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Football prepared to regain MWC throne

August 26, 2011

 

Andrew Drae/The Courier - Defenders try to stop the offense from running the ball during a scrimmage game on Aug. 20. Players prepared for the upcoming season with several weeks of football camp before the first game. The Fighting Scots will play Wartburg College on Sept. 3 at April Zorn Memorial Stadium.

The sound of whistles blowing, the popping and cracking of shoulder pads colliding; all of this echoes across the Monmouth campus. This can mean only one thing: football season is upon us.

The Fighting Scots look to improve upon last year’s campaign (6-4) thanks to a wealth of experience on both sides of the ball.

“The main thing we gained [last] year is experience,” said head coach Steve Bell. “We should know what we’re doing by now. They’ve got to be consistent every snap.”

The Scots return four fifth-year seniors: quarterback Alex Tanney, running back Nick Law, wide receiver Michael Blodgett, and linebacker Marcus Ruff.

 In addition to Ruff, the defense brings back six starters from last year: linebackers Adam Hoste, Rod Ojong and Cory Bishop; defensive backs Shane Reschke and Eric Weber; and defensive tackle Mike Kettman.

“After the way last year ended up, there’s a real sense of urgency,” said Ojong. “Tensions have been running high and you can tell guys are ready to get out there for real. We’re all a year older and a year wiser and the leaders of the team learned a lot last season. It’s hard to explain but we’re going to let our play do the talking this year.”

Rounding out the offense will be senior tight end David Milroy; senior receivers Evan Banks, Kevin Turner, and Scott Gilman; and senior linemen James Allen and Matt Wright. Other standouts include junior receivers Spencer Brown and Garrett Youngren on the offensive side, and junior defensive ends Jake Willis and Nate Van Metre.

Last season, Tanney’s injury plagued the Scots and started the season 0-2 for the first time since 2002 before finishing 6-4.

The Scots will set out against the Knights of Wartburg College on Sept. 3. Wartburg has made the trip to April Zorn four times since 2006 and has walked away victorious each time.

The team is confident that this is the year that Wartburg will go home empty handed as the Scots will return to the top tier of not just the MWC, but the national rankings as well.

The Scots fell from the top 25 after being ranked 17th in the preseason but hope to make their way back up the list. D3Football.com left the Fighting Scots off the 2011 preseason poll, however they did receive 10 votes from the twenty-five coaches who voted.

Andrew Farraher
Contributing Writer

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