Tigers, Schaefer try to turn it around

Morgan's Wolfe speaks on AIDS prevention

Notebook

College Sports

October 06, 2007|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun reporter

It's no snap playing quarterback for Towson this season, even if you're Sean Schaefer.

In five games, the Tigers' precocious junior has already thrown 11 interceptions - two more than he threw in 10 games last season - and been sacked 17 times. A run of errant snaps out of the shotgun formation and an injury-depleted offensive line have helped wreck Towson's precision pass game.

Schaefer averaged 303.3 passing yards a game in 2006 to lead NCAA Division I-AA, but is averaging just 223.8 this year.

"Between [offensive coordinator] Phil Albert, myself and [quarterbacks coach] Ron Meehan, we're telling Sean he can't make all the plays himself, to let the game come to him," Towson coach Gordy Combs said.

Schaefer and the Tigers will try to regroup today against Richmond (No. 15 in the Football Championship Subdivision poll) to halt a three-game losing streak in the Colonial Athletic Association and keep alive whatever slim chance they have of reaching the FCS playoffs.

Schaefer has accepted much of the blame for the Tigers' misfiring offense, but a revolving door in the offensive line and a series of wild snaps have undermined him. Combs said the snaps have disrupted the timing of the passing game.

"He's got to reach down, grab the ball and kind of guess where something could possibly be open," Combs said. "Also, people are putting a lot more pressure on us in terms of blitzes."

Combs felt the full-time return of starting center Nick Bradway last week from a broken hand solved the issue, but there still were two exchange mishaps in a loss at William and Mary. One was because Bradway snapped the ball too soon, and the other came with Schaefer under center.

Voice against AIDS

Morgan State wide receiver Roderick Wolfe, who lost both parents to AIDS before he turned 20, will join Mayor Sheila Dixon and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a campaign to promote awareness about the disease in Baltimore's black community. Wolfe participated in a news conference at City Hall this week and will speak to kids in city schools about reducing the incidences of AIDS.

Wolfe's plight as a homeless high school senior while at Edmondson has drawn national attention. CBS Evening News will visit Baltimore next week to do a news segment about him on the Morgan campus.

Metil wins 100th

Whitney Johnson, a transfer from the University of Albany, produced 17 kills as the UMES women's volleyball team swept Howard 3-0 for coach Don Metil's 100th career win this week. Johnson, from Prince Frederick, also was named the Most Valuable Performer in the 2007 UMES Comfort Inn Classic, her second tournament MVP of the season.

Caylin Woodward and Christina Estebane also made the Classic All-Tournament team from UMES.

Youthful surge

Paced by freshman forward Scott Bukoski, Johns Hopkins' unbeaten men's soccer team (11-0) has outscored the opposition 55-6 and is No. 8 in the NCAA Division III poll. On a team with only two seniors, Bukoski, from Sagamore, Mass., has scored 28 points, including five game-winning goals. He leads the Centennial Conference in goals (12), and junior midfielder Nick Gauna (Evanston, Ill.) leads the conference in assists with seven.

Coach Matt Smith, who played for Towson and is Hopkins' all-time winningest coach with 233, has players from 12 states on his roster.

Hopkins ends drought

Meanwhile, Hopkins' field hockey team got its first win at Swarthmore this week since 2001. The resounding 6-1 win boosted the Blue Jays to 8-1 overall, 4-0 in the conference, where they are tied for first place with Ursinus and Muhlenberg.

Returning All-American Emily Miller (Garden City, N.J.) leads the team with 17 points on eight goals and an assist. Adair Landy (Montclair, N.J.) has 15 points and Leah Horton (Wayne, Pa.) 12.

Blythe gets to semis

Tennis players sophomore David Maldow (Jericho, N.Y.) and freshman Casey Blythe (Louisville, Ky.) of Johns Hopkins reached the semifinals of the ITA South Regionals last weekend. Maldow advanced to the finals in 2006 as a freshman.

Blythe and senior Joe Vasoontara (Bangkok, Thailand) also advanced to the championship match of the doubles flight.

On the women's team, sophomore Anita Bhamidipati (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) moved to the quarterfinals of the ITA Regionals for the second straight year.

ken.murray@baltsun.com

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