THE GUILFORD-FERRUM SERIES: Ferrum holds a 7-4 advantage in the season series which dates to 1985. After Guilford won the first two matchups between the two schools in 1985 and 1986, the Panthers reeled off seven consecutive victories from 1987 to 1995.
Since then, the Quakers have won two straight narrow decisions over Ferrum. In 1996, Guilford held on for a 21-14 homecoming win over the Panthers. Guilford rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit in last year's meeting to pull out a 28-22 win in double overtime, the first extra periods played in the Quakers' history. Guilford's Marques Williams rushed for a career-high 99 yards and the winning score.
FERRUM IN 1998 (4-0): After going 5-14 over the past two years, Ferrum is showing signs of regaining the form displayed at the turn of the decade when the Chris Warren '90-led Panthers made four straight NCAA Division III playoff appearances from 1987-1990. The 4-0 start is Ferrum's best since going 6-0 to open the 1991 campaign. The Panthers opened the season with a 13-5 win over the Newport News Apprentice School and followed with a 42-10 triumph over Greensboro in its lone home game of 1998 to date. Ferrum defeated Bridgewater, 24-10, and posted perhaps its best win of the season last week with a 22-19 overtime win over Methodist.
Ferrum is one of six schools in the new Atlantic Central Football Conference (ACFC). The league includes Chowan, Frostburg State, Wesley, Methodist and Salisbury State and began play this season. The league will not crown a league champion this season due to scheduling difficulties.
FERRUM OFFENSE: The Panthers employ a four-back, one receiver offense which produces 305 total offensive yards per game and ranks 29th among Division III rushing yards per game leaders. More than two thirds of the offense has come on the ground (224.5 yards per game). Speedy sophomore Kodi Smith and sophomore fullback Randy Anderson lead the Panthers ground-gainers, but sophomore Tony Childress and sophomore quarterback Brandon Rimes will also carry the ball. Rimes favorite target through the air is junior Joey Gause who has half of Ferrum's 16 receptions on the year. The Panthers average 6-0, 256 pounds per man on one of the biggest offensive lines Guilford will face this season. The size increases significantly when 6-7, 307-pound freshman tight end Joee McDowell checks in the game.
STAT LEADERS: Smith 61x263 rushing yards, 4.3 avg, 65.8 yards per game, 3 TD
Anderson 66x251 rushing yards, 3.7 avg, 61.8 yards per game, 5 TD
Childress 29x158 rushing yards, 5.4 avg, 39.3 yards per game, 1 TD
Rimes 9-23, 176 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 58.7 yards per game
Gause 8x146 receiving yards, 1 TD, 18.3 yards per catch
McDowell 1x19 receiving yards
FERRUM DEFENSE: Ranked 16th among the nation's scoring defense leaders, the Panthers stingy defense allows just 11.0 points per outing. Opponents average 267.5 total offensive yards per game and have a 72.9 pass efficiency rating, which gives Ferrum the 15th-best pass defense in the land. Ferrum starts six seniors on defense, including three in the secondary. Senior linebacker J.C. Harmon is off to another strong start after receiving all-state recognition in 1997. Senior strong safety Greg Jones, who scored on a 56-yard interception return against Guilford last year, leads the tacklers in the secondary and has one of Ferrum's seven interceptions. Sophomore defensive tackles Al Staley (6-4, 271) and senior Kevin Dunn (6-2, 285) give the Panthers a large interior line.
STAT LEADERS: Harmon 31 tackles (18 solo), 1 interception
Jones 18 tackles (13 solo), 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception
Mark Renske 16 tackles (8 solo), two tackles for loss, 1 interception
TURNOVERS DOOM GUILFORD IN 24-7 LOSS AT DAVIDSON
THE RESULT: Division I-AA non-scholarship Davidson College (2-2) took advantage of eight Guilford (3-1) turnovers, including a school-record-tying five Quaker interceptions, to post a 24-7 home win last Saturday night. All three Wildcat touchdowns followed Guilford turnovers inside its own 25-yard line. The Quakers trailed at halftime for the third straight week, 10-7, but two third-quarter fumbles led to Davidson scores and prevented a third consecutive comeback. The win snapped Guilford's winning streak at six games, dating back to last year.
OFFENSIVE STARS: On a night when Guilford's offense was limited to 129 total offensive yards, including -3 yards in the second half, the stars were few and far between. The Quakers scored their lone touchdown on a pretty 70-yard screen pass from Brian Foulks to David Heggie, the second such scoring play of the season. Senior running back Dwayne Cherry made four receptions for 30 yards, the most by a Guilford pass-catcher this season.
DEFENSIVE STARS: Junior safety Luke Martin made a game-high 15 tackles (6 solo), matching his team season high. He also made two tackles for loss and recovered two of the four Davidson fumbles. Sophomore linebacker Ben Kenerson had 10 stops (5 solo) on the night and rookie linebacker Will Black added a career-high nine tackles. Senior linemen Terrance Wilson and Humberto Padilla made a season-best eight tackles apiece and combined on five tackles for loss and a quarterback sack.
SPECIAL TEAMS STARS: David Heggie punted five times for a 35.4 yard average. Junior Jimmy Lamour averaged 27.0 yards on two kickoff returns while rookie Chris McKinney returned two kicks for 53 yards.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES: Through the first four games of 1997, Guilford career receptions leader and current Washington Redskins' practice squad player Junior Lord had 32 receptions for 455 yards and six touchdowns. All of Guilford's receivers have a total of 37 receptions for 557 yards and four scores through four 1998 contests.
FAREWELL LIEUTENANT STRELKAUSKAS: For the first time in five years, Danny Strelkauskas '98 will miss a Guilford College football game. A volunteer assistant coach for the six weeks of 1998, he began service as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps last Monday in South Carolina. Strelkauskas graduated from the Officers Candidate School in 1997 and earned his rank by graduating from Guilford last spring.
Strelkauskas set 14 Guilford passing records as a three-year starting quarterback. He ranked second among the ODAC's career leaders in passing attempts, completions and touchdowns. A five-time ODAC Player of the Week, Strelkauskas was a second team all-league pick in 1997 after leading the Quakers to a share of the ODAC title.
THAT WINNING FEELING: In addition to the newness of college life and college football, four Guilford freshmen are tasting victory for the first time in a long while. Rookie defensive lineman Luke White suffered through three straight winless seasons (1 junior varsity, 2 varsity) at Southern Guilford High School in Greensboro before coming to Guilford. Southwest Miami (FL) High School teammates Larry Aguero and Jorge Castillo endured back-to-back 0-10 campaigns as juniors and seniors while freshman receiver Chuck Irwin's Mulberry (FL) High School teams compiled an 8-32 mark in his four years with the varsity, including a 1-9 record as a senior.
The freshmen picked a good time to come to Guilford since the Quakers haven't lost this season and own a six-game winning streak dating back to last season. Guilford has won 11 of its last 12 games. The school record for consecutive wins is nine, set over the 1965 and 1966 campaigns.
TWICE AS NICE: For the first time in Guilford's seven years as a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), Guilford players swept the ODAC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week awards for the week ending September 19. Senior running back Dwayne Cherry picked up the offensive prize after rushing for a career-high 153 yards and two touchdowns in Guilford's September 19 win over Washington and Lee. Junior cornerback Jimmy Lamour earned the loop's top defensive honor for the second time in his career after making five tackles, intercepting a pass, breaking up another and recovering a fumble against the Generals.
AND THE DEFENSE WILL LEAD THEM: After forcing an NCAA-high 44 turnovers in 1997, Guilford's defense has picked up where it left off in 1998 with 20 takeaways through four games. The Quakers have 64 takeaways in 14 games, or 4.58 per game. The Quakers' defense essentially won the season-opener against Methodist by recording six turnovers, five sacks, a safety and a blocked field goal. The defense produced five more turnovers and sacked Generals quarterback Christian Batcheller four times in a 27-20 win over Washington and Lee. The September 26 win over Hampden-Sydney yielded five turnovers, two of which led to Guilford touchdowns. Guilford forced a season-low four turnovers versus Davidson.
Five of the takeaways have led to 33 points scored by the offense. Factor in a safety from the Methodist game, the defense has contributed to 35 of Guilford's 59 points this season, or 59.3% of Guilford's scoring. Five of Guilford's 20 takeaways have come in the fourth quarter.
RECORD CHASE: Senior running back David Heggie began his final season within reach of the school career rushing record. The 1994 ODAC Player of the Year is 626 yards behind Reggie Kenan's '77 standard of 3,486 career rushing yards. He needs two touchdowns on the ground to pass offensive coordinator Calvin Hunter's '92 school-record 18 rushing touchdowns.
INJURY REPORT: Senior safety Barrett Wiley suffered a strained hamstring early in preseason and could make his 1998 debut against Ferrum. Senior cornerback Josh Clayton left the Washington and Lee game with a broken foot and will be out for two to four weeks. Rookie defensive lineman Derek Tolley is out with a broken foot. Junior receiver Dan Rosewag (shoulder) and rookies Matt Hambright (knee), Matt Forrester (shoulder), and Jorge Castillo (hamstring) incurred season-ending injuries in preseason workouts.
QUAKER NOTES: Due to injuries in recent year, senior running back David Heggie has played in only one game against Ferrum. He rushed 30 times for 151 yards against the Panthers in a 1995 road loss.
• For the first time in 12 games, Guilford's defense went without an interception last week against Davidson.
• In each of the past three weeks, freshman quarterback Jon Hardy has entered the game for a few series in the first half in an effort to get the rookie some game experience. The Columbus, GA, native enjoyed a solid outing versus Hampden-Sydney with four-for-five passing and 26 yards plus 27 rushing yards, but suffered through a one-for-four outing last week with three interceptions.
• Guilford's season-opening win and 1997 triumph in the finale marked the first time Guilford produced back-to-back shutouts since the Quakers opened the 1981 season with a 23-0 triumph over Emory and Henry and a 21-0 whitewash of Randolph-Macon.
• Old Dominion Athletic Conference football coaches picked the Quakers third in their preseason poll, behind Emory & Henry and Randolph-Macon.
• Senior nose guard Humberto Padilla wears the nontraditional number one in honor of his younger brother, Miguel, since the two won't be able to fulfill their dream of playing on the same college team. Miguel briefly played football at a junior college in the Midwest.
GUILFORD ON THE AIR: For the fourth consecutive season, all 10 of Guilford's football games will be broadcast on 1070, WGOS-AM. Tom Bryant and Miles Poole handle the play-by-play and color commentary while Keith Lawson reports from the sidelines.
NEXT WEEK: The Quakers continue their three-game homestand and return to league play when they host Bridgewater next week at 1:30 pm. Guilford fell to the Eagles in their 1996 visit to Greensboro. Bridgewater has this week off after dropping their first five games, including narrow losses to regional powers Catholic (33-30) and Emory & Henry (14-13).
GUILFORD'S PROBABLE STARTERS
WR 17 Bryan Porter (So., 6-0, 205)
RT 72 Matt Spillman (Sr., 6-1, 265)
RG 55 Lee Massey (Fr., 6-1, 270)
C 66 Garrick Vogt (Jr., 5-11, 230)
LG 50 Doug Robertson (Sr., 6-1, 290)
LT 73 Matt Dixon (Jr., 5-11, 220)
TE 86 Alan York (Jr., 6-2, 215)
WR 3 Chris McKinney (Fr., 6-2, 185)
WR 9 Aaron Denton (Jr., 5-11, 170)
RB 5 David Heggie (Sr., 5-8, 190)
QB 8 Brian Foulks (Fr., 6-3, 215)
PK 10 Luke Southam (Fr., 6-2, 190)
DE 48 Idris Coleman (Jr., 5-11, 225)
DT 64 Terrance Wilson (Sr., 6-2, 265)
NG 1 Humberto Padilla (Sr., 5-10, 240)
DT 61 Luke White (Fr. 6-1, 220)
DE 26 Scott Sinclair (Sr., 6-0, 220)
LB 16 Ben Kenerson (So., 6-1, 220)
LB 32 Carlos Landin (So., 5-9, 200)
CB 24 Jimmy Lamour (Jr., 5-11, 165)
FS 31 Jeff Turner (So., 5-11, 170)
SS 4 Luke Martin (Jr., 5-10, 190)
CB 29 Thaddeus Nathaniel (So., 6-0, 160)
P 5 David Heggie (Sr., 5-8, 190)