FSU Steamrolls Over Stevenson in Season Opener
After capping off the 2016 season with a 10-1 record and an ECAC Bowl victory, the No. 17-ranked Frostburg State football team opened their season at home against the No. 18 Stevenson Mustangs of the Middle Atlantic Conferences (MAC). The Bobcats looked dominant throughout the game en route to a 33-7 victory Thursday night at Bobcat Stadium.
The first score of the game came early in the first quarter when Frostburg junior running back Grayson Boyce ran it in from four yards out to give the Bobcats a 7-0 lead.
Stevenson would answer later in the quarter when quarterback Dan Williams found his receiver Devin Salisbury in the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown pass that tied the game at 7-7. However, the Mustangs were not able to score for the rest of the game.
Late in the second quarter, Bobcat senior kicker Hassan Mostafa’s 28-yard field goal put his team up 10-7. On the ensuing drive, the Mustangs failed to convert on fourth and 22 deep in their own territory, which resulted in FSU taking over on downs at the Stevenson three-yard-line as Royce ran it in from three yards out for his second TD of the game to give the Bobcats a 17-7 lead.
In the third quarter, Frostburg junior quarterback Connor Cox scrambled with the ball for 23 yards all the way to the Mustangs one-yard-line, which set up Royce’s third touchdown run of the game, increasing the Bobcats’ lead to 24-7.
The Bobcats’ defense produced some points as well. In the fourth quarter, senior defensive lineman Pacom Tsaque knocked the ball out of the hands of SU running back Jainard Crawley-Lambert in his own end zone as defensive lineman Jordan Procter recovered it for a touchdown to give FSU a 30-7 lead. Mostafa’s 26 yard field goal was the final score of the game.
On offense, Cox went 11-of-18, passing for 145 yards and 175 yards overall. On the ground, Boyce rushed for 37 yards on ten carries and three TD’s, while junior Jamaal Morant led the way with 71 yards on 18 carries.
However, it was the defense that played lights out throughout the game. Senior defensive back Josh Scales led Frostburg with six tackles, while senior defensive lineman Niles Scott made two tackles for loss and two sacks. As a team, the Bobcats’ D forced three fumbles and sacked Dan Williams five times.
Throughout all four quarters, Frostburg’s defense held the Mustangs to -30 yards rushing on 19 carries and allowed only 144 yards on offense behind 46 plays. They also forced Stevenson to punt seven times.
“They were not expecting our defensive players to run to the football and hit as we do,” said head coach DeLane Fitzgerald.
With the victory, the Bobcats have now won ten straight games dating back to week three of last season. They are also now 7-0 in night games under Coach Fitzgerald and 5-0 in their last five season openers. The win over Stevenson is the third win over a ranked opponent in the last four seasons.
“We have some things to improve on between now and next Saturday,” Fitzgerald said. “But last night our focus/intensity and how fast we play football overwhelmed Stevenson. We are bigger, faster, and stronger than they are!”
Frostburg will be back at home on Saturday, Sept. 9, to take on TCNJ at 1 p.m.