Catamounts Fall on the Road to Eastern Kentucky

It has been nearly a year since the Catamount football team has won a game. Their last win came at home on September 16, 2006 against the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky whom they beat 20-17. This season, after coming off of a 52-6 loss on September 1 at Alabama, the Catamounts headed into Roy Kidd Stadium looking to end their 10-game losing streak. Instead, the Catamounts’ record fell to 0-2 for the year and they lost their 11th consecutive game as they fell 45-21 to Eastern Kentucky. Neither team’s defense had a stellar performance, as both offenses recorded over 400 total yards. The Catamounts finished the game with a total of 404 yards, while Eastern Kentucky finished with a total of 434 net yards. “Obviously, they did a good job running the football. I felt it really was a matter of them being successful on third down plays, keeping drives alive and wearing us down,” said Catamount head coach Kent Briggs in a Southern Conference Coaches Teleconference. The offensive leader for Western was senior tailback Mike Malone, who had a career day for the Catamounts. He led the team offensively with a total of 322 all-purpose yards. He recorded a career-high 99 receiving yards and scored his first touchdown reception. Malone also finished with 62 rushing yards and had 161 yards in kickoff returns. Joining Malone in the touchdown reception category were senior Nick Miller and sophomore Marquel Pittman. Junior wide-out Kyle Garland finished with a career high of four receptions for 38 yards, and senior Eddie Cohen finished with five catches and 43 yards. Defensively, the Cats were carried by senior Mordy Ornguze, sophomore Chris Collins, and juniors Drew Walker and Quinton Phillips. Ornguze, who missed the season opener after sustaining a fractured thumb, finished the night with a game-high 13 tackles. Collins recorded 12 tackles including three solo stops. Walker and Phillips each recorded nine tackles apiece. Senior quarterback Todd Spitzer finished the game 9-of-21 with 138 yards and a touchdown. However, he also threw three critical second-half interceptions. In the third quarter, sophomore backup quarterback Adam Hearns came into the game and threw the first two touchdown passes of his career and finished 14-of-20 with a total of 158 yards.”I think the overall performance was good against EKU. We had over 400 yards total offense, but we obviously can’t put up those numbers and only score 21 points. I think the defense played well, and there were chances for us to make stops and score, but we didn’t capitalize. Those are the key time situations when we need to win,” said Spitzer. On September 15, the Cats travel to Athens to take on the 23rd ranked Georgia Bulldogs, their second SEC opponent this season. “We are going to focus on what we are doing and what makes us better and building our football program for the future. The (losing) streak is going to end. But, we have a tremendous challenge with Georgia this weekend,” said Briggs about his team. Spitzer believes that if the Catamounts play every down as hard and as smart as possible, then the Catamounts can keep themselves in the game. “When things go wrong, we need to forget about it and move on. It’s going to be loud and it’s going to be hostile, but we have been in this situation before,” said Spitzer.The Catamounts have lost 11 straight games dating back to last season and as soon as they get past the Georgia Bulldogs. With their early season preparation against ‘Bama, EKU, and UGA, the Catamounts can definitely do well and will be physically prepared for the Southern Conference foes when conference play begins.