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ESU Warriors take advantage of VUU Panther miscues, 14-11
East Stroudsburg. PA (8/28) - Fumbles by Virginia Union (0-1) near their own goal line in the first period and in the fourth led to two East Stroudsburg touchdowns to give the Warriors a 14-11 victory in the 2008 opener for both squads. With the win, Warrior Head Coach Denny Douds collected his 210th win in his 35th season as Head Coach of East Stroudsburg.
A fumble in the first period by the Panthers at their own three was immediately converted into a 3-yard TD run by TB Joe Partridge for a 7-0 lead. Virginia Union countered with a 65-yard drive with a 14-yard TD scramble by QB Lamar Little to make the score, 7-6. The score stood that way until the third when second-string, frosh, QB Cheston Hickman led the Panthers into scoring position. Gil Hernandez's 33-yard FG gave VUU a 9-7 lead. The Panthers got two more points on a safety as the ESU line got flagged for holding in their own end zone.
The Panthers led, 11-7, into the final period before another Panther fumble was lost at their own 13. From there, QB Tim Roken fired a pass to his WR Drew Stern for a scoring strike. Greg Knauss's PAT put the Warriors (1-0) up 14-11 with 8:28 remaining. Neither team moved the ball effectively after that. Both came up short on fourth down situations deep in ESU territory as the clock wound down, and the score remained intact.
Extra points: Neither team seemed too intense for an opener. Unlike the pros who play exhibitions nor big schools who play lesser competition to open, both offenses showed they have a lot of work to do. That's typical in an opener like this. The offenses haven't had enough time to get cranked up. They needed this opener to work the kinks out.
I sat next to the ESU band who played "Fight on!" like USC, but not with the vigor played by the real USC.
Soph VUU OT David Mims stands 6'9" and weighs 325 lbs. He's huge! But braces on both knees slow him down.
Good ESU crowd, but quiet until the end. The Warriors gave them little to cheer about.
At halftime, two former Warriors who were drafted into the NFL were introduced. RayYakovonis was drafted by the Vikings in 1980 and played 5 years. Dan Murray, now a cop in Roxbury, NJ, was drafted by the Bills in 1988 and played three years for the Bill and Jets.
40-second clock went into effect. No delay of game calls were made.
Enjoyed talking to a fan nearby who played ball for Ohio U many years back when the Bobcats faced Miami of Ohio coached then by Ara Parseghian. He says he enjoyed coming to watch teams at this level because of the "purity" of the sport. He enjoys attending D-3 games as well as Lehigh and Lafayette games in the Lehigh Valley. He especially enjoys going to Delaware games when he can. I couldn't agree with him more!!
Dedication ceremonies took place before the game to celebrate the installation of lights and Pro-turf at Eiler-Martin Stadium. A fan ahead of me in line for tickets was shocked when he had to pay $10 for a general admission ticket. He turned to me and said, "They put in lights and Pro-turf and doubled the price this year!" He should be happy that they're not charging for personal seat licenses! I'm glad I go to college games!