League football diary: Hugney will start at QB again on Saturday | Nvdaily
WINCHESTER –Shenandoah University freshman quarterback Steven Hugney will make his second straight start on Saturday at North Carolina Wesleyan, Hornets head coach Scott Yoder said on Wednesday.
Hugney (7 of 18 for 22 yards and an interception) played the first four possessions in Saturday’s 28-23 win over Methodist at Shentel Stadium. With the Hornets leading 14-0, senior Zack Mathis entered quarterback and completed 7 of 18 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns as SU rallied for a 28-23 victory.
A week ago, League offensive coordinator Stan Hodgin said Mathis was going to play at some point in the Methodist game. Yoder said on Wednesday that Mathis, who is No. 2 on the depths chart, would be “ready to play” and did not say he would necessarily play against the Battling Bishops.
Hugney’s last game of the day was an interception with 9:55 left, and Mathis was brought into the game on SU’s next possession in an attempt to provide a spark. Yoder praised the work Mathis did on Saturday, but Yoder didn’t think the quarterback was the only position SU was struggling. The entire Hornets offense seemed out of sync at this point.
In the second game of SU’s second possession, Hugney had to scramble to recover from a bad shot (Yoder’s center of thought Zack Morris sent the ball up his leg). Two games later, the ball was dropped during a transfer attempt. On SU’s next possession, a pass was abandoned on the first down, then a pass that was thrown a little high but was catchable was abandoned on the second down. Yoder noted that the Hornets have yet to establish a running game across four possessions.
“The starting part [of the game] is not a fair assessment of Steven, ”said Yoder. “Do I think he played the lights?” No. But I don’t think it’s a fair assessment to say we struggled because of him. We moved because we needed a change and needed something to get started.
“When we established the racing game it helped everything. Zack took advantage of some things, but we lost way too many passes. I like that 33% of our catches are touchdowns, but we only had nine accomplishments. “
Morris also had a high snap that Mathis had to exploit for himself and take a safety in the fourth quarter, which gave Methodist a chance to take the lead. Yoder said snaps are another area where the Hornets need to be better.
“It’s not on the quarters,” Yoder said. ” We did not have [snap] problems like that all [in preseason camp]. “
Burgan authorized for the complete set: SU senior center linebacker Ben Burgan (11 squad-top tackles) will play the entire game this Saturday after SU appealed the targeting penalty for which Burgan was signaled against Monarchs wide receiver Kobe Praylow with 1 : 20 to play last Saturday.
Burgan was sent off from Saturday’s game, and a targeting penalty means you’re also supposed to miss the first half of the next game. But Yoder said after the game that he planned to appeal, and found out Wednesday morning that Burgan could play.
Yoder initially believed Burgan was called up for pass interference, and he also didn’t think it was an accurate assessment by officials.
“I was amazed they called it targeting,” Yoder said. “The video confirmed it wasn’t, and they canceled it. Burgan is a senior, and he’s not getting those games back. This is the disappointing part. But we have rectified what we need to rectify.
Stellar Special Teams: The first three downs the Hornets won in punt formation drew the biggest roars on Saturday. Two of them occurred on the possession in which Mathis stepped into the game and changed the momentum of the game, and the latter kept the Hornets’ drive alive on the possession which produced the game-winning points. .
But the Hornets also ended Methodist’s dangerous second leg. Praylow returned 11 punts for 223 yards (20.3 on average) with a 58-yard long and 13 kickoffs for 304 yards (23.4 on average) with a 71-yard long in the spring. But on Saturday, he had just two punt returns for 15 yards and the Monarchs had just 58 yards on six kickoff returns, with Praylow (2 for 41 yards) getting half the total. single kickoff returns.
“The execution of the special teams was really good,” said Yoder. “We kept him away from an electric turner and didn’t let him have a major impact on the game.”
Update from Van Voorhis: For anyone looking for first-year defensive back Haley Van Voorhis on Saturday, she wasn’t among the players in uniform. SU has 108 players on their squad, and Yoder said there were only around 85 players on the sidelines in uniform. For road games, Yoder said SU typically only takes 60 players. Van Voorhis is the first woman to play college football in a position other than a kicker or punter.