The old Eric Frees was back Saturday. But if you ask Western Maryland coach Dale Sprague, he never left.
Frees, 14th on the all-time Division III rushing list, gained 198 yards Saturday against Gettysburg. A week earlier against Albright, Frees gained 51, a career low as a starter.
"The week before, people keyed on him all the time," Sprague said yesterday. "People around here expect Eric is going to get 200 or 250 yards just by showing up. We have a young line [three freshmen] this year and it's taken them a couple games to get together. I didn't see any difference in the two games, except we opened some holes for him Saturday.
"I'm biased, but I think he's the best back in the country. Not many people are going to stop him totally."
Frees, a senior, has 3,985 yards in his career. He is 677 yards behind third-place Mike Birosak (Dickinson, 1986-89). The all-time leader is Joe Dudek (Plymouth State, 1982-85), who had 5,570 yards.
The Green Terrors (1-1) will meet Ursinus on Saturday.
* TOWSON STATE: Despite losing the first two games of the season, Tigers coach Phil Albert is still optimistic.
"I'm disappointed we're 0-2," Albert said after the game Saturday. "Everybody connected with the program is disappointed we're 0-2, but we're making progress. You have to look at the big picture -- the players, the schedule, where we've been, where we are. It means progress.
"I can't ask for any more effort and attitude than what we are getting."
The Tigers lost, 10-8, to Boston University in their opener and 13-7 to Delaware State on Saturday night. Towson State will continue its season-opening, four-game homestand against Rhode Island (0-2) on Saturday.
* JOHNS HOPKINS: The Blue Jays continued one streak and ended another last weekend. Hopkins, at 1-0-1 the only undefeated team in the state, beat Swarthmore for the first time since 1985. The win also extended second-year coach Jim Margraff's home undefeated streak to six games.
"We're tough at home," Margraff said. "The kids believe there's a certain magic at home. We're trying to take that on the road. Going to Fairleigh-Dickinson, that's what we're trying to do."
Hopkins should be fine if it can get the same kind of offensive production the Blue Jays got against Swarthmore, when they passed for 306 yards alone.
"We've really clicked [offensively]," Margraff said. "In the first game [a 19-19 tie], we seemed to be a little tight. Our quarterback has just been playing outstanding. Our offensive line has been protecting. We're excited about things."
* SALISBURY STATE: Offensive guard Joe Darminio injured his left knee in Saturday's game against Methodist. He is day-to-day.
The Sea Gulls (1-1) will play host to Frostburg State (2-1) on Saturday.
* MORGAN STATE: Running back Nathan Ayers sprained his ankle and nose guard Pierre Hubbard bruised his shoulder during Saturday's loss at Youngstown State. Both are expected to be ready when the Bears (0-4) play their next game, Oct. 5 at Northern Iowa.