Two area college football teams made dramatic turnarounds Saturday from last year, but both lost narrowly, failing to satisfy their coaches.
"We've been tied and ahead at the half in our first two games. Now we have to sustain the effort for a full game," said Johns Hopkins' Jim Margraff after his team's 28-20 loss at Swarthmore. A year ago, Swarthmore piled up a 25-0 halftime lead on its way to a 38-6 victory.
Western Maryland coach Dale Sprague saw his team lose the potential winning touchdown twice in a 28-25 loss to Gettysburg, which had beaten the Green Terrors last year, 62-20.
With Western Maryland behind, 28-25, wide receiver Andy Steckel was ruled down at the 1-yard line on a 24-yard reception, and senior quarterback Mike Hamm, who had 359 yards passing, lost a fumble on the next play.
"I don't blame the official who made the call at the 1," Sprague said. "He had a long way to go to make it. However, the films definitely show Steckel got into the end zone."
Hopkins used two quarterbacks against the Garnet, and Margraff likened the situation to a baseball starting pitcher and a reliever.
"John [Guglielmo, the sophomore starter] did a good job, but he was sort of a victim of circumstances. Penalties forced him back to a first-and-30, an open receiver dropped a pass and there were a couple of other things. It was like a pitcher having a teammate make an error, then a couple of bunts, and suddenly he has given up a couple of runs and he's out of the game."
That's the way it was at Swarthmore. Freshman Scott Cade relieved Guglielmo and fired up the Blue Jays with 16-for-28 passing for 210 yards and two second-quarter touchdowns, with one interception.
*TOWSON STATE: Injuries continued to be one of the main concerns after the Tigers lost to Lehigh on Saturday, 35-14. The Tigers (0-2) have lost starting back John O'Neill, defensive tackle Todd Katovsich and linebacker Matt Geis for the season. Geis was subbing for injured Jared Freeze (concussion, out three weeks) when he went down with a knee injury against Lehigh. Linebacker Gary Worthington will move from the strong side to Freeze's spot on the weak side, and freshman George Mohring (6 feet 3, 200 pounds) will take Worthington's old spot.
*BOWIE STATE: Coach Sanders Shiver was pleased with the execution of his offense Saturday in a 34-9 win at Morgan State after an opening loss at Hampton. Butch Wilson (86 yards, 14 carries) combined with normal rushing leader Phil Dyer for 139 yards. Bryant Hall led the special teams with six solo tackles.
*FROSTBURG STATE: Junior Rory McTigue continued to lead the running game (65 carries for 266 yards and four touchdowns in two games), as the Bobcats routed Thiel on Saturday, 34-0. Quarterback Mike Jones, who had thrown seven passes in an opening win, was 4-for-5 for 101 yards, including a 57-yarder to Norman Summers to set up a touchdown. Senior rover back Mark Price (Dulaney) topped the defense with seven tackles, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
*SALISBURY STATE: There weren't many bright spots after the rTC Sea Gulls fell behind, 41-0, at the half in a 48-6 loss at Ferrum on Saturday, but two freshmen did a good job on offense, and two veterans got the nod on defense. Quarterback Pat Poole directed a six-play, 64-yard drive for the Sea Gulls' only touchdown, on Charlie Whalen's 6-yard run. The top two tacklers were free safety Che Abdullah (nine) and cornerback Harry King (seven).