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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
December 4, 2003     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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December 4, 2003

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SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE 11 December 4, 2003 4 L Garrison, Lutton Help North Shepherd footbalt seniors Eric Garrison and Bryan Lutton were members of the victorious North team in the Third Annual East Coast Bowl played last Saturday at Virginia,Camern Field in Petersburg, Rams in Stroudsburg Tourney "~ ~ The North pulled out a last- minute 30-26 win over the I South when quarterback Travis Motley of Mansfield University in Pennsylvania threw a game-deciding touch- down pass to wide receiver Hasan ,/ones of Elizabeth City State (North Carolina). The five-yard scoring pass came with 26 seconds remain- ing and gave the North a four- point win. Garrison is an offensive tackle and Lutton a center. Carrie Kunkel fires a jumper from the foul line. Shepherd is 2-4 in the early going. The next stop tbr the Shep- herd men's basketball team is Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania where the Rams will see Bentley (Massachusetts), Southern Connecticut State, and the host East Stroudsburg Warriors in a two-day tourna- ment. Shepherd will he paired with Bentley in Friday's first round, while East Stroudsburg plays Southern Connecticut State. Bentley was 17-12 a year ago and returns two starters from that team. The Falcons don't boast of great size or quickness, but play a cerebral style of con- trolled basketball that has given 12-year coach Jay Lawson a career mark of 203- 136 prior to this season. Southern Connecticut State went 9-18 in 2003 and East Stroudsburg was 8-18 in coach Jeff Wilson's first year at the university. Shepherd takes a 1-3 record to Stroudsburg, having beaten Columbia Union and lost to Bloomsburg, Shippensburg, and Pfeiffer College. These two tournament dates will be Shepherd's last games before a two-week break that will see the players take their final exams tbr the first semester. The Rams' next outing fol- lowing the East Stroudsburg tournament will be on Satur- day, December 20 when they will entertain Division III Hood College from Frederick in a 2 p.m. game. Ron Rheinhardt may return this weekend after missing the first four games with a broken leg. Rheinhardt started three games during the 2002-2003 season and finished the year with 142 points and a 5.1 points per game scoring aver- age. Shepherd has usually started Mark Jennings, Brady Catlett, Danley Shank, Esosa Imoisili, and injury-plagued Ross Mitchell. Mark Bressan started at point guard in Shepherd's lat- est toss at Ship~nsburg when Mitchell had an ankle problem. The Rams will not play their frst WVIAC game until Janu- ary 3 when they host Davis & Elkins at the Butcher Center. , Terps Rushed Past Obstacles to Gator By Bob 5iadison teams literally rushed the last two-thirds of seasons. mia welded to- of unheralded any other kind) of- in freshmen and Jeremy Hines, Garin Justice, and Wilson and Jeff past Rutgers, Vir- Central Florida, College, Pittsburgh, and Temple -- seven mostly ground-ori- -- WVU's Gator -- labored early :Northern Illinois and and then swept opponents. kept their in their throats t-half victories at S't ace and 0rest to finish off a 9-3 gain coach Ralph third straight bowl did it with much script as WVU fol- the ground. With mostly un- line. the Gator Bowl has to be an ideal matchup of streaking teams that aim to put points beside their name on the scoreboard. Where did West Virgnia's streak of excellence begin? Right after it had been crushed at Maryland. Right after the sort of blow- out game that nobody expects to see a repeat of come noon on January 1 in Jacksonville. West Virginia's Mozes, Hines, Justice, Wilson, and Berk allowed Quincy Wilson and late-season comet Jason Colson to rush their way to touchdowns and take-notice statistics. The Mountaineers rushed for 209 yards against Temple in snowy Morgantown last Satur- day. In games before that. West Virginia rushed for 196 yards in heating Syracuse, 307 yards against Pittsburgh, 144 ground yards against Boston College (in a game where the Moun- taineers had five touchdown passes), 303 yards in stopping Central Florida, 264 in a three- touchdown win that sent Vir- ginia Tech spiraling toward the Insight.corn Bowl, and 254 against Rutgers. While the Mountaineers were showing some improve- ments in all phases of their game, it was the ability to run well that was the catalyst for the seven consecutive wins and an 8-4 record that earned a Big East Conference co-champion- ship with Miami. With Maryland, it was al- most a carbon of how the Mountaineers were doing it. Josh Allen, a sophomore, stepped in for oft-ailing runner Bruce Perry and the Terrapin offensive line shoved aside the Mountaineers, Eastern Michi- gan, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, N.C. State, and finally Wake Forest. Where West Virginia has more than one quarterback, the Terps proved vulnerable when starter Scott McBrien was injured in a 7-3 loss to Georgia" Tech. McBrien was replaced by freshmen ,Joel Statham. It was Statham's lost fumble on Maryland's 23 in the fourth quarter that led to Georgia Tech's only points . . . and Maryland's only loss in its last 10 games. Improvements had to come tor the two teams to overcome 1-4 and 0-2 starts. Obvious improvements came %r the Mountaineers when four of their first-game starters in the offensive line were either injured or replaced. Now, with over a month be- tween its win over Temple and the January 1 date against Maryland some of those in- jured players should be avail- able to play against Maryland. And the Terps have the same hopeful outlook for their inj ured-along-the-way players Where will the differences be seen in the rematch game between the Mountaineers and Terps? West Virginia's young start- ers and ready reserves are much more ready to face a team of Maryland's stature. And Maryland has stature. In coach Rich Rodriguez's three )'ears, the Mountaineers have lost to Maryland by 12 points, 34 points, and 27 points. In coach Friedgen's three years, Maryland has visited the Orange Bowl, Peach Bowl, and now the Gator Bowl. Friedgen's records have been 10-2, 11-3, and 9-3. That reads 30-8 at a school that had been so docile in the 1990s that nobody feared the turtle. Nobody expects West Vir- ginia to be held to one touch- down this time. -Maryland may have been distracted by its already-ten- dered bowl bid when it faced Wake Forest. But unmotivated players don't suddenly lose their quick- ness. And Maryland's defensive ends looked like turtles against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons' Chris Barclay ran for 243 yards against a slow-moving and slower-reacting Maryland inte- rior. But Maryland's offensive linemen not only asserted themselves in the second half of a 41-28 win, they" slammed holes and gaps and wide swaths through the Deacs so that Perry had 237 yards and touchdown runs of 49 and 80 yards. West Virginia's overall team speed and quickness will not be eclipsed by Maryland's. But l~laryland still has the experienced defensive second- ary, some quality linebackers and receivers to make West Virginia a slight underdog. Incentive, inspiration, and inventiveness should be on West "virginia's side. If Maryland cedes West Vir- ginia the kind of leads it gave North Carolina, N.C. State, and Wake Forest in three of its last four games, then the Mountaineers will win. McBrien has played well in his games against the school he transferred from . . . but his passes can be erratic and he feels footsteps that aren't there in the last three quarters if hurried early in the first quar- ter. The BCS has what appear to be the juiciest games with the juiciest stakes going to its win- ners. But the West Virginia- Maryland game will not be out- done for back-and-forth drama. And points won't be scarce ei- ther. If the weather is Jackson- ville Chamber of Commerce perfect, the winning team might need at least 30 points to claim the afternoon by a single point. Maryland has ample time to prepare both physically and psychologically for WVU. Coach Friedgen and his staff won't underestimate West Virginia. They know a one- point Maryland win would be welcomed in College Park. Players (At Most) Hold Mountaineers' Fate By Bob Madison ~rginia hit the road basketball game in be another season steps back toward national respect. Harrisonburg and Shmen-dominated Dukes. all five starters from Still, most of them or just second- D'Or Fischer, player with the ac- Gene Kelly or Fred "d" I ldn t start. Y, Kevin Pittsnogle, Durisseau-Coltins floor -- the same last season when were wet-behind- With Fischer and Patrick Beilein and in guard Tyler Relph eight players to do score well in al- kind of game. He shoot well, but score well by often free throw line. to the free throw in shooting just eight m a road game will raetimes Schifino ght himself. COnsistent. He isn't rebounder, scorer, de- let. doesn't often vary in of points or re- gives coach John draw a second or from teams like acut or Syracuse then have mor~ Players than Sally. is also stead)' enough -- for the moment. He lacks quickness and his intelli- gence and understanding of the game and his function as a so- called "complimentary player" give him his value. Durisseau-Collins is a stop- gap measure. He doesn't score enough and teams allow him freedom to shoot by focusing their attention on every other player West Virginia has on the floor. If the Mountaineers are to make much progress this sea- son, coach Beilein will have to put Relph in his starting lineup or at least have him on the floor for up to 30 minutes a game. Pittsnogle is more well- rounded than a year ago. Even at 6-foot-10, his value is no(that of a rebounder or de- fender. With Schifino the target of the opposition's defensive fo- cus, Pittsnogle will have his 20- point games. He will also have his five- point games . . his three-re- bound games . . . his four per- sonal foul games. Beilein is trusted to know how to do his best to maintain the flow of West Virginia's half- court offense. He doesn't run well, isn't quick at all, and won't provide many rebounds, pass deflec- tions, or blocked shot& But Beilein can't provide three-point field goals, excel- lent passes, and a cool head. Relph shows flashes of being the team's second-leading scorer in games later in the season. He will attempt more shots as the season flows through January and into February. Relph is a fundamental ge- nius for a freshman. He passes well, knows where his passes are supposed to go, and has a silent confidence that rubs off i .... i: 'iI on his teammates when the stress of a road game could shatter the team's offensive continuity. And tl~en there is Fischer. Without Fischer, this West Virginia team would just be a year older -- but no better -- and no more ready to give fits to the Big East's best teams than it was in 2002-2003. Fischer blocked eight shots in West Virginia's 17-point win over James Madison. He also scored 14 points even though he missed both his free throws. Even with Fischer, West Vir- ginia had nine fewer rebounds than James Madison. The Mountaineers had achieved an 18-point lead at the half. Then Schifino was slowed by the Dukes and the lead shrank to 10 points. West Virginia's mediocre free throw shooting came to the tbrefront (15-for- 24) and the Dukes actually had their chances with about five minutes remaining. Poor rebounding was almost a trademark of" the 2002-2003 team. Mediocre free throw shooting would hobble this team, the same as it did last year when it lost eight of its last 10 games to finish with a 14-15 record. Coach Beilein brought in four freshmen to this team. It appears he wants to redshirt two of them. B.J. Byerson (6-foot-7 from Thomas Dale High in Colonial Heights, Virginia) and Franklin Young (6-foot-5 from Florida High in Tallahassee) are the redshirt candidates. Drew Sehifino (top) and Joe Herber will be with the Mountaineers this weekend in Washington, D.C. Players bein~ redshirted can't even play m preseason "exhibition" games. Neither Byerson nor Franklin Young played against James Madison or Northeastern. Other than the eight players who will share 98 percent of the playing time, only Duriel Price, Jonathan Curran, and Jerrah Young might possibly play. Those three won't be on the floor long enough to contribute in a positive way. Eight players. That's enough to win games at home. It's often enough to win games on the road against an equal opponent. However, any injury will complicate Beilein's player ro- tation -- maybe even forcing the second-year coach to abandon his plans to redshirt Byerson or the Youngs. Eight players. They better be lean and hungry.., and injury-proof. The Mountaineers played Northeastern and then Saint Louis in Charleston this past Tuesday. On Saturday, West Virginia will be in Washington, D.C. at the MCI Center to face George Washington in the opening round of a two-day tournament that also features highly re- garded Gonzaga and peppery Maryland. On Sunday, West Virginia plays either the Zags or the Terps, depending on whether it can beat George Washington. Eight players will find out just what this season holds for them after playing two games in 24 hours and seeing either Maryland or Gonzaga through fatigued eyes and with weary