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Phone: (315) 684-6041
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Email: pr@morrisville.edu
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2012 Mustang Football Preview

Final preparations are underway for the football season at Morrisville State, as they are scheduled to open the 2012 campaign at noon on Saturday, Sept. 1 against Wilkes University on the Morrisville State campus.

After compiling a disappointing 1-9 overall record last season, Morrisville State has been selected to finish eighth overall in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play in 2012.  The Mustangs dropped its first two games in 2011 by a combined four points, including a heartbreaking one point loss to #10 nationally ranked Montclair State, before picking up a victory over Western Connecticut State midway through the year.

Fifteen return to the starting lineup this season, including two all-conference selections from the previous year. The Mustangs need to get off to a fast start in 2012 with non-conference action against Wilkes and Hartwick College, before opening conference play with a gauntlet of Montclair State – Cortland – Kean University, ranked #14 by D3football.com preseason poll.

Head coach Terry Dow, entering his 16th season, is confident the Mustangs can move forward in 2012, but it will take some young players to develop quickly to do so. Already there are multiple position battles between experienced returners and newcomers to the roster.

Here’s a brief look at the 2012 Mustangs.

Offense

Junior all-conference selection Nate Ryan (Staten Island, N.Y.), senior Tim Hammond (Hudson Falls, N.Y.) and sophomore Ryan Mogensen (Westernville, N.Y.) return to anchor the offensive line that on average puts up a 6’4”, 280-pound protective wall. The right tackle position has proven to be a battle and will come down to the wire as sophomore Jedd Burdick (Maine, N.Y.) and newcomer Kraig Parker (Freeville, N.Y.) look to secure that starting position.

Junior wide receiver AJ Latta (Middletown, N.Y.) returns to lead the receiving unit, along with tight end Alec Strong (Yonkers, N.Y.) as a host of others are fighting for playing time. Keep an eye out for freshmen Anthony Mella (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Maurice Betton (Buffalo, N.Y.), as they have shown big play ability in camp thus far.

Sophomore ground and pound running back Tyler Dunworth (Poestenkill, N.Y.) returns to the backfield for the Mustangs this season, after compiling 136 yards on 39 attempts in seven games last season.  Also appearing in the backfield is newcomer Jaquan Cesar (Wappinger Falls, N.Y.) who has been described as a back that can provide some home run ability out of the backfield in a multiple running attack game.

Two are battling for the starting position under center. The race for the lead quarterback position is coming down to last year back-up Mychael Hardamon (Roosevelt, N.Y.) and newcomer Jory Tanner (Adams, N.Y.). Both, according to Dow, have the skill set to run the offense and will play throughout the season until one becomes the clear cut starter.

Defense

Eight return to anchor what is believed to be the strongest defensive unit the Mustangs have fielded in quite some time.

Seniors Leo Reason (Freehold, N.J.) and Darry Albright (Long Beach, N.Y.) will look to bring speed off the edge of the line along with newcomer Julian Serrano (Bronx, N.Y.), as the middle will be clogged by veterans David Williams (Central Islip, N.Y.) and senior co-captain Jack Glen (Syracuse, N.Y.).

Junior Travis French (Newark Valley, N.Y.) and senior Enrique Robinson (St. Paul, Minn.) will flank junior college transfer Brian Doyle (Syracuse, N.Y.) at the linebacker positions. Robinson led the defensive unit last season with 72 total tackles, including 26 solo, while registering three pass breakups, as French added 37 total, recording an interception.

Doyle transferred to Morrisville from Erie Community College where he registered 74 total tackles as a sophomore for the Kats, including seven for a loss of 11-yards, and was a first team All-NorthEastern Football Conference selection.

Veterans Austin Erlwein (Jeffersonville, N.Y.), Jeremy Stewart (Moravia, N.Y.) and Terrance Parson (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) return to lead the experienced secondary unit. Stewart, an all-conference selection last season, was second on the team in 2011 in tackles, recording 38 solo and 17 assisted for 55 total on the season, also registering a team high five pass breakups.

Specialists

The place kicking battle has been won by sophomore Zach Drake (Canastota, N.Y.) while punting duties will fall on Dunworth and Albright, both of which add experience to the position from last season.

Schedule

Morrisville State kicks-off the season at noon on Sept. 1 against foe Wilkes University as part of the NJAC-MAC Challenge, before traveling to non-league Hartwick College on the 8th.

The Mustangs open conference action on the road at Montclair State University on the 15th before returning to Drake Field to host NJAC preseason favored Cortland State on the 22nd.

Kean University comes to Morrisville on the 29th for Mustang Weekend, the College’s homecoming.

Following a bye week, the Mustangs resume conference play on the road at Western Connecticut State on Oct. 13, returning to Drake Field on the 20th against William Paterson.

Morrisville State is back on the road Oct. 27 at Rowan, before returning for their home finale against conference dark horse pick The College of New Jersey on Nov. 3. The Mustangs close out regular season action the following week at SUNY Brockport.