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Hornet Preview-Avoiding the Trap

20 October 2017 Views From The Booth Sports

Greetings from The Booth!

It is a wonderful time to be a sports fan! A convergence of 4 major sports is happening right now, with the NHL & NBA regular seasons underway, along with the NFL, and is there anything better than post-season Major League Baseball, where every pitch matters.

Speaking of wonderful things, the Shenandoah Hornets continue to make believers out of skeptical fans around the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Their latest triumph was a Homecoming victory over rival Bridgewater 38-20 in front of almost 4000 fans. It was anything but easy, as the Eagles dominated the game early, winning the time of possession battle and leading at one point 13-3.  The number one passing attack in the nation finally got going in the third quarter, and the Hornets improved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the ODAC.

Just another day at the office for QB Hayden Bauserman, who threw for 446 yards and 5 touchdowns. But it was local product Casey Stewart who made the game-changing play with a punt block, which resulted in a Shenandoah touchdown just one play later and got things rolling for SU.

And the overlooked, and ever-improving Hornet defense did it’s job with key sacks and turnovers. Don’t look now, but the Hornets have had three  ODAC Defensive Player-Of-The-Week honorees this season, the latest being Kyle Dexter, who had 11 tackles and 1.5 sacks in the win over BC.  In the last 2 games, Shenandoah has given up just 24 and 20 points respectively. Combine that with an offense that is top ten in several national categories (yards per game, points per game, and passing yardage), and you’ve got a formula for success.

This week, it’s a trip to Greensboro, NC, to take on the Guilford Quakers, who have lost 4 straight.  This is the proverbial “trap game,” and if the Hornets are even remotely peeking ahead to big games in November against Hampden-Sydney and Washington & Lee, it could be a rough weekend.  The Quakers nearly derailed Shenandoah’s title hopes last year at Shentel, before SU found a way to survive at the end.

GC has an athletic defense and a potentially potent offense featuring senior QB Karsten Miller, who has thrown for nearly 1800 yards, and talented skill players like RB De’Erick Bell and WR’s  Tyriek Russel and Rontavius Miller.  This will not be a cakewalk in Carolina.

The question is, will we get the Guilford who has averaged in the 20’s in their losses, or the Quakers who have averaged in the 40’s in their wins?

I think we all need a paradigm shift when it comes to the Hornets. Instead of the usual approach of “how can we stop the opposition this week”, now I think we should be asking “how is the opposition going to stop us?” This weekend, the Hornets will be challenged but not stopped. In a shootout, Shenandoah prevails 45-38, and stays on top of the ODAC.

That’s it from the Booth! Enjoy your weekend, and don’t forget to cheer on SU as we bring you the action from Guilford starting Saturday at 12:30.