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Emotions May Help Red Flash Get First Win over Robert Morris
This was not the end-of-the-season script that Dave Opfar envisioned when the football season started in August.
Opfar’s St. Francis University Red Flash have been devastated by injuries and enter today’s battle with Northeast Conference rival Robert Morris (4-6, 3-3 NEC) just hoping to pull out a win at DeGol Field.
The Red Flash are 0-9 and will finish with the worst won-loss record in Opfar’s seven years at St. Francis. Many of his players competed in high school against players now at Robert Morris, and that elevates the level of intensity for the game.
“They will be pumped up for it,” Opfar said. “Defensively, we have to play a sound game. Last week (a 36-0 loss to Central Connecticut), we had some ferocious hitting. Even the officials remarked that it was the most physical NEC game that they had ever seen.”
The Red Flash must take better care of the ball than they did last week, when the score was 6-0 at halftime. St. Francis committed six turnovers in that game, and one of the five interceptions was returned for a touchdown, as was the fumble that the Flash lost late in the game.
Opfar said that junior George Little, who had three interceptions last week, would start even though he “is about 80 percent” with a knee injury.
Little has completed 138 of 254 passes for 1,558 yards and eight touchdowns, but he has thrown more interceptions (10) than touchdowns. He ranks fourth in the NEC in yards per game (194.8).
The running game has not been productive for the Red Flash this year, averaging just less than 70 yards per game.
Joe Walton’s Colonials encountered their own turnover problems last week, committing four in a 41-7 loss to league-leading Albany. Robert Morris is led by sophomore running back Myles Russ, who is averaging 140.8 yards per game, third in the NEC.
St. Francis sophomore linebacker Scott Lewis, a former Bishop McCort standout, continues to lead the Red Flash in tackles with 119, 18 of them for loss. Sophomore Matthew Parker, also a linebacker, is second with 100.
Robert Morris holds an 11-2-1 advantage in the series.
Emotions may help Flash get first win
By Hugh Conrad, The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat (PA)