GLENVILLE - Going out on a long road trip for the third time this season, the Glenville State College football team will leave at 7:30 a.m. today for Missouri in preparation for Friday night's contest versus host Lindenwood University inside Harlen C. Hunter Stadium.
The Lions (2-1) of head coach Patrick Ross are coming off their first loss of the campaign following a 35-28 setback last week to the University of Central Missouri.
Glenville State second-year head coach David Hutchison's Pioneers were blanked 35-0 on the road last week at Southern Conference foe Chattanooga.
"As a team no one ever gave up or stopped fighting," Hutchison said of the defeat, which leaves the Pioneers at 1-2 entering their final non-conference contest of the campaign. "We played hard start to finish. We were competing so those things were positive.
"Defensively, we were able to make some stops and were physical. Offensively, we just never found our rhythm and really never executed real well at all. We didn't block them very well. That's for sure."
The task at hand for the 8 p.m. (EST) kickoff won't be an easy one. Aside from another game away from the friendly confines of Morris Stadium, the Lions have a talented club.
Glenville State (1-2)
at Lindenwood (2-1)
Game time: 8 p.m., Friday
"That guy (Lindenwood quarterback Ben Gomez, 62 of 99 for 902 yards, 8 TDs) can make all the throws and throw it all over the field," Hutchison noted.
"We have to do a great job getting pressure on him and they have a two-time (NAIA) All-American behind him (Denodus O'Bryant). We'll have to be able to stop the run, but we expect them to throw all over the field."
O'Bryant, a dangerous return man who had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown last week, is averaging 5 yards a carry on the season. Gomez' top targets - Andrew Helmick (14-200), Matt Angell (13-196) and Alex Robinson (11-208) - are each averaging better than 65 yards receiving a game. That means the pressure will be on the GSC defensive line to get pressure and for the secondary to continue making plays.
Currently, free safety Terry Reese leads the G-men in total tackles with 29 and has the lone interception for the defense. Defensive lineman Clifford Mason has the only fumble recovery for the Pioneers while cornerback Demetrius Quarles paces the team with five passes defended.
While Lindenwood will try and run the ball versus a Pioneer defense which is allowing 5.7 yards per carry, coach Hutchison knows the GSC offense has to be more cohesive this week.
"We have to give Chattanooga credit," said the coach. "They have a good team, are very well coached and their defensive line dominated our offensive line."
Still, GSC tailback Rahmann Lee has rushed for 298 yards on the season and is sporting an 8.5 ypc average. Pioneer signal-caller Darold Hughes is completing better than 60 percent of his passes and has thrown for 624 yards with eight touchdowns and just one interception.
"It was great to get back to practice on Monday and the guys were excited to get back," added Hutchison, who has gotten solid production from wideouts Orlandus Harris (24-215-4 TDs) and Robert Jiles (13-236-4 TDs).
"They came back with the right attitude and it's been a high-spirited week of practice aside from being stuck getting back on a bus. Our guys are excited to go play."