Friday, November 6, 2009

College pregame notes


No one, outside of the most ardent fan and teammate, thought California would be in this position after the first two weeks of the season. The Vulcans will play a team in Shippensburg that appears to have destiny on its side. The Red Raiders have won three game by a combined 10 points, knocking off then-No. 3 Bloomsburg, 28-27, to wrap up the spot in the State Game.

The great debate this week is whether the State Game is necessary, considering the loser might not receive a playoff bid because of three losses. But that doesn't seem likely, considering the PSAC has a strong reputation. Cal could probably most afford a loss because the Vulcans have made it to the national semifinals the past two seasons.

Cal will be playing on a grass field at Shippensburg but that should not be a factor because the weather is expected to be sunny and clear. That's good news for tailback Windell Brown, who has run the ball effective since returning midseason from an ankle injury in the opener.

Opponent: Shippensburg
When: 1 p.m., Saturday
Where: Seth Grove Stadium in Shippensburg
Records: Cal is 8-2, 7-0 in the PSAC. Shippensburg is 8-2, 6-1 in the PSAC.
On the air: WCAL-FM 91.9
Television: PCNC (live)
Games remaining: Possible playoff berth

Washington & Jefferson

The pain from last week's loss to Thomas More is still there but the Presidents need to win their next two games if they expect to have any chance at receiving a berth in the NCAA Division III playoffs.

The Presidents struggled on offense in the second half of last week's game and the quarterback combo of Steven Shumaker and Gino Rometo looked rattled and, at times, confused. They have to play well for W&J to win.

The defense has steadily improved this season and end Jacob Bloomhuff is having an outstanding season. Bloomhuff ranks second in sacks (1.44 per game) in NCAA Division III. Wittenberg defensive lineman Eddie Vallery leads the nation with an average of 1.75 sacks per game.

Opponent: Bethany
When: 1 p.m., Saturday
Where: Bison Stadium
Records: W&J is 7-1, 3-1 in the PAC. Bethany is 2-6, 1-4 in the PAC.
On the air: WJPA-AM 1450
Television: None
Games remaining: Waynesburg


After last week's loss to Grove City, the Yellow Jackets need a win this week to assure a fourth straight season of finishing with a .500 or better record. Waynesburg quarterback Brad Dawson has passed for 2,175 yards this season, making him the fourth in school history to surpass 2,000 yards. The others are John Huntley (2004 in 1968), Darren Elvey (2,044 in 1997), and Jeff Dumm, who did it three times from 2002-2004).

Jamelle Bowers leads the stable of running backs with an average of 8.3 yards per carry, 408 on 49 carries. Scott Cree leads the team with 774 all-purpose yards and Ray Hightower has 33 receptions for 487 yards and five touchdowns.

Opponent: Thiel
When: 1:30 p.m., Saturday
Where: Wiley Stadium in Waynesburg
Records: Waynesburg is 4-4, 1-3 in the PAC. Thiel is 3-5, 1-3 in the PAC.
On the air: WCYJ-FM 88.7
Television: None
Games remaining: at W&J

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