games. However, they have started their year with a win in six of the last eight season.
This is the first-ever meeting between Frostburg State and Marist.
YOUR LOSS IS THEIR GAIN
The Bobcat defensive line will feature one of the most talented pair of ends in the region. Junior Allen Jordan led the ACFC with 9.0 sacks (65 yards) and 21 tackles for loss (94 yards) in 2000. He now has 14.0 sacks and 38 tackles for loss in just 21career games for the Bobcats. Fellow junior Ronald Luczak recorded 4.0 sacks (15 yards) and 14 tackles for loss (39 yards) last season.
Senior running back DeNelle Hale is looking to rebound from an injury-riddled junior season (56 carries for 136 yards, 1TD) and post numbers similar to his sophomore year in which he rushed 209 times for a team-high 957 yards and eight TDs. He should also benefit from a healthy offensive line in 2001 after injuries wreaked havoc of the Bobcat blocking unit throughout last season.
TWICE AS NICE
Hale would like nothing better than to repeat his past success with both the Bobcat football and basketball teams. The senior, who trades his spikes for high tops as a point guard on the hardwood, is the only FSU player in school history to win both an Atlantic Central Football Conference title (1999) and an Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship (2001).
LAST WEEK AROUND THE ACFC
In last week's season-opening action, Wesley defeated Ferrum, 20-3, behind Jason Visconti's three touchdown passes; Salisbury downed Christopher Newport 21-6 as Sea Gull quarterback Mac Mollet ran for two scores and passed for another; and Apprentice held off Greensboro, 34-27, on the strength of quarterback Terrance Patrick's 23-of-34 passing for 310 yards and three touchdowns.
THIS WEEK IN THE ACFC
Wesley hosts Rowan, Salisbury visits William Paterson and Apprentice is at Bethany (W.Va.)
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303