Four Downs From The First Half

Greg Madia, Publisher
Dukes of JMU
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Greg Madia/DN-R

First Down – In its first game without starting running back Cardon Johnson, who suffered a season-ending injury last week against Norfolk State, the Dukes as expected rotated players at the position. Earlier this week, offensive coordinator Donnie Kirkpatrick said JMU would give the majority of touches to junior running back Marcus Marshall followed by senior Taylor Woods and then junior Trai Sharp. Through one half, Marshall has picked up 47 rushing yards on 12 carries while Woods has three rushing yards on two carries and Sharp has two carries for no yards.

Second Down – Earlier in the week, Maine coach Joe Harasymiak said he didn’t want to put too much pressure on his freshman quarterback Chris Ferguson against the Dukes’ defense. In the first half, Ferguson threw the ball eight times, but for only 60 yards. He was also intercepted in the first quarter by JMU senior safety Jordan Brown.

Third Down – Maine’s defense became the first to hold JMU scoreless in the first quarter since Colgate did it on Dec. 5, 2015. Through the first half, JMU quarterback Bryan Schor has been sacked once and intercepted once after a pass went off the hands of freshman wide receiver Ezrah Archie before Maine linebacker Sterling Sheffield caught it. The Black Bears have also held JMU to just two successful third-down conversions on eight attempts.

Fourth Down – The lone JMU score of the first half came when Schor found tight end Jonathan Kloosterman on an 11-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Over the past two seasons, Kloosterman has become Schor’s favorite red zone target. Kloosterman, who missed the first two games of this year due to suspension, had red zone touchdown catches against Youngstown State, North Dakota State, Sam Houston State and New Hampshire in last year’s postseason.

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