It’s an age-old adage: defense wins championships.
The trouble for Fairmont State University is right now the Falcons aren’t worried about winning titles, just games. And the offense simply isn’t scoring enough to do so.
It has put just seven points on the board in the last eight quarters, and the Falcons dropped two in a row. The defense, meanwhile, has scored two touchdowns during the same stretch.
The Falcons (1-2; 0-2 Mountain East Conference) will try to right that trend today when they host West Virginia State (0-3; 0-3 MEC) at Duvall-Rosier Field. Game time is set for 1 p.m.
“On offense with a new staff and a new system, it takes a while,” first-year coach Jason Woodman admitted. “Usually the last thing that happens is you get in-sync on offense. If we ever get to that, we're going to really be in a good situation.”
When the Falcons announced that freshman quarterback Cooper Hibbs would take the majority of the snaps this season, the logical next step would be to lean heavily on the running game and Daniel Monroe, a junior who ranks eighth in school history with more than 1,700 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns in two seasons.
That plan was derailed before it could be put into motion when Monroe, a USA Football Preseason All-America honorable mention player, went down with a knee injury. He has missed all three of the Falcons’ games, and Woodman said it is still “wait and see” for the future.
The backfield was further depleted when sophomore Shad Alexander tore his ACL in the second series of the first game, ending his season.
“That whole position has been beaten up. We've lost three of the top four guys,” Woodman said, noting that the Falcons also lost a freshman back during the preseason. “It's one of those positions where you can't ever have enough depth because they're going to take a beating and get worn down. We have to be cautious about how we handle the situation because our depth isn't that good.”
Of the four that Woodman mentioned, the one remaining back is Dawrence Roberts. The senior has done most of the heavy lifting for the Falcons this season, but has been limited to just 214 yards on 61 attempts.
So plan A hasn’t exactly panned out. Plan B? Throw the ball to Chris St. Hilaire, a top 10 wide receiver in FSU history with 117 career receptions and more than 1,500 yards.
The Falcons were able use the 5-foot-9 senior effectively in the early part of the season. But he too went down with an injury (ankle) in the second quarter against Shepherd.
“He's a vital part of what we were trying to do on offense,” Woodman said. “He was the deep threat, the senior figure that you could depend on to go up and make a play when you needed it.”
Woodman’s offense has been unable to find a reliable target to replace St. Hilaire. Proof of this fact is that St. Hilaire is still the team’s leading receiver (10 receptions, 177 yards and two touchdowns) even though he’s missed half of the young season.
Woodman admitted as much.
“We're lacking that one guy who can make a play when he shouldn't,” he said. “That's what Chris was for us.”
Despite the key losses, Woodman said he is pleased with the direction his team is headed. He said the team will move forward despite injuries at key positions.
“Right now we're focused on the guys that we've got on the field,” he said. “We're not worried a whole lot about the guys who we are missing, because there's not a whole lot we can do about it.”
Email Mike DeFabo at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.
It’s an age-old adage: defense wins championships.
- Fairmont State Sports
Cold-shooting Lady Falcons fall to State
In its biggest game of the season to date Fairmont State suffered its worst performance.
Fifth-seeded FSU shot a season-low 29.5 percent from the field (18-of-61), including a dismal 8-of-33 showing (24.2 percent) in the second half and as a result fell, 71-59, to fourth-seeded West Virginia State in the quarterfinals of the first Mountain East Conference Women's Basketball Tournament here Thursday night at the Charleston Civic Center.
Falcons hope for tournament run
Since day one, making another post-season run has been at the top of Fairmont State coach Jerrod Calhoun’s mind.
Last season the Falcons went three-for-four in the WVIAC Tournament, falling to West Liberty in the tournament’s final game. The strong run, though, propelled the Falcons into the NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 seed.
FSU women roll in MEC Tourney opener
Fifth-seeded Fairmont State didn't waste any time Tuesday night punching its ticket for Charleston and earning a berth in the Mountain East Conference Women's Basketball Tournament quarterfinals Thursday at the Charleston Civic Center.
Wimbush named MEC Freshman of the Year
Thomas Wimbush has been named Mountain East Conference Freshman of the Year, as announced by the league office this afternoon. Wimbush also joined teammates Stevie Browning and Brendan Cooper on the MEC second team.
FSU women to open MEC Tournament
When Fairmont State’s women’s basketball team toppled Shepherd, 103-80, Saturday, coach Steve McDonald didn’t know who his team would face.
Falcons edge Shepherd, earn first-round bye: PHOTOS
The scenario Saturday afternoon on Senior Day for Fairmont State's men's basketball team in its regular-season finale against visiting Shepherd University was pretty simple.
Win and receive an automatic first-round bye in the upcoming Mountain East Conference Basketball Tournament. Lose and host a first-round game Tuesday night at the Joe Retton Arena.
Innocent, Garrett star as Lady Falcons roll: PHOTOS
Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at the Joe Retton Arena Fairmont State senior Brianna Innocent was anything but that against visiting Shepherd University.
The 6-foot-1 backup center came off the bench and torched the Lady Rams in the regular-season finale for 27 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to help lead FSU to a 103-80 victory.
COLUMN: Senior season comes full circle for FSU’s Innocent
In like a lion, out like a lamb. That old adage could be used to describe Bri Innocent’s senior season with Fairmont State.
Not to say that she finished her season quietly. Quite the opposite actually.
In her first game in a Falcon uniform, she played like a lion, pouring in 20 points and ripping down 10 rebounds.
FSU looks to close regular season with win
Fairmont State University’s men’s basketball team closed practice on Thursday the way it hopes to close out the regular season today at home against Shepherd at 4 p.m., directly following the women’s contest at 2 p.m.
Sophomore guard Stevie Browning went head-to-head with graduate student assistant coach Sidney Crist in a 3-point shootout.
FSU offering $1 tickets for Saturday’s games
The Fairmont State athletic department will be offering a $1 general admission ticket to any fan that donates a non-perishable food or personal care item at Saturday’s basketball doubleheader against Shepherd.
The doubleheader will begin at 2 p.m. with the women’s game and will be followed by the men’s contest at approximately 4 p.m.
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- Cold-shooting Lady Falcons fall to State