FSU Football Improves to 4-1 Following 23-0 Shutout of William Paterson
Coming off a bye week and a huge win at Kean the week before, the Frostburg State Bobcats football team proved that they are no laughing matter as they shut out the Pioneers of William Paterson at a rainy Bobcat Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 8.
There were only 736 people in attendance at this game due to the rain, but head coach DeLane Fitzgerald’s team came to play. “We play football in Frostburg,” he said. “Our players love bad weather. We play better when the conditions are less than perfect.”
Sophomore quarterback Connor Cox passed for a career-high 320 yards and one touchdown, and he completed 21 of his passes; unfortunately, he also threw three interceptions. Nonetheless, the offense and defense played well throughout the game. Sophomore running back Jamaal Morant ran for 111 yards on 26 carries and had two TD’s, while junior wide receiver Russell Neverdon totaled 158 yards on eight receptions, one TD, and 86 return yards as he totaled 247 all-purpose yards. Recently, Neverdon was named the NJAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in this game.
On the defensive side, FSU allowed just 140 yards in total offense to the Pioneers (2-3, 1-3 NJAC). WPU finally cracked the 100-yard mark with a six-yard pass midway through the fourth quarter. Amazingly, the Bobcat defense was able to limit the Pioneers to just five yards on 28 carries.
All of the scoring came in the first half of this game–all of it from Frostburg. Early in the first quarter, senior William Sewell stripped Pioneers quarterback Isaiah Diaz-Mays of the ball, and senior J.P. Lewell recovered the loose ball on the WPU eight-yard-line.
On Frostburg’s first drive of the game, Morant scored the first points with a four-yard score at 12:32 in the first. This was part of a two-play, eight-yard drive for the Bobcats after the turnover. Then, five-and-a-half minutes later, Cox hooked up with his favorite target Neverdon for an eight-yard TD to put the Bobcats up 13-0 following a missed extra point.
In the second quarter, the Frostburg defense showed up again when senior Thomas Moore intercepted Diaz-Mays with the turnover set up a seven-play drive for the Bobcats. Thia resulted in a 27-yard field goal made by senior kicker Isaac Robinson that put FSU up 16-0.
On its ensuing possession, Frostburg moved 75 yards across the field, and Morant capped the drive off with a two-yard TD run, his second rushing touchdown of the game, to give the Bobcats its final points as they led 23-0.
Despite not scoring the rest of the game, the Bobcats had two other chances to add to its lead. A goal-line interception for William Paterson kept FSU from scoring just before the half, and a missed field goal in the fourth kept the final score at 23-0.
With its third straight win, the Bobcats improved to 4-1 overall, and, more importantly, sit at 3-1 in the NJAC. FSU is in a five-way tie for first place in the league standings. Frostburg should be able to keep this winning momentum going. “We are going to keep the same schedule this week that we had all season,” Coach Fitzgerald said. “We aren’t doing anything different; going to wake up every morning and work to get a little bit better.”