Football Ends Season (6-4) After Falling by a Single Point to Salisbury
The Bobcats traveled southeast to Seagull county Saturday, November 14, for an afternoon clash with their arch rival, Salisbury. The Bobcats built an impressive first half lead and had appeared to have the game put away in the fourth quarter. It was then when Salisbury battled back scoring the go ahead touchdown with just 00:36 left on the clock, handing the Bobcats their third straight loss and claiming the Regents Cup trophy for the 12th straight season.
The Bobcats launched off of the starting blocks in the first half. Quarterback Connor Cox rushed for a 24-yard score in the first quarter and also passed for a touchdown in the second frame. He was able to find wide receiver Myles Burgess in the endzone for six points.
Junior kicker Isaac Robinson accounted for a number of scores as well. Robinson booted two field goals and sent his longest kick of the season just over the crossbar, as he connected from 50 yards out. Robinson’s leg earned Frostburg 9 points on the day, and earned him NJAC special teams’ player of the week for the third time this season. He also earned himself USA football honors as the association’s placekicker of the week.
The Bobcats reached halftime with a 20-0 lead over their rival Seagulls, but Salisbury wouldn’t roll over easily and came into the second half with a comeback on their minds. Despite FSU running back Jordan Brown finding the end zone in the third quarter, there was still no stopping the Gulls who trailed by 20 points entering the 4th quarter.
Salisbury quarterback Ryan Jones passed for three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, finding receivers Aaron Moore, Max Ehrsam and finally Isaiah Taylor to cap the momentous comeback. The occasion marked the 12th straight season that the Seagulls took home the Regent’s Cup Trophy and the narrowest margin of victory for the Gulls over Frostburg in recent memory.
With the loss to Salisbury came a solemn realization that the Bobcats’ postseason hopes may have come to an end. That concern was realized this past Monday, when the bowl selection committee recognized Kean University with a bid in the ECAC Presidents Bowl instead of Frostburg. The Bobcats, who started 6-1, had looked like they were in prime position to nab a DIII bowl game, or even a DIII playoff berth, but losing the final three games of their season dropped their overall record to 6-4 (5-4 NJAC). The three late season losses, to Rowan (6-15), Montclair State (27-33) and arch rival Salisbury (27-28), were all contests decided by less than ten points. While the end of the season news might be filled with gloom and doom, this fall’s football team accomplished what no Bobcat football team had done in ten years: have a winning season.
Led by second-year head coach DeLane Fitzgerald, the Bobcat’s started their season by scoring early and often defeating Geneva, Southern Virginia, William Patterson and Kean all in blowout fashion. The team also capped some narrow wins over the likes of the College of New Jersey and Christopher Newport.
Frostburg will wave goodbye to seniors who have played through all kinds of adversity and finally finished their college football careers with a winning season. Players like Rowan Pickett, Myles Burgess, Percy Haskins and Josh Burch are just a few.
The Bobcats now look forward to the 2016 season, which will showcase an abundance of returning young talent. Quarterback Connor Cox will return for his second season in a Bobcat uniform after transferring from the University of Dayton. Freshman running backs Rashawn Johnson and Gavin Lavat still have three years ahead of them, and there is no doubt there will be an abundance of stars we have never seen play for the varsity team yet.
With the end of this exciting season there may be disappointment in how it concluded, but the blue collar work ethic and never quit attitude that Coach Fitzgerald brings to Frostburg gives us all solace in knowing that this team will never back down. Frostburg Football is back in full force; ready to take on whatever challenges the 2016 season may present them with.