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Out-running The Frate(s) Train

21 October 2016 Views From The Booth Sports

Shenandoah's Cedric Delaney  Photos by Keith Lucas ©Sideline Media Productions

Shenandoah’s Cedric Delaney
Photos by Keith Lucas
©Sideline Media Productions

Greetings again from The Booth!

Finally, the leaves are turning and temperatures are falling here in the beautiful Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and it’s gettin’ serious, folks, as the Shenandoah Hornets enter a series of meaningful football games. SU is 4-2, after a 34-10 win over Bridgewater last weekend, and is right in the thick of the ODAC race. We’ll preview the Homecoming contest against Guilford, but first a salute to a Hornet from the past.

They say that records are meant to be broken, and given the right set of circumstances, Hornet RB Cedrick Delaney will soon become the all-time rushing yardage leader in Shenandoah football history.  He will break the record of SU great Anthony Frates, a vital part of the Hornet’s 2004 NCAA-tournament year. There was no tougher player on that team than the guy we nicknamed “The Freight (Frate) Train”. Frates gained most of his yards between the tackles, as the Hornets featured the Ace-Wing offense.  He was one of those backs who seemingly got better as the game wore on, and by the 4th quarter, the opposing defenses were bruised and battered by Frates and the SU running game.  His most memorable performance was the NCAA berth-clinching victory against Methodist, when he rushed for 207 yards, setting a school record (a record that stood, until Delaney’s 321 yard day against E&H in 2014 .

Yes, records are meant to be broken, but the memory of Anthony Frates plowing through defenders will remain in Shenandoah Football lore.  One more time, we crank up the sound of the freight train from The Booth!

Now, a quick look to SU’s Homecoming contest against the Guilford Quakers. The Hornets have a tall task as they face the league’s top ranked scoring offense and top ranked total defense. This will be the most talented and athletic team Shenandoah has faced this year. If you’re looking for hope, the Quakers lost the then-NCAA Division 3 rushing leader, D’Erick Bell, several weeks ago to injury. So, there’s that. In addition, as a freshman, QB Hayden Bauserman threw for 450 yards against the Quakers last year.  Some things to watch on Saturday:

The Start: The Quakers love to start fast and demoralize opponents by the end of the first quarter. If the Hornets can survive the early onslaught by Guilford, they will gain needed confidence and stay in the game.  Conversely,  SU has traditionally not gotten off to great starts in it’s 1pm games, so the first 15 minutes of this one is key…

The Running Game: That age old formula for victory, run the ball and stop the run, applies here. The young Shenandoah O-line has started to gel the last 2 weeks, as Delaney & (Jalen) Hudson have had big days running the football. This trend needs to continue Saturday for the Hornets, in order to shorten the game  and keep the Quaker offense off the field.  On defense, Shenandoah doesn’t have GC quarterback Matt Pawlowski to deal with anymore, but must stop a still-potent Quaker ground game.

Special Teams: This unit has been the most consistent this season for the Hornets, and Special Teams play Saturday will be crucial. SU will need to make Gulford play on a “long field”. A shootout type of game may come down to a Derek Davis FG,  and you can never rule out a trick play or fake kick from the Hornets.

The last two matchups between these teams have been track meets, with SU winning 47-31 in 2014, and the Quakers getting the “W” last year, 55-38. I see the same this year.  I also see another Scott Yoder signature win in front of the Shentel crowd, and a 38-36 Hornet victory, keeping them in the thick of the ODAC race at least one more week.

A record-setting day by Delaney would be icing on the cake!

That’s it from The Booth!  Until next week…GO HORNETS!