FROSTBURG, Md. – Senior Connor Cox threw three touchdown passes and sixth-ranked Frostburg ran for two more in a 42-24 win over Western New England, Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Playoffs.
The Bobcats pushed their record to 10-0 overall with their seventh-straight home victory, while the Golden Bears cap their season at 8-3 overall.
While Frostburg is making its second-straight trip to the NCAA Playoffs, this afternoon's contest with the Golden Bears is just the second time in the 58-year history of the program that the Bobcats have hosted an NCAA Playoff contest.
The previous playoff contest came back in 1993 when FSU suffered a 28-7 loss against nationally-ranked Washington & Jefferson at Bobcat Stadium in the NCAA quarterfinals.
Saturday's contest marked the first-ever meeting between Frostburg and Western New England and the fans in attendance didn't go home disappointed.
The two teams combined for 1,039 yards, 54 first downs and nine touchdowns. Frostburg finished with 582 yards in offense, the most in a single game since early in the 2013 campaign.
The Bobcats ran for over 200 yards for fourth time on the season as they finished with 201, behind 112 yards (18 carries) and the game's opening touchdown from sophomore back Malcolm Facey. Senior Jamaal Morant added 47 yards on the ground (14 carries) and sophomore Aizsha Horne ran three times for 18 yards and a score.
Horne scored from three yards out late in the first quarter to give the Bobcats a 14-10 lead that they never relinquished.
Cox threw for a career-high 381 yards on 21-of-26 pass attempts with three touchdowns. Meanwhile, junior Malik Morris hauled in 11 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns and the Cox/Morris duo connected for a 28-yard touchdown in the second quarter for a 21-10 FSU lead at the half.
Cox later ran for a one-yard touchdown early in the third and tossed TD passes to senior Grayson Boyce (37 yards) and Morris (44 yards) in third and fourth quarters respectively
Frostburg entered the game ranked 17th in the nation at 42.1 points per game, while Western New England was the nation's ninth-highest scoring squad at 44.8 ppg. The Bobcat defense also held the Golden Bears to just 91 rushing yards while they entered the game at over 265 yards per game.
Frostburg improved to 26-1 under head coach DeLane Fitzgerald when holding opponents to under 100 yards rushing and the Bobcats have won their last 26 games when scoring first. Frostburg has also won its last 10 games in the month of November.
Alec Coleman powered the Golden Bear offense as he passed for 298 yards and a touchdown and ran for another 49 yards and one score.
Coleman was shaken up on a play midway through the third but the WNE offense didn't skip a beat. Backup QB Brendan Smith entered and threw a pass behind the line of scrimmage to wide receiver Steven Fedorchak. Fedorchak then lobbed a pass to WR Adam Razza who raced into the endzone for a 68-yard touchdown.
Razza finished with 124 yards and one score on six catches while Jared Wolfe caught 10 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown in the fourth.
The Bobcat defense finished the afternoon with 11 tackles for loss, one sack and picked off two Coleman passes. Sophomore Jake Broschart totaled 11 tackles with 4.5 for loss and a sack. Junior Vincent Persichetti and sophomore Avery Thurman each came away with an interception.
With the victory, Frostburg advances to the second round and will face 14th-ranked Johns Hopkins, who shutout MIT earlier today 42-0. The game location will be announced Sunday, November 18.
Notes: Today's win marks the only time a Frostburg team has been 10-0 … FSU is 13-1 at Bobcat Stadium over the last two seasons … The Bobcats have scored over 40 points in five of 10 games his fall and tied the 1990 team for the most in a season … Frostburg has scored 421 points this fall, the second most in a single season in program history behind last year's squad that scored 468.