October 13, 2010

W&J-Frostburg State Game Notes

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

Washington & Jefferson College (3-2) vs. Frostburg State University (1-4)

NCAA Division III Football

Washington, Pa. – Cameron Stadium (3,500)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Time:  2:00 pm

Site: Cameron Stadium (3,500)

Series:  W&J leads 5-0

Series Streak: +5 W&J

Last Meeting:  W&J 34, FSU 12 -- 9/12/09

First Meeting:  W&J 6, FSU 0 -- 11/7/64

Last W&J Win:  W&J 34, FSU 12 -- 9/12/09

Last FSU Win:  N/A

Last W&J Win at W&J: W&J 49, FSU 21 -- 9/13/08

Radio: WJPA (1450-AM)

Broadcasters: Bob Gregg and Mark Uriah

Internet Audio: http://www.wjpa.com/sports.htm

THE SERIES:  Washington & Jefferson and Frostburg State meet for the sixth time in history and for the third consecutive year.  W&J has won all five previous meetings.  Prior to the 2008 game, the two colleges hadn't faced off since the 1993 NCAA Division III Playoffs, a 28-7 W&J win in Maryland.

THE HEAD COACHES: Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94) is in his eighth season as the head coach at Washington & Jefferson with a 73-14 (.839) overall record.  The three-time PAC Coach of the Year and 2004 South Region Coach of the Year is second among all active NCAA head coaches in winning percentage (minimum five years of experience).  Head Coach Tom Rogish (IUP '71) is in his third year at Frostburg State. He owns a 5-19 overall record after spending 22 years as an assistant coach at NCAA Division II powers IUP and Shepherd (W.Va.).

W&J vs. THE ATLANTIC CENTRAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE: W&J has posted a 9-2 record (.818) against opponents from the Atlantic Central Football Conference.  Salisbury is the only team from the ACFC to have ever defeated Washington & Jefferson.  Both Salisbury and Frostburg State have agreed to join the Empire 8 as affiliates in football only starting next season. Below is a breakdown of the all-time records vs. ACFC teams:

Apprentice (2-0), Frostburg State (5-0), Salisbury (0-2), Wesley (2-0)

THE LAST MEETING {W&J 34, FSU 12, 10/12/09, Frostburg, Md.}:  Gino Rometo tossed three touchdown passes, including a pair to Craig Besong to lift W&J to a 34-12 victory over Frostburg State at Bobcat Stadium.  The Presidents opened the scoring with just over a minute remaining in the first quarter as Rometo led a 10-play, 43-yard drive which was capped on Brian Baldrige's 2-yard touchdown run.  A high snap deep in W&J territory forced a FSU safety at the 13:15 mark of the second quarter and narrowed the Bobcats' deficit to 7-2.  Following a FSU punt, W&J embarked on a 13-play, 94-yard drive to claim a 14-2 lead.  Rometo completed five passes on the drive and added a 25-yard rush. He hit Zach DeCicco for a 7-yard scoring pass.  The Bobcats answered with a 25-yard field goal by Zachary Beukers at the 3:28 mark, but W&J quickly responded two minutes later as Rometo hit Besong for a 6-yard touchdown toss.  Derek Taylor rushed for 25 yards on the scoring possession.  Josh Buckley intercepted a Phoenix Butler-Poole pass with 55 seconds left in the half, but W&J was not able to turn the miscue into any points and took a 21-5 edge into halftime.  W&J strung together a 60-yard drive to start the second half and Terrence McAllister made it a 27-6 game after scoring on a 5-yard touchdown run.  The Presidents gained 56 of the 60 yards on the ground, including 35 by McAllister.  FSU answered with an 80-yard touchdown drive and Butler-Poole dove in from a yard out; however, Joe Mucho returned the ensuing kickoff 43 yards to set up a 32-yard touchdown connection from Rometo to Besong and a 34-12 advantage.  Rometo completed 17-of-31 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns after filling in for Steven Shumaker, who played the first two series and passed for 24 yards.  Taylor rushed 17 times for 93 yards, while McAllister gained 61 yards on 10 attempts.  Besong led six different receivers with eight receptions for 90 yards, while Mucho grabbed four passes for 47 yards.  Ryan Breen paced the defense with seven tackles and two sacks. The defense limited the Presidents to 239 total yards and 10 first downs.  Mitch Erdely also picked off a pass.  W&J's offense racked up 413 yards and 23 first downs. W&J also converted 7-of-15 third-down opportunities and held a 36:00-24:00 edge in time of possession.

SCOUTING FROSTBURG STATE:  The Bobcats are looking to snap a two-game losing streak after suffering recent losses to nationally-ranked teams No. 20 Randolph-Macon (48-14) and No. 19 Alfred (49-24).  FSU opened the season with a 32-27 loss to Geneva and then played another ranked opponent a week later, falling to No. 3 Wesley 47-0.  Frostburg State was idle last week and regrouped after allowing 464 yards of total offense to Alfred.  The Saxons scored touchdowns on seven of their 10 possessions.  The Bobcats' lone win came at Christopher Newport, a 33-31 home triumph.  Junior Josh Volpe passed for 242 yards and three touchdowns, including a 13-yard scoring pass to freshman Michael Fourth with 46 seconds remaining.  FSU has relied on senior running back Anthony King's 359 rushing yards and four touchdowns.  Volpe is completing over 60 percent of his passes (41-68) for 431 yards.  He has yet to throw an interception.  Sophomore Anthony Young is the squad's leading receiver with 19 catches for 213 yards and two touchdowns.  Defensively, the Bobcats have surrendered an average of 440.8 yards per game.  Only 10 teams in NCAA Division III have allowed more yards.  Senior strong safety Terryl Monroe has compiled a team-high 42 tackles and two interceptions.  Monroe had a game-high 11 tackles in the 2008 W&J-FSU game at Cameron Stadium.  Special teams have also been a concern for Head Coach Tom Rogish as the Bobcats rank 232 out of 236 Division III teams in punting with an average of 21.7 yards per punt. 

IN A RUSH:  Since a loss to Mary Hardin-Baylor in the 2004 NCAA Division III quarterfinals, Washington & Jefferson has been held under 100 rushing yards as a team 12 times and has lost all 12 games.  On the flip side, W&J has won all 52 games during that stretch in which it has gained 100 yards on the ground.  During the 12 losses, six of which occurred in the NCAA playoffs, W&J averaged 37.3 rushing yards per game.  During the past two weeks, the Presidents have piled up an average of 235.0 yards per game on the ground.  Sophomore Tim McNerney had a lot to do with that total last week with a career-high 191 yards.

GET A LITTLE CLOSER:  Senior free safety Craig Sedunov has been the Presidents' leading tackler in each of the last two seasons.  With 262 career stops, he is on pace to become only the fourth player in school history to reach 300.  He is 13 tackles shy Mark Kern '89 for fifth place on the career tackle list.  Sedunov has started and recorded at least one tackle in all 40 career games. He also notched his eighth career interception two weeks ago, putting him four away from fifth place on the school's all-time list. 

NIGHT FEVER:  W&J has played at least one night game every year since 2003 and holds a 16-0 record in those contests.  Prior to the 2003 home opener versus Allegheny, Washington & Jefferson had not played a home night game since facing Geneva in the 1977 season opener at the former College Field.  The Presidents travel to the Golden Tornadoes' Reeves Field next week for a 7:00 pm kickoff. 

GALVANIZING MATT:  Junior safety Matthew Gal recorded a career-high 14 tackles Saturday versus Saint Vincent.  Two of his stops were behind the line of scrimmage for Bearcat losses.  The 14 stops were the most by a W&J defender since Mitch Erdely '10 had 14 in the 2008 NCAA Division III quarterfinals at Mary Hardin-Baylor.  

CATCHING ON:  Senior wide receiver Jordan Roycroft had seven receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown against Saint Vincent.  With 31 catches, Roycroft has already topped his season total from a year ago when he caught 30 passes.  In 25 career games, Roycroft has produced 66 receptions for 755 yards and 10 touchdowns. 

31 OR BUST:  W&J will play its 1,083rd game (669-373-40) on Saturday.  The Presidents have only lost three times in history when scoring 31 or more points, all of which have come since 2000 (Bridgewater 59, W&J 42 -- 2000 NCAA; Thiel 38, W&J 35 -- 2005; NC Wesleyan 35, W&J 34 -- 2007 NCAA).  The Presidents scored exactly 31 points last Saturday and posted 31 last year in the win over Geneva.  Prior to that game, W&J had not finished a game with exactly 31 points since 2001. 

ACCURATE ARM:  Despite throwing two interceptions against Saint Vincent, senior quarterback Gino Rometo remains as one of the most accurate passers in NCAA Division III.  Rometo ranks 12th nationally and leads the Presidents' Athletic Conference with a 165.93 pass efficiency rating.  Rometo has completed 74-of-111 passes, 31 of which have gone to senior wideout Jordan Roycroft.  Roycroft is tied for 52nd in the country in receptions per game (6.2 rpg). 

READY FOR TAKEOFF:  Senior Joe Kelly has continued to impress in his second year as the Presidents' full-time punter.  Last year, Kelly became the first W&J punter to earn First Team All-PAC laurels since Brian Plichta in 1996.  This fall, Kelly is averaging 40.3 yards per punt, the 20th-best average in the nation.  Kelly has booted 69 career punts for 2,170 yards (39.3 ypp).  He is on pace to pass Darin Whitesel (1992-95) and Ted Bell (1984-86) for the top career punt average in school history.  Bell (38.6 ypp in career) is also the single-season punting average leader at 39.6 in 1986.  Nearly 32 percent of Kelly's punts have been downed inside the 20-yard line and six punts have gone 50 or more yards, including a career-long 61-yarder versus Westminster.

THE FREE STATE: Frostburg State is one of four opponents W&J has played throughout its history from Maryland. The Presidents hold a 9-6-1 record in games versus FSU (5-0), McDaniel (3-0), Navy (1-4-1) and Salisbury (0-2).

RETURN GAME: W&J sophomore Ben Hoffer (6-166) has added a boost to the Presidents' kickoff return teams as he is tied for 24th in the nation with an average of 27.7 yards per return.  Senior Craig Sedunov (5-177) actually leads the PAC at 35.4 yards per return, but the has only returned five and the NCAA rankings require 1.2 per team game played.  As a team, W&J ranks 15th nationally with an average of 24.4 yards per kickoff return. 

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