Glenville State hosts Alderson Broaddus tonight

GLENVILLE — Like most head coaches going into the first game of the campaign, they are never 100 percent sure how things are going to go.

If history has anything to say about it, Glenville State College first-year head coach Mike Kellar should have a successful debut when the Pioneers open their season in a non-conference tilt at 7 p.m. today inside the Multi-Sport Performance Stadium against the host Battlers of Alderson Broaddus University in the I-79 Barrel Classic.

Thus far in the short four-year history of the series, the home team has yet to taste victory. A year ago at Morris Stadium, AB rolled to a 45-17 victory as the Pioneer defense allowed 540 yards.

“I’m sure hoping they are,” Kellar said Wednesday morning of whether or not his team was ready to go. “We got another day here of walkthroughs and videos.

“We’re about as ready as we are going to be. I don’t know if that’s ready enough.”

GSC’s defense will be tasked with trying to slow down Battler signal-caller Joe Czelusniak, who passed for nearly 2,500 yards in 2018 and had 25 TDs.

On top of that, leading rusher Jalen Jackson (653 yards, 3 TDs) is back in the fold as too is Mars Hill University transfer running back Jaques Buchannon. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry last season.

Earlier this week, Pioneer senior Mike linebacker Dominic Cizauskas was named to the D2Football.com Preseason All-American first team defense.

He’s coming off a campaign where his 134 total tackles and 85 solo stops were second in the country. His quartet of forced fumbles also was seventh in D2.

Assistant/offensive line coach Rick Trickett will have a trio of freshmen starting on the line — left tackle Jake Oliver, left guard Hunter Kozak (Riverside) and right guard Seth Frame (Sissonville). They’ll be joined by junior center Josh McNemar from South Harrison and sophomore right tackle Ethan Ferguson.

“Kind of is what it is,” Kellar said of the young O-line. “We really like these kids. We’re young up front, but they’ve went through a tough camp. The biggest worry we got is how they are going to react in games.

“Interested to see how they do under the lights of a college football game. Getting used to the speed of the game, we try to simulate it and we had two scrimmages and they are intense.”

Along with having a dual threat in kicker/punter Justin Watts, the G-men will have a lot of familiar faces on offense. Expected to join quarterback Jaylen McNair in the startling lineup are tailback Mario Pender, wideouts Javon Butler, Austin Ratliff (Gilmer County), Osai Brown and true freshman Caleb Wynn of Clay County. Isaac Myers is the tight end.

Flanking Cizauskas will be Will linebacker Wil Mayes and Sam backer D’Andre Brown. In the trenches, look for JT Ngangum, Chris McSweeney, Jose Gutierrez and Ellis Lilly to start.

The GSC secondary, led by free safety Samuel Thomas, also should boast Delonte Hood, Jansen King and Tatah Njoka.

“It’s good to get out there and see where you are out, play for 60 minutes and then do it again,” added Kellar, the 25th coach in GSC history whose squad was picked to finish seventh in the Mountain East Conference.