WALSH AND MALONE OPEN 2014 FOOTBALL SEASON SATURDAY
The Walsh University football team opens its 2014 season on Saturday in a noon home contest with Tiffin at Fawcett Stadium. This is the second season for the Cavaliers in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference after moving from NAIA Division I to NCAA Division II status, which Malone also did in 2013. Walsh finished just 3-8 in its inaugural season in the GLIAC, although one of those victories was an exciting 30-29 triumph over Tiffin.
“It’s a very tough league,” second year head coach Ted Kerras said. ”I didn’t feel sometimes we were physically up to the task, and sometimes we didn’t finish games. We did some good things, but not enough. We’re trying to get to the top of the GLIAC south, and we still have a lot of work to do.”
Senior defensive back Jamaris Brown, a GLIAC preseason all conference team selection, is definitely a player to watch in 2014. Brown, whose performance has drawn the attention of numerous pro scouts, became the first Cavalier to be selected to the All-GLIAC First Team after he led the conference with five interceptions and 12 pass break-ups. He was second in the conference with four forced fumbles. Brown was also among the team leaders in tackles with 71. He will also have the opportunity to participate in the Dream Bowl, which is the nation’s premier small college all star game. in January. Below is a look at Walsh’s 2014 schedule, which features six home contests.
|Sat.||Sept. 6||TIFFIN UNIVERSITY *||12 pm|
|Sat.||Sept. 13||at Ashland University *||7 pm|
|Sat.||Sept. 20||at Lake Erie College *||7 pm|
|Sat.||Sept. 27||OHIO DOMINICAN *||12 pm|
|Sat.||Oct. 4||NORTHWOOD *||12 pm|
|Sat.||Oct. 11||at Findlay *||12 pm|
|Sat.||Oct. 18||MALONE UNIVERSITY *||6 pm|
|Sat.||Oct. 25||at Wayne State *||12 pm|
|Sat.||Nov. 1||at Northern Michigan *||1 pm|
|Sat.||Nov. 8||GLENVILLE STATE||11 am|
|Sat.||Nov. 15||FERRIS STATE *||12 pm|
Malone has its work cut out in Saturday’s noon season opener at Ohio Dominican. The deefending GLIAC champion Panthers are ranked 13th nationally in Division II. Although the Pioneer went just 2-9 in 2013, fifth year coach Jeff Hehman looks for the program to continue making strides.
The offense racked up over 395 yards per contest last fall and nearly doubled its points per game average from the previous season, going from 14.9 in 2012 to 29.1 a year ago. Malone also led the conference in red-zone touchdown percentage in 2013 and had three special teams TD’s.
In addition to bringing in an exciting recruiting class that features a large contingent of players from the state of Ohio, Hehman and his staff have also made finishing games their top priority. The Pioneers held a lead or were tied with their opponent in five of their nine losses last season. Six of the nine defeats came by 14 points or less, including three games that were decided by fewer than eight points.
One of the Pioneers prize recruits is Lake’s Matt Blasiole. The 2013 Federal League Player of the year will have to battle for playing time as a freshman behind a talented group of returning backs that ranked sixth in the GLIAC with an average of 227 yards rushing per contest last season.
“We really are a different team,” Hehman said. “I think we will be much improved and should compete at a high level if we are healthy. We are not the deepest team, but our maturity has shown through spring ball and camp. The guys are focused and have a strong desire to be the best we can possibly be.”
Below is Malone’s 2014 schedule:
|9/6/2014||*||NCAA DII #13 Ohio Dominican||A||Columbus, OH||12:00 p.m.||Details|
|9/13/2014||*||Michigan Tech||H||Canton, OH||2:00 p.m.||Details|
|9/20/2014||*||Wayne State (MI)||H||Canton, OH||7:00 p.m.||Details|
|9/27/2014||*||Tiffin||A||Tiffin, OH||1:30 p.m.||Details|
|10/4/2014||*||Ashland||A||Ashland, OH||7:00 p.m.||Details|
|10/11/2014||*||Northern Michigan||H||Canton, OH||2:00 p.m.||Details|
|10/18/2014||*||Walsh||A||Canton, OH||6:00 p.m.||Details|
|10/25/2014||*||Lake Erie||H||Canton, OH||7:00 p.m.||Details|
|11/1/2014||Urbana||A||Urbana, OH||1:00 p.m.||Details|
|11/8/2014||*||Findlay||H||Canton, OH||3:30 p.m.||Details|
|11/15/2014||*||Northwood (MI)||A||Midland, MI||1:00 p.m.||Details|