The Times West Virginian

October 5, 2013

Concord will test FSU’s improved offense

By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Five days after Fairmont State’s most lopsided win of the season, the scoreboard at Duvall-Rosier Field remained lit with the score of the contest: Fairmont State 56. West Virginia State 3.

The neon glow from the 56-point explosion (35 from the offense, 21 from the ball-hawking defense) was a welcome change for a stagnant offense that produced just one offensive touchdown in the eight quarters leading up to the West Virginia State game.

“Shh,” said quarterback Cooper Hibbs, waving his hand as if to brush away the question when reminded of that statistic. “We’re not going to talk about that one.”

 Hibbs and the Falcons (2-2; 1-2 Mountain East Conference) are looking to further suppress memories of their early-season offensive struggles at 2 p.m. today when they’ll try to deal Concord (3-1; 2-0 MEC) its first MEC loss and spoil the Mountain Lions’ homecoming celebration.

“Those games where we only scored one touchdown, we were still trying to find ourselves,” said running back Dawrence Roberts, who was named the Mountain East Conference Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for two touchdowns and 175 yards. “But I’m pretty sure as you have seen from last week, we put everything together and found a way to score points. We’re finally getting comfortable together.”

Here’s some statistics that may make that offense feel a little less comfortable: The Mountain Lions’ defense ranks second in Division II. It has allowed an average of eight points per game. The unit has held opponents to 10 points or fewer in five of the last seven games dating back to last year.

“From top to bottom they’re very good personnel-wise. And their scheme is really tough because of that,” Fairmont State coach Jason Woodman said.

“They’ve got (linebacker) Jake Lilly, (defensive back) DeShon Marman. Both corners, (Davon) Marion and (Riyahd) Richardson, are very very good corners.”

Woodman could have also added safety Josh Clark to that list. The 6-foot, 200-pound safety forced a fumble and returned an interception for a touchdown on to way to being named Mountain East Conference defensive player of the week.

Fairmont State’s own MEC player of the week, Roberts, knows beating Concord will be a tall task. But the Falcon’s aren’t backing down from it.

“With a top defense like this, it’s a challenge,” Roberts said. “One thing about us is we love challenges. We want to see who’s up to the challenge.”

Email Mike DeFabo at mdefabo@timeswv.com or follow on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.