Saturday, October 31, 2009

Catholic University vs. Emory and Henry

So yesterday I had to travel with a few others all the way from American University to Catholic University to cover a football game. Catholic played this school I had never heard of, Emory and Henry University in a close game, but ended up losing 13-1o.

I went in, and it was, an... interesting set of hours spent there. This was my first experience at a Division 3 football game, and it is VERY obvious of the difference in a D1 football program and a D3 program.

First of all, nobody knew where the stadium was! These were students who had NO IDEA how to get there. Now I understand that not everybody can enjoy the beauties of football, but as a student on YOUR OWN CAMPUS, I feel like you should at least know the buildings and landmarks on your campus at this point of the year - freshman or not.

Secondly, after the trek (oh man was it a trek) to the stadium, it was not much of a "stadium", but a field - akin to the field at my small, private former high school: there was one side of bleachers of about 10 rows, and the field. At least there was a small press box though on the top.

Mind you, this whole time, there was only one guy in charged of ALL the athletics on Catholic's campus, and he was EXTREMELY helpful in our research and access to the team and its stats. *shout out to him* But he really wa over at the cross-country event, then had to run over to the football game to help us out a little bit.

And in the game itself, the playcalling wasn't very diverse. Both teams stuck with the quarterback draw, along with a couple more running plays. Any passes didn't go for more than 10 yards, if they ever passed. Even the "Hail Mary" at the end of the game by Catholic only reached mid-field, instead of hauling it to the endzone.

Nonetheless, it wasn't awful. Big ups to D3 programs for even having football... unlike SOME campuses in the country.............. (no names).

When I returned home, I sat down and wrote the corresponding article for the game to beat the deadline (there will be a video explaining the behind-the-scenes action). For your viewing pleasure, I have posted it with this blog:

Despite Catholic University's best defensive effort all season long, they were unable to capitalize on multiple offensive opportunities, causing Catholic to lose 13-10 to Emory and Henry University.

Contrary to the final score and other offensive mishaps though, Catholic did not play poorly either.

Although Catholic gave up the first touchdown of the game, they blocked the extra point and were able to score the next 10 points through one field goal and a touchdown run in by John O'Brien.

The Cardinals then were able to stop Emory and Henry's offense for another drive, and seemed to have the momentum to keep their opponent down.

Early into the third quarter though, the Wasps came out strong and were able to score a touchdown. But even with the lead, Emory and Henry could not penetrate the Catholic defense for the rest of the game.

Catholic actually led in time of possession in the second and third quarter, and was able to march down the field into Emory and Henry territory up to the redzone.

However, the mistakes made in the Cardinals' inability to create opportunities deep in the Wasps' territory and ultimately to score points kept them down and eventually gave them a difficult loss.

One of the most outstanding mistake for the Cardinals was the field goal kicking. Catholic kicker Brendan Deluca missed four field goals, including three from very short distances and one with 1:09 left in the game from 40 yards.

Nonetheless, teammates seemed to be sympathetic towards Deluca's failed field goal attempts. Receiver Mike Smith, who had four catches for 58 yards, said that the missed field goals were not as much of a factor in the way the rest of the team played.

"Not at all; we still played hard," Smith said. "If you're not on the field goal team, there's nothing you can do about it. You can just watch and hope he makes it. It was just a bad day for him."

Regardless of the tough season, the team continues to have confidence, especially in the coach. When asked about whether head coach Dave Dunn deserves the bad rap he received from the fans today, Smith commented, saying their coach "puts everybody in the best position to win." Smith continued, "When you look at the yards, we dominated on offense and defense, and everybody makes a mistake. You're coaching on the fly."

Catholic focused on the positives from the game, and noted that it was just an "off-day" for the team today in reaching their full potential to win against Emory and Henry.

"It went really well for us actually," Smith said about the game. "We played hard on every aspect of the game. It's just that it came down to little mistakes, and when we got down to the endzone, we couldn't capitalize, and out kicking game wasn't at our best."

Dunn further elaborated on the things that catholic did to give themselves a chance to win.

We followed the game plan up until we got to the redzone. We outgained them to up to double their yardage and didn't turn the ball over." Dunn also did not forget to mention that Cardinals held the number one player in rushing yards in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), Caleb Jennings, to under 100 yards.

Their biggest faults in today's game according to the coach were "mental mistakes."

Catholic's next game is against Guilford University at home. When asked about what could be changed, Dunn said, "We're just young in the skilled spots on the offense." Dunn also added that they lost many players from last year on defense as well; thus, making the Cardinals an "inexperienced team" versus a young team."

Smith said simply, "We just have to want it in the end."

However, Dunn isn't going to focus on the four botched field goald, the missed opportunities in the redzone, the fans' displeasure, or even next weekends's game or next season. "My goal is to have a good practice tomorrow."

2009 World Series Game 3

The offensive floodgates finally opened last night as the Yankees defeated the Phillies 8-5 at Citizens Bank Park. (No I didn't catch the game because I went out for Halloween).

However, I am watching toniight, as the Phillies try to even up the series at home in Game 4. Joe Blanton will pitch for the Phillies, resting Cliff Lee, and CC Sabathia on short rest will be on the mound for the Yankees.

I mean, for my prediction to be correct, the Phillies would have to win the next 3 games in a row... To be honest, I don't see that happening. But I can see them winning in 7 games. I think in order for either team to win actually, it will have to go to 7 games.

Both teams are just so evenly matched in good pitching and offense (numbers wise) that it will have to be a punch-for-punch series. I think the Phillies are better though in base running and hitting anything other than home runs than the Yankees; hence, why I picked them to win.

Side Note...

THE EAGLES ARE GOIN INNNNN!!!!! Like, I don't even like the Eagles, and usually, I hate anything affiliated with Philadelphia, but I do enjoy a good football game. The Eagles at the end of the first half are up 30-7 agaisnt the New York Giants with mad takeaways and passing it down the field.

Then again, I might just be excited because I'm pulling for the Phillies against the Yankees.

I'll cut the Redskins fans some slack today... they have a bye week. LOL!

At the same time, my team, the Cowboys just went up 21-10 by the end of the first half against the Seattle Seahawks. Which makes me happier.

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed.

*Posted at 2:50pm

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