Frostburg Football Routs W&J
In another matchup against one of the most successful football programs in NCAA Division III, Frostburg State University (FSU) football rode strong defense and a balanced offense to a 46-23 victory over Washington and Jefferson University (W&J). This second round game of the NCAA Division III football playoffs was played on Saturday, Nov. 25.
W&J entered the contest with one of the nation’s most effective passing attacks, and initially it looked as if that passing attack might make quick work of the FSU defense. On the first drive of the game, W&J quarterback Alex Rowse found Cody Hearst for a 21-yard touchdown pass that capped off a drive that went 70 yards in only 1:27. That proved to be the last time that W&J would lead in the ballgame, however, with FSU quickly unleashing both its offense and its defense.
On their first offensive drive of the game, the Bobcats drove down the field and were kept alive by a fourth down conversion that saw junior quarterback Connor Cox picking up the first down on the run. Later in the drive, the Bobcats evened the score with a 3-yard touchdown run by junior running back Jamaal Morant. With the score tied, the FSU defense showed why they have been considered one of the nation’s best throughout the season. On the ensuing W&J drive, senior linebacker Shawn Magginson picked up a huge sack of Rowse, and shortly thereafter fellow senior linebacker Aaron Gibson intercepted the W&J quarterback. Later in the first quarter, senior FSU kicker Hassan Mostafa gave Frostburg it’s first lead with a 33-yard field goal to bring the score to 10-7.
In the second quarter, FSU added to their lead with a second Morant touchdown run, this time from 4 yards out with 11:49 remaining in the half. Frostburg continued to demonstrate their defensive, allowing only a lone field goal for W&J in the period to bring the halftime score to 17-10 in favor of the Bobcats.
In the second half, Frostburg State’s offense got off to a ferocious start. On the first drive of the second half, FSU sophomore running back Gavin Lavat picked up a huge gain with a 54-yard run. Later in the drive, Cox found star junior wide receiver Sergio Andino for a 7-yard touchdown pass, and Mostafa’s extra point brought the score to 24-10. Following another W&J touchdown and an interception of Cox, Washington and Jefferson looked poised to even the score. At that point, the FSU secondary stepped up in a big way when sophomore defensive back Vincent Persichetti intercepted Rowse and returned the ball 67 yards. Later in the drive, Mostafa again extended the FSU lead with a 23-yard field goal. On the ensuing W&J drive, Persichetti again came up big with a second interception for FSU, and the Bobcats capitalized with a Cox touchdown pass to junior tight end Christian DiPaola, who raced down the sideline after the catch and dove for the touchdown. FSU led at the end of the third quarter 34-17, and in the final frame the Bobcat defense continued to halt the W&J offense and limit it to one score. Lavat added a touchdown of his own for the Bobcats with a 30-yard run with 13:28 remaining in the game, the FSU defense forced a late safety, and Mostafa kicked another field goal to bring the final score to 46-23 in favor of the Frostburg State University Bobcats.
Through the air, Cox led the Bobcats with 140 yards passing and two touchdowns. DiPaola led FSU with 55 receving yards and one touchdown, and Andino added 30 receiving yards and one touchdown. In the running game, Lavat ran for 147 yards and one touchdown, and Morant added 86 yards and two touchdowns. For the Bobcat defense, Graylin Walker and Josh Washington led the team with 6 tackles each. With the victory, Frostburg State again demonstrate the strength of its defense and the versatility of its offense.