GAME DAY CENTRAL: NORTH GREENVILLE vs. ALBANY STATE
September 1, 2012
September 1, 2012 (Albany, Georgia)
Pre-season is over and its time for Crusader Football! North Greenville will open up the 2012 season this coming Saturday in Albany, Georgia. The Crusaders and the Golden Rams of Albany State will faceoff in a rematch of the opening round of the 2011 NCAA Division II Playoffs, in which the Crusaders routed the Rams 63-14.
The win over Albany State was the first ever playoff win for the North Greenville football program. The Crusaders and Rams will square off at 7pm in the Albany State Coliseum.
Both teams enter the season opener with question marks as each coaching staff looks to fill holes left in starting lineups. NGU redshirt freshman Nelson Hughes will make his first collegiate start, while Albany State will look to a Division I transfer to lead its high-powered offense.
Offensively the Crusaders will rely on senior leadership at the skill positions and on the offensive line. Sean Wright, who led NGU with 11 touchdowns last season, returns to anchor a receiving corps that also includes junior playmaker Freddie Martino who led all receivers with 66 receptions for 1,007 yards last season. Also back for North Greenville is senior Harold Small, who will anchor the slot position.
On the interior, seniors Chancellor Hudson and Sterling Ward will lead the front five for NGU, while juniors Jacob Morris, Ryan Thurn and Will Beacham will round out one of the most solid offensive fronts in recent memory. Also in the mix is senior tight end Lawrence Chastang who started 13 games in 2011.
On the defensive side of the ball, a core of seasoned veterans will lead the Crusaders. Four-year starter Isaiah Johnson returns to anchor the defensive backfield while also managing the punt return duties. Johnson is two punt returns away from breaking the all time NCAA returns record. At linebacker, Jonathon Sharpe who was second on the team with 79 total tackles in 2011, returns for his senior campaign.
The strength of the Crusader defense lies within the defensive line as all three starters possess a great deal of experience. Junior Zach Epting shifts from defensive end to nose tackle in the 3-4 defensive scheme after recording 45 tackles in 2011. Senior Stefan Bynoe and junior Michael Klein will start on opposite ends of the line. The two combined for 61 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks last season. Juniors Jonathan White and Eric Mitchell also return to provide depth along the line, while freshmen Brendon Miller and LeeShawn Cromedy will also be counted on.
Fans unable to make the trip to Albany can follow the game action in variety of ways. An audio feed will be available for fans to stream online provided by 95.5 The Vibe, NGU’s student run radio station. Twitter updates will also be available throughout the game. The will be provided below. Information will be updated as we receive more information.
Also, be sure to checkout the first official addition of The Carroll McCray Show, right now on the North Greenville Sports Network. The link is provided below!