The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Breaking News

College Sports

October 5, 2013

Mountain Lions set to host Fairmont St. for homecoming

ATHENS — Fans arriving for Concord University’s homecoming football game today will probably have smiles on their faces — and not just because of the warm and sunny weather forecast.

The Mountain Lions (3-1) bring the nation’s No. 2 defense and an improved offense into their 2 p.m. encounter with Fairmont State University (2-2), which has lost the last four games between the two programs.

Concord’s offense took a giant step forward last Saturday in a 20-3 win at West Liberty, keeping possession of the ball for more than 44 minutes and averaging 4.3 yards per snap.

Calvinaugh Jones broke out with 132 rushing yards, including a career-best 45-yard touchdown run.

The defense is second in NCAA Division II in total defense, points allowed and passing yards allowed. Concord averages 3.3 turnovers forced per game.

Senior Josh Clark took an interception 32 yards for the Lions’ last touchdown last Saturday, and Davon Marion closed out West Liberty’s final drive with a pick.

Kicker Andy Ellington connected on field goals of 48 and 42 yards. The longer one set a new school record according to the CU sports information department.

Four of Andrew Huska’s kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. Huska’s 41.1-yard punting average is second best in the Mountain East Conference.

“Last week, all the phases did come together,” said Concord head coach Garin Justice. “We’re getting better, each and every week. It was nice to see the run game finally start to come through. The defense has been great every single week and they continue to take another step forward.”

Clark and Ellington earned conference player of the week honors on Monday. So did Fairmont State running back Dawrence Roberts, who rang up 175 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons’ 56-3 rout of West Virginia State last weekend.

Justice said Roberts, a transfer from Grambling State, “is a very good tailback.”

Jones had 32 of Concord’s 43 rushing carries at West Liberty. Justice said, “I think we just challenged him a little bit more. We let him know that what he was doing wasn’t good enough. We let the offensive line know that what they were doing wasn’t good enough.”

“It was a lot of Calvinaugh, but it was also a lot about the offensive line. They all had to improve ... and they took that step.”

Concord turned in “a total team defensive performance,” he said. “The defense, when they’re out there, they did what they’re supposed to do. They got a lot of three-and-outs, got the team off the field, had the interception for a touchdown.”

“They’ve set the bar high, and I continue to expect those guys to raise the bar, each and every week.”

Today will be a different kind of “homecoming” for Fairmont State first-year head coach Jason Woodman, who was a Concord assistant in the 2009-10 seasons.

Justice said, “What they’re going to do offensively is going to be very similar to us. Coach Woodman was the wide receiver coach here, and he’s now the head coach.”

“Coach Woodman’s a great football coach. He’ll do a great job. But we also have a great defense, so we’ll see. It’ll be a very interesting matchup.”

The Falcons lead the conference with 16 sacks, and linebacker Garrett Davis tops the MEC with 33 solo tackles.

Justice said the home environment today will be valuable.

“Homecoming’s always our best crowd — with the exception of the championship game versus Wesleyan two years ago,” Justice said. “Our guys always do well and play well, and there’s a lot of energy (with) a lot of people in the stands.”

“Our guys feed off of our crowd.”

Billy Owens, a three-way Concord football player in 1954-55 and the first African-American to enroll at the Athens school, is the honorary captain for the homecoming game. He is expected to take part in the pregame coin flip.

Justice said that idea originated with athletics director Kevin Garrett.

“Any time we can get in touch with our program history, and look back and see the guys who took the (first) steps, and pioneered the steps, we’re always for it,” Justice said.

— E-mail:

Text Only
College Sports
  • Miners stop Lorain County 5-1

    The West Virginia Miners received a strong outing from starting pitcher Patrick LaGanke, and scored one run in each of the final five innings to defeat the Lorain County Ironmen 5-1 Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Some topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers

    July 25, 2014

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen to appear on ESPN special

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen will appear Wednesday on ESPN’s annual mid-summer college football coaches’ “car wash” — in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 miners Miners take series with Paints

    The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU's Fleming signs with Yankees

    Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU to kickoff 2018 season against Tennessee in Charlotte

    The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF) announced Tuesday morning that it has secured a regular season college football game for the city of Charlotte pitting the University of Tennessee against West Virginia University.

    July 22, 2014

  • Can summit of bigwigs really solve college athletics issues?

    I see where the Big 12 Conference is going to host in New York City what will be titled “A State of College Athletics Forum.”

    July 22, 2014

Saints Training Camp