FERRUM, VA.- In a first-place showdown in the USA South with an
NCAA berth on the line, the Captains of Christopher Newport
defeated Ferrum College on Saturday at W.B. Adams Stadium, 48-30.
For CNU, it will be the 8th NCAA trip iin 11 seasons of
"This was one of the greatest team efforts I've ever seen at any level of football," coach Matt Kelchner said following the victory. "Our coaches and our players worked so hard this week. it's a tribute to our entire program."
The Captains scored first and trailed only briefly early in the game, 7-6. CNU jumped to a 27-10 lead at the half. The Panthers scored early in the third quarter to cut the lead to 27-16, only to see the Captains post two quick touchdowns to essentially put the game on ice.
Due to injuries, the Captains started junior third-string quaretrback Aaron Edwards (Yorktown, Va.). Edwards stepped in and threw four touchdown passes to lead Christopher Newport.
"I can't say enough about what he did," Kelchner said. "He is a hard worker and great student of the game. He finally got his chance and he took advantage of it."
Christopher Newport, decimated by injuries all season, lost sophomore running back Markeese Stovall (Richmond, Va.) in the first half to a twisted ankle. Sophomore Evan Moog (Williamsburg, Va.) stepped in and scored twice for CNU.
Freshman wide receiver Rudy Rudolph (Chesapeake, Va.) also was a big factor. Rudoph, seeing more time due to an injury to sophomore Kentel Noel (Weems, Va.), caught two TD passes from Edwards.
The Christopher Newport defesne did a fantastic job all day against senior Ferrum quarterback Marcus Mayo. CNU picked off three passes from Mayo and contained the Ferrum option offense. Dayn Washburn, Daniel Lewis, and Marvin Mills accounted for the three picks.
"This is one of the best teams in the region we beat today," Kelchner continued. "They've been putting up big yardage and lots of points. Our defense was tremendous."
Christopher Newport has now won 10 of 11 all-time meetings with Ferrum, and eight straight dating back to 2003.
The victory secures the league's NCAA bid for the Captains, but not necessarily the league's outright title. The Captains, who have now won six straight games and 11 consecutive USA South games dating back to last season, will conclude the regular season next Saturday at POMOCO Stadium vs. Maryville. Game time is set for 1 p.m.
This will be the first time since 2004 the Captains have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons.