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Football to Host Wesley in Key ACFC Tilt
10/07/2004

THE GAME
Frostburg State and Wesley meet in a crucial Atlantic Central Football Conference battle Saturday. The Bobcats are 1-2 in the league and need to win their final three conference games to even have a shot of claiming a third straight ACFC crown. Wesley, playing its fourth straight road game, is 1-0 in the ACFC and starts a four-game league stretch today.

THE TEAMS
Frostburg State looks to rebound from a 16-9 ACFC defeat at Buffalo State and avoid its first four-game losing streak since the 1987 season. The Bobcats managed just 11 first downs and 153 total yards in the contest. FSU threw two interceptions, lost a fumble, had a punt blocked and gave up eight sacks.

Wesley is coming off a 24-10 loss at Carnegie Mellon last Saturday. It was the Wolverines’ third of four straight road games.

THE SERIES
Frostburg State owns a 9-2 lead in the all-time series with Wesley. The Bobcats won the first seven meetings before the Wolverines won back-to-back contests in 2000 and 2001. FSU has won the last two meetings, including a 37-18 victory at Bobcat Stadium in 2002.

THE COACHES
Frostburg State Head Coach Rubin Stevenson (Salisbury ‘87) is in his fifth season at the helm of the Bobcat program. Stevenson, who holds a 20-23 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.

Mike Drass (Mansfield ‘86) is in his 12th season as Wesley’s Head Football Coach & Associate Athletic Director. He has led the Wolverines to an 80-35-1 overall record and six post-season appearances. Drass was honored as the 2001 ACFC Coach of the Year after Wesley won the conference and was undefeated in league play. Drass coordinates the Wesley defense and has spearheaded the Wolverines’ recruiting since his arrival at Wesley in 1989. The Wolverines led the ACFC in total defense in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and have held Top 25 total defense rankings in eight of the last 12 seasons.

SCOUTING THE WOLVERINES
Wesley plays its fourth straight road game today looking to rebound from a 24-10 loss to Carnegie Mellon last week. Junior tailback Kevin Nelson ran 28 times for 177 yards in the game, but CMU used two interceptions to set up a pair of one-yard touchdown runs and found the end zone again off a fake field goal to build a 21-10 lead at halftime.

Wesley got on the scoreboard with a 32-yard field goal by junior Chris Carlton and an eight-yard touchdown run by senior Ken Busch. The Wolverines amassed 245 yards on the ground but were held to a season-low 90 yards passing.

Wesley boasts the top offense (415.8 total yards per game) and the second-best rushing attack (244.8 rypg) in the ACFC. Nelson has been the catalyst, averaging a league-leading 160.5 rushing yards (eighth in the nation) and 180.8 all-purpose yards per game (ninth in the nation). He has rushed for at least 133 yards in all four games this season, owns an impressive 6.2-yards-per-carry average and paces the squad with five touchdowns. Busch has added 228 yards (6.9-yard average) and four scores on the ground.

Warrick has completed 56-of-111 passes for 679 yards and three touchdowns, but he has been intercepted five times. Freshman Jon Lanouette is Warrick’s favorite target, snaring 19 passes for 251 yards. Senior tight end Josh Kline has nine receptions for 177 yards (a team-high 19.7-yard average) and two touchdowns.

Senior Rocky Myers leads the Wolverine defense with 54 tackles and has added five pass breakups and two interceptions. Sophomore Mike Bush has 26 tackles and two forced fumbles

BOBCATS LAST WEEK
Quarterback Mike Mikolaichik scored on a pair of rushing touchdowns to push Buffalo State past visiting Frostburg State 16-9 in Atlantic Central Football Conference action at muddy Coyer Field.

The Bengals improved to 1-4 overall and 1-1 in the ACFC, while the Bobcats fell to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the league.

Frostburg State got off to a rough start as Carl Jean-Louis intercepted a pass by sophomore Jimmy Ward on the Bobcats’ third play from scrimmage. Buffalo State needed just five plays to go 23 yards, capped off by a nine-yard Mikolaichik run and an Eric Buchanan extra point to give the Bengals their first lead of the season at 7-0.

Buffalo State extended its lead to 10-0 when Buchanan nailed a 20-yard field goal with four seconds left in the first half. The kick was set up by Mike Potter’s 48-yard interception return to the Bobcat 10-yard line.

Frostburg State caught a break when Buffalo State fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half. However, the Bengals drove the Bobcats back seven yards on three plays, and FSU senior Nick Quisgard drilled a 42-yard field goal to put the visitors on the board. The kick tied Quisgard’s career-long mark set last year against Montclair State.

The Bobcats finally found the end zone 37 seconds into the fourth quarter when Ward raced in on a 44-yard keeper. However, the extra point kick failed and the Bengals held on to a 10-9 edge.

Buffalo State took advantage of outstanding field position again midway through the fourth quarter when Potter made another big play, blocking a Frostburg State punt and returning it to the Bobcat 5-yard line. Following a tough goal line stand, Mikolaichik plunged into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the one-yardline. Buffalo State missed the extra point but extended its lead to 16-9.

The Bengals ran out the clock to earn their first victory of the season and first under Head Coach Paul Shaffner.

Frostburg State held a 153-129 advantage in total offensive yards, but the Bengals forced three turnovers and sacked Ward eight times.

Mikolaichik finished the game 6-of-14 for 54 yards and led the Bengals with 34 rushing yards on 13 carries. Perry Taglienti led the defense with 10 tackles, including a sack. David Barabas had eight tackles, including 2.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss.

Junior Chris Lentz paced the Frostburg State defense with 13 tackles. Freshman Gabe Ellis made eight stops, including one sack, in his first career start. Ward was 7-of-14 for 46 yards, while sophomore fullback Josh Keeney was Frostburg State’s leading rusher with 49 yards on 10 carries.

ODDS AND EVENS
Frostburg State has outscored its opponents in both the first and third quarters this season, 17-16 and 10-0 respectively. However, the tables have been turned in the second and fourth periods. Opponents have outscored the Bobcats 27-14 in the second and 26-6 in the fourth.

SCORING WOES
Frostburg State scored just 38 points in its first three games, its lowest stretch to start a season since 1987 (37 points). The Bobcats were held to 14 or fewer points in three consecutive games for the first time since 1988, when they were limited to 0, 10 and 9 points to end the year.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-4371
Fax: 301-687-4780
E-mail: sportsinfo@frostburg.edu