Gridiron Gang Grinds to Endline

Nick Vitale, Reporter

The Cougars amped up their second season, improving in more ways than one.

Although they still haven’t received their first W, as the team hits the midway mark they have many achievements to be proud of.

The football team had the most exciting game a few weeks ago going into overtime against the King’s College Monarchs. The game ended 41-40, marking the only game the Cougar’s didn’t lose in regulation time.

After the homecoming game loss to King’s the team faced off against Widener University hoping to gain their first victory.

“We were only down by ten points at one point. When you’re in that situation, your mindset is that your team is going to score again,” said Teegan French, left guard for the offense. “You are not necessarily thinking about winning the game right away. You are only thinking about keeping the momentum going.”

French said he and the entire team were heated during that 20-point rally. Misericordia managed to hold Widener to under 60 points and they had a 20-point rally toward the end of the game. The the scoreboard read 38-20 this October, a major improvement from last year’s game that ended 67-0.

Head coach Mark Ross sees the improvement week after-week but especially after the game against Widener.

“One of the big things about Saturday’s effort was that we forced Widener to execute a large number of plays to score. There were a lot of drives they had that consisted of more than a dozen plays,” said Ross. “Anytime you make somebody execute that many plays they are going to make a mistake somewhere along the line. I think our defense tackled better on Saturday than they did in previous weeks.”

Sophomore quarterback Jeff Puckett is beginning to throw the ball more often then he did at the beginning of the season, a feat Ross is glad he reached.

“I think the passing gain is coming along. We’ve made some big plays in that area and I think that is huge when you get chunk plays,” said Ross. “I also think that competing against top teams in this league for sixty minutes is what it is all about and I think that being able to do that on a week-in and week-out basis is a real strength of this group of kids.”

Puckett is known for his rushing abilities and is second in the Mid Atlantic Conference with 918 rushing yards.

MU’s offense has come a long way since last season, scoring more points now than ever. Last season, the team was lucky if they scored more than seven points a game, but this year the Cougars have been racking up the points, scoring at least 14 points a game.

“You keep score for a reason. We were not very competitive in games last year. We would only play competitively for the first half of every game,” said Ross. “Now we are in a situation where we are in the late stages of games and we

are competing. I think the players are growing more confident in what they are doing and instead of just playing they are thinking about what to do in certain situations.”

Ross said he knows what his team needs to improve on in the upcoming games.

“As we go forward I would like to see us make plays and in the passing gain if we can get our hands up we have to catch the ball and make a play,” said Ross. “In the running gain I think we need to try to be a little more physical at times. The decision making at the quarter- back position has been pretty spot on. It’s never perfect. Every time you look at a game nobody is ever perfect with their decision making, but I think we are on the right track there.”

For the rest of the season Ross hopes to see his players continue to improve on the football field and continue to do well in the classroom.

“I just want to see them continue to compete on a daily basis. It is just the same things we have asked of them since day one,” said Ross. “We want the players to get better every day, do what they have to do in the classroom, and represent this university and this program in a positive way.”

The Cougars end their season facing off against Stevenson University, Albright College and FDU-Florham University hoping to pick up a win before the season comes to a close.

The best hope for a win will come in their last game at FDU-Flor- ham. The Red Devils are 0-6 in the MAC and 1-5 overall only scoring a win against The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) barely coming out with an 18-12 victory.

A good sign for the Cougars is seeing FDU’s outcome against the King’s Monarchs, losing 52-21 while the Cougars rallied against King’s and only lost by a point.

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