Western Maryland-Johns Hopkins winner will go out a...

November 10, 1992|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

Western Maryland-Johns Hopkins winner will go out a winner

One team is going to leave Homewood Field on Saturday with a losing streak and the other will have a winning season.

The stakes could have been higher for the traditional finale between Western Maryland and Johns Hopkins (1:30 p.m.). A month ago, it appeared that the Centennial Football Conference championship would be decided when they met, but then the Green Terrors (5-4) lost three straight and the Blue Jays (5-4) dropped two in a row.

Western Maryland is 4-2 in the CFC, and the combination of a Green Terrors victory and a Dickinson (4-1-1) loss at Ursinus would bring the championship to Westminster.

The Green Terrors ended an eight-year losing streak against the Blue Jays last year, and on Saturday they'll try to win at Homewood Field for the first time since 1979. They'll have to do it with quarterback Brian Van Deusen, a freshman from Atholton, making his first collegiate start.

Paul McCord broke four ribs in the third quarter of last week's 25-20 loss to Swarthmore, when Van Deusen came in and helped the Green Terrors come back from a 19-7 deficit to lead briefly. Van Deusen hadn't thrown a pass all season, but he connected with Mark Vergalito on a 45-yard touchdown.

The injured list for Hopkins includes fullback Paul Ferreri, who has missed three games with a hamstring injury. He was 157 yards shy of the Blue Jays' career rushing record (2,244) when he was injured in an Oct. 16 victory over Muhlenberg.

With 301 carries for 1,459 yards, Western Maryland's Rob Johnson is four carries and 135 yards short of the single-season records set by Eric Frees last year and in 1990, respectively. Johnson's 17 touchdowns are a Green Terrors record.

Bearly playing defense

Their passing attack is setting records, but the defense is among the least effective in the nation.

No, Maryland isn't the topic. Morgan State (2-7) has piled up a school-record 2,668 yards passing this season, but the Bears' defense has been roughed up during a five-game losing streak.

The Bears are allowing 41.8 points per game, the second-worst average in Division I behind Prairie View, which has been outscored 383-48. Morgan State lost, 63-13, at Western Illinois Saturday, and it was 40-0 at the half. The only time the Bears have allowed fewer than 30 points was in their victories over Johnson C. Smith and Buffalo.

"I don't know if our defense has any confidence in themselves," second-year coach Ricky Diggs said. "We looked like last year's team [at Western Illinois], that's how bad it was. Normally, it shouldn't take us much to get up for this next game, but it's a mystery if they'll still be in a fog after being humiliated."

The next game is Saturday (1 p.m.) at Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference rival Howard, the only team Morgan State beat in Diggs' first season.

Junior quarterback Orlando Persell, who suffered a mild concussion in the second quarter at Western Illinois, will be the starter. Before leaving, he completed 10 of 15 passes for 122 yards. In eight games he's thrown for 1,758 yards, 251 short of the Bears' record set in 1989 by Daryl Jackson.

Frostburg still on top

In coach Mike McGlinchey's first season at Frostburg State, the Bobcats (5-3-1) struggled at times against an upgraded schedule, but they can claim the state's best record for the fourth straight year with a victory over Methodist Saturday. It's the first time in Frostburg State's 32-year football history that it has had four straight winning seasons.

Saturday's game will be the last for quarterback Mike Jones (Crossland), the only player in school history to rush (1,332) and pass (2,910) for more than 1,000 yards. His 4,242 yards total offense rank second to the 4,985 Jobie Waldt compiled from 1980 to '84.

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