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COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Ferrum, CNU tangle early

Friday, October 5, 2012

By STEVEN MARSH - Sports Editor

FERRUM -- If the preseason pundits are correct, the USA South Athletic Conference championship will be decided in the second weekend of league play.

That's because conference heavyweights Ferrum College and Christopher Newport University (CNU) are meeting in the sixth week of the season, their earliest encounter in series history.

And it's a night game.

Kickoff in Newport News is Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Captains (1-0 in the USA South, 2-2 overall) have won two straight and are playing at home for the first time since their season opener.

"CNU is a very good football team. We have to get 30 players playing at 80 percent (or better) to have a chance to win and if we don't execute, we're not going to win,' Panthers sideline boss David Harper said. "We have to realize that. It's a fact.'

This series, which began in 2001, CNU's inaugural year of intercollegiate football, has been dominated by the Captains in terms of wins and losses.

CNU holds a 10-1 series lead and has bested Ferrum eight straight times. The Panthers' lone win came during the 2003 campaign, 19-17 at W.B. Adams Stadium.

Ferrum's window of opportunity to win again in this series is closing too because the Panthers and the Captains will not be USA South football rivals after the 2015 season.

"This game is just as important as the Averett game (a 49-28 Panthers' win),' Harper said. "But we've got to play better, we've got to execute better.

"For us to win, we've got to do all the right things. That's the way I see it,' Harper said.

 
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