Tigers picked 3rd in poll
Published 6:03 am Wednesday, August 22, 2018
The Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) football team has been picked to finish third in the 2018 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Coaches Preseason Poll. The Tigers garnered one first-place vote, while defending champion Washington and Lee University and Randolph-Macon College are tied at the top of the poll, with the Generals collecting four first-place votes and the Yellow Jackets two. Newcomer to the ODAC Ferrum College claimed the final first-place vote while rounding out the top four.
The Tigers, who finished the 2017 season at 6-4 overall while finishing second in the ODAC, return a wealth of talent this season, including 12 starters — five on offense, seven on defense.
Offensively, the Tigers return three All-ODAC honorees, including senior quarterback Alec Cobb (Jamestown, North Carolina/Ragsdale) who earned second team honors after throwing for 3,064 yards and 29 touchdowns while completing nearly 69 percent of his passes. Third team All-ODAC receiver Major Morgan (Onancock/Broadwater Academy) will headline the receiving core after catching 56 passes for 778 yards and 10 touchdowns a season ago.
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Third team All-ODAC offensive lineman Tyler Howerton (Alexandria/Langley) returns with Andrew Grage (Virginia Beach/Ocean Lakes) and Nate Higgins (Arden, North Carolina/T.C. Roberson) to anchor the offensive line.
A bulk of the defense returns, including two All-ODAC picks in first team linebacker Griffin Davis (Charlottesville/Monticello), who had 60 tackles and 14 tackles for loss (TFL) last year, and second team cornerback Brian Gwaltney (Colonial Heights/Colonial Heights), who had 59 tackles and 12 pass break ups last year. Chad Vanlandingham (Mechanicsville/Atlee), who had 58 tackles and five TFL in 2017, and Brendan Weinberg (Apex, North Carolina/Middle Creek), who had 29 tackles and six TFL, complete the linebacking core.
The front line returns the likes of Tanner Ramey (Mechanicsville/Atlee), who recorded 33 tackles and five TFL in 2017, John Kline (New Cumberland, Pennsylvania/Trinity), who had 24 tackles and 6.5 TFL, Ryan Mallory (Mechanicsville/Hanover), who had 59 tackles and five TFL, and Luke Roberts (Moseley/Cosby), who had 12 tackles and 1.5 TFL and will play a large role in the secondary this year.
The Tigers open their season Saturday, Sept. 1, as they travel to Danville to face the Cougars of Averett University. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.