Frostburg State Football Defeats Geneva in Season Opener
Frostburg, MD – The Frostburg State football team started red hot in their season opener against Geneva last Saturday as they defeated their opponents 24-19; 17 points coming in the first quarter for Frostburg. Both the offensive and defensive units played noticeably well under the new head coach DeLane Fitzgerald. The offense rushed for 159 yards and passed for 143 yards. The swarming defense of Frostburg proved to be too much for Geneva, allowing only 26 yards on the ground. Both touchdowns scored by Geneva came very late in the game and their lead was never threatened.
Following a lightning delay, the Bobcats jumped on top early when senior quarterback Kenny Emmons took it to the house on an electric 66 yard designed QB draw play. Much credit is due to sophomore wide out Thomas Moore who threw the key block to spring Emmons loose. The dual threat quarterback Emmons threw for 143 yards and a touchdown, completing 9 passes out of 21 attempts. Emmons connected with junior wide out Haydan Roberts for a 25 yard touchdown reception after sophomore William Sewell stripped Geneva’s quarterback and Rowan Pinkett recovered the ball. Coach Fitzgerald employed a bit of trickery to score Frostburg’s third touchdown. On fourth down Frostburg lined up to attempt a 37 yard field goal or so Geneva thought. Emmons, the holder, flicked the ball to the kicker, Isaac Robinson, who out ran the defenders into the end zone, extending the lead to a comfortable 24-0. Chuky Iweh led all running backs in yards with 43, but did not strike pay dirt. Marcus Smith and Ben Sasu combined for a total of 15 carries as well, but faced a stingy run defense. Look for senior transfer Ben Sasu to continue to get more and more carries as the season progresses. Junior wide receiver, Myles Burgess, led all players with 4 receptions and 76 yards. Only Burgess, Roberts, and Iweh caught passes for the Bobcats.
Coach Fitzgerald and offensive coordinator Tye Hiatt seem to have done an excellent job installing Frostburg’s new and diverse offense. “Playing in Coach Fitzgerald and Hiatt’s offensive system is very exciting” said Emmons, “We are a very multiple offense which is fun to play in because we can give so many different looks to the defense.” Emmons went on to credit the defense for making big plays to help put the offense in scoring position.
The Frostburg defense played well under new defensive coordinator John Kelling. Several defenders stood out for the Bobcats, one of them being junior linebacker Rowan Pinkett, who was named the Empire 8 defensive player of the week and the ECAC Northwest defensive player of the week. The hard hitting Pinkett recorded a team high 12 tackles, one tackle for a loss (16 yards), a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery as well. Pinkett, who led the team last season with 104 tackles surprised no one with his exceptional play.
Senior defensive back Keith Smith, another key member of Frostburg’s defensive unit, had a day as well notching 10 tackles and one pass break up. Smith is a four year starter whose presence is felt by both receivers and running backs when he comes up to stop the run. Sophomore defensive end William Sewell had an excellent game as well. Sewell, who is related to NFL great Vernon Davis, played well with eight tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble.
While excited about the win, Smith remains grounded and focused on the task at hand each week. “It always feels good to win” said Keith Smith, “Especially winning the opening game at night in the new stadium and under the new coaching staff. We have to remember that it’s only the first game and there are still 9 left on the schedule.”
Frostburg’s early taste of victory has fans hopeful of a great season under Coach Fitzgerald. Last year Frostburg suffered a 47-3 beating from Geneva in the season opener; this year, revenge. Coach Fitzgerald had an impressive resume as the most successful coach in Southern Virginia University (SVU) history, and lives up to his reputation by winning his first gig at Frostburg.
Coach Fitzgerald has made Frostburg football something to get excited about once again.