The Hornets “Tackle” Football

By Mariah Graves

Shenandoah’s football team’s record as of now is 2-1.

They are averaging 51.7 points per game.

One star player is Daquan Pridget, a Sophomore, Defensive Back (DB) who received ODAC player of the week and honors from D3football’s Website for his impeccable defensive performance in the first game.

The second top player is Mario Wisdom, a Junior, Running Back (RB). He is a top player on offense.

The last top level player is Jalen Hudson, a Senior, Running Back (RB) who is a top scorer of the team this 2018 season.

Be sure to come out to the home game, this Saturday, September 29th and see all of your Hornets in action! The game is at 1p.m. at Shentel Stadium, Sprint Field.

Get to Know Kalvin Oliver: SU’s Longest Tenured Football Coach

BY: Noah Stitt and Joseph Achour   

Being a coach is more than just blowing a whistle. Coaching is about developing relationships with your players and helping them as they prepare for their futures. In many instances, coaches are former players of their respective sports. That is the case for Coach Kalvin Oliver who just completed his 14th season as an assistant coach for the Shenandoah University football program.

Coach Oliver attended Shenandoah University back in 2000 where he and 131 other players helped start the SU program. Oliver’s first time coaching occurred when he was in high school and he coached  little league basketball and baseball. However football was always his favorite sport. After his freshman year he knew he wanted to be around football as long as possible.

After his playing career came to an end in 2004. Oliver was given the chance to come back and be an assistant coach. “I was fortunate to be offered the defensive line position soon after graduation. The school and the community has changed a ton since 2004. Changed and grown for the better.” One of the biggest things Oliver enjoys doing is giving back to the community he’s called home for so long. “I have enjoyed taking players back to my former elementary schools to mentor and give back to the community”.

The Shenandoah University football program has a lot to look forward to. They have had two consecutive seasons with a above .500 record. When asked to give his thoughts on the future of the program, Oliver said “SU football is going in the right direction and big things are going to happen. We are bringing in high character guys that are bettering the community and getting the opportunity to represent a great university on the field.”

Coaching is a big task and their are always going to be high expectations regardless on where your team is. There is more to coaching than holding a playbook and a headset on the sidelines though. Players will play hard and respect a coach if they do the same towards them. “I don’t know if I will ever stop coaching. I greatly enjoy watching young men grow up, graduate, and get ready for their professional careers. Knowing that I helped them is a great feeling.”

Photo courtesy of Shenandoah University Athletics 

Football players react to Kaepernick controversy

Shenandoah University football players have differing views on whether athletes should kneel during the National Anthem to protest what they view as injustices in the U.S.

By Rachel Levy, Reporter

Shenandoah University football players have differing views on whether athletes should kneel during the National Anthem to protest what they view as injustices in the U.S.

Begun by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the act of taking a knee is spreading from professional players to high schoolers. Kaepernick has said he doesn’t want to stand during the Anthem because the flag “oppresses black people and people of color.”

Football at Shenandoah University | The Buzz

Malik Henry, a junior outside linebacker, said that while he understands Kaepernick’s feelings, he thinks “he could do it in a different way.”

Qlyl Middelijn, a wide receiver and a senior, notes that Kaepernick has a “valid point.”

“If that’s how he feels about this country then that’s his opinion,” said free safety Devontae Dunn, a junior.

Kaepernick is strong according to Lorenzo Thomas, a junior defensive end, who said that he, “applauds him for doing it because no one else has the guts to do it.”

Matt Lumpkin, a junior and wide receiver, agreed.

“People who have a problem with him not standing are the problem because there is a problem,” Lumpkin said.

 Terrell Wheeler, a freshman defensive back, along with Dunn, said that Kaepernick should have the freedom to express his feelings but both noted his actions are disrespectful to the military.

None of the football players interviewed said they would take a knee during the National Anthem.

Freshman lineman Brad Hoffman said he doubted the protests would stop.

“This is how you solve issues, you get people talking,” said Henry.

Video: Football Home Opener Post-Game Reactions

Reporter Rachel Levy interviews Coach Yoder and his players after a home loss against N.C. Wesleyan.

Video by Rachel Levy, Reporter

Reporter Rachel Levy interviews Coach Yoder and his players after a home loss against N.C. Wesleyan.

Highlights of the 2016 Superbowl

Tessa Climer, Staff Writer

The 50th Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 8, had the second highest rating in Super Bowl history, but it was a little less than an exciting game. For many fans, this game was a chance for Peyton Manning, quarterback of the Denver Broncos to retire from the NFL on a good note. On the other hand, Cam Newton, a young rising quarterback star lead his Panthers to the Super Bowl and had a large fan base coming with him.

Tessa Climer, Staff Writer

The 50th Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 8, had the second highest rating in Super Bowl history, but it was a little less than an exciting game. The evening started out with a beautiful performance of “America the Beautiful” by the Armed Forces, followed by Lady Gaga singing her rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” (which she totally nailed, by the way.) These acts set the stage for the teams to storm the field with hope and determination.

For many fans, this game was a chance for Peyton Manning, quarterback of the Denver Broncos to retire from the NFL on a good note. On the other hand, Cam Newton, a young rising quarterback star lead his Panthers to the Super Bowl and had a large fan base coming with him.

As the game started to unravel, the excitement seemed to simmer out except for the one ‘Woo-er’ seated next to the cameramen. If you don’t know whom I am talking about, consider yourself lucky. But, to say anyone other than the Broncos defense won this game would be a lie. The Panthers made handfuls of mistakes during this game, only to have the Broncos take advantage of these mishaps. The game wasn’t much more than each team playing off of each other rather than playing the actual game of football.

Bruno and Mars performing during the Pepsi Superbowl 50 halftime show. Photo: Getty Images

The halftime show raised eyebrows with a unique group of artists joining together. Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars collaborated to give us a visually pleasing dance off as well as including the crowd in a colorful banner that read, “Believe in Love.” For some, the combination of artists seemed too much, but the general consensus seemed to be that the half-time show brought more enthusiasm than the game itself.

One thing we can’t forget about the Super Bowl is the commercials. For individuals like myself, the commercials are the reason I watch. Some of the top favorites were: Doritos (the never fail), Mountain Dew (weird enough to stick in your mind forever) Puppy. Monkey. Baby! And of course, we can’t forget The Heinz running wiener dog commercial. Sure, I missed plenty of the other hilarious ones, but there were also some seriously cool commercials with great messages; the Budweiser commercial with Helen Mirren or even the Mini Cooper commercial. (Let us know on Twitter what your favorite commercials were @thedoahsu!)

Cam Newton and the Panthers may not have shown up in this game, but they will definitely have another shot at a ring in the future. Von Miller had an incredible performance in the game earning him MVP, and according to Peyton Manning, he was buying the celebratory beer that night. All in all, #SB50 was an entertaining night one way or another. And now, you can hear the sounds of crying fans all over the country who are already counting down until the next football season starts.

Football looks to continue momentum

Allen Bridge, ‘Doah Staff Writer
October 22, 2014

'Doah photo courtesy of
‘Doah photo courtesy of

The football team will be looking to carry momentum for the rest of the season after their big win over undefeated Guilford College by a score of 47-31. With the win, S.U. was able to improve their record to 3-2 with wins over Gallaudet, Ferrum and Guilford.

With the win, the football team will be looking for their first winning streak under coach Scott Yoder as the team prepares for the rest of the season.

“My expectations for this team were high from the start of the season because of the people who were on the team. I expected us to perform well talent-wise,” said freshman defensive back Weldon Gilchrist. “Now I see us performing at a very high level. We let two winnable games slip away from us because of us not executing properly, but momentum is high after our big win. We have the potential to be very successful, and we will look to continue the momentum.”

The two games Gilchrist were referring to were a 10-20 loss against Frostburg State and a 23-27 loss against rival Bridgewater.

“I think we are doing well overall for the season, but we need improvement in some areas. We want every team to hear our name and fear and respect us,” Gilchrist said. “We let two games slip away, but we beat a good team in Guilford and that speaks volumes to the type of team we are. Our team was proud of the performance we displayed because we knew we had the talent to win. All we needed was the mentality and mindset to go out there and fight until the end, and we did that.”

With five games left in the season, the Hornets will be looking to make a run under Yoder and position themselves near the top of the standings come playoff time.

“We are now respecting every team like they are the top seed. We are preparing more in practices and studying film a lot,” Gilchrist said. “Practices have been very intense for us. Everything we do is fast-paced and on time which helps translate to our fast pace on the field. From film, we are studying so that we know our opponents better than they know themselves. If we can execute to our best ability that I know we can, no team can out play us.”

NFL divisionals set up conference championships

Allen Bridge, ‘Doah Staff Writer
January 15, 2014

Then there were four. The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots both won their games at home to set up the AFC Championship while the Seattle Seahawks won at home and the San Francisco 49ers won at Carolina to set up the NFC Championship.

Many believe these four teams to be the best in football and after their showings this weekend; it’s hard to dispute that.

On Saturday Jan. 13, the first game was between the New Orleans Saints and the Seattle Seahawks. It featured a matchup of a high powered offense from the Saints led by quarterback Drew Brees, and a stout defense with the Seahawks led by their secondary, called the “Legion of Boom.”

The two teams met earlier in the season with Seattle dominating as they held the Saints to only seven points, winning 34-7. This game would be no different through the first three quarters as Seattle was rolling on defense, limiting opportunities for Brees and shutting out the Saints.

Down 16-0 in the fourth, the Saints made things interesting as running back Khiry Robinson ran in a touchdown from a yard out and running back Mark Ingram ran in the two point conversion to cut the Seahawks lead in half. Seattle then put the lead up 15 as running back Marshawn Lynch scored from 31 yards out with just under three minutes left to play.

With plenty of time left, Brees marched the Saints down the field hitting receiver Marques Colston for a nine yard touchdown pass to make the score 23-15. The Saints then recovered the onside kick with 24 seconds left to play.

With momentum swinging in favor of the Saints, Colston made a huge mistake. After catching a pass from Brees, Colston turned away from the sideline and threw a forward lateral five yards up the field to one of his teammates. Instead of stepping out of bounds with nine seconds left, Colston cost his team the game. By rule, there was a ten second run off the clock due to the forward lateral, officially ending the Saints season with a final score of 23-15.

The other game on Saturday was between the Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. This game featured the running game of the Patriots as they rushed for six touchdowns. Star quarterback Tom Brady did not have to pass the ball much as running backs LeGarrette Blount and Stevan Ridley accounted for the six scores. Blount started the game off with two touchdowns from two yards out to give the Patriots an early 14-0 lead.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck cut the lead to seven on a 38-yard touchdown pass to receiver LaVon Brazill. After leading his team to a come from behind victory over the Chiefs last weekend, this week was not a good one for Luck. He threw four interceptions in the game and was never able to really find any rhythm as the Patriots defense held strong.

Blount would score two more touchdowns from two yards and 73 yards while Ridley scored his two touchdowns from three yards and one yard to give the Patriots a 43-22 win over the Colts.

The first game on Sunday was between the Carolina Panthers and the 49ers. In a game that was sure to be hard hitting and a defensive showcase, the 49ers were looking to avenge their loss to the Panthers from earlier in the season.

The game started out very physical with tempers flaring as the Panthers defense began racking up penalties for unnecessary roughness. Both offenses were not able to generate much as the defenses would not give way to either team. The halftime score was 13-10 in favor of the 49ers.

The second half would be a different story. The 49ers defense applied pressure to quarterback Cam Newton forcing him into errant throws. Newton was intercepted twice in the game and sacked five times as he could not get anything going on offense.

The 49ers offense was able to move the ball down the field scoring 10 points in the second half and more importantly, wasting clock as the 49ers won the game 23-10.

The last game of the weekend was between the San Diego Chargers and the Broncos. A matchup of divisional foes, who split their series with each team winning on the road, set up another big showdown between quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers.

The Chargers looked to continue their success against the Broncos in controlling the clock and keeping Manning and his high powered offense off the field for as long as they can.

However, the Chargers could get nothing going early as Denver quickly took a 14-0 lead going into halftime. Denver would go on to increase their lead to 17 by the end of the third quarter, continuing to shut out the Chargers.

San Diego began to make their comeback attempt as Rivers found receiver Keenan Allen often, this time hitting him for a 16-yard strike for a touchdown. Denver responded as Knowshon Moreno ran for a touchdown from three yards out to increase the Denver lead with the score at 24-7. The Chargers would not go away though as Rivers found Allen again for another 16-yard touchdown and kicker Nick Novak connected on a 30-yard field goal to make it a one score game with a little under four minutes left. Denver however was able to hold on winning the game 24-17 to advance to the AFC championship.

Next week’s championship games are sure to be exciting. The AFC championship features two of the best quarterbacks in Manning and Brady as they renew their rivalry.

The past two times these two have met, the winning quarterback has gone on to win the Super Bowl. The NFC championship features two of the league’s best defenses and division rivals in the Seahawks and the 49ers.

The rivalry is hard-hitting and heated as the two teams split their games earlier in the season. The trash talking is sure to be plenty between the two teams as a trip to New York is on the line.

Thanksgiving Day football brings families together

Joe Bittner, ‘Doah Staff Writer
December 4, 2013

'Doah photo courtesy of
‘Doah photo courtesy of

The NFL is almost as much of a Thanksgiving staple as turkey. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the games that brought family together in front of the big screen.

The first game was in Detroit between the Lions and Packers. The Pack had been struggling after losing Aaron Rodgers for the season with a broken left collarbone; in fact, they’ve done nothing but lose. Hoping to turn things around, Matt Flynn started under center against the NFC North leading Lions. The Lions turned the ball over four times, but that did not stop them from drubbing the Packers.

The Green Bay offense was able to score a measly three points throughout the entire game, while their defense scored the team’s only touchdown. Quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Reggie Bush led the Lion’s offense as they completely controlled the game. The Lions scored 37 unanswered points and won 40-10, an embarrassing outing for the Packers.

The next game was in Dallas between the Cowboys and Raiders. Oakland jumped out to a lead in the first 12 seconds of the game after recovering a Dallas fumble on the opening kick off for a touchdown. As the Raiders continued to score, the Cowboys seemed frustrated and confused. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo was seen sprinting into the tunnel at halftime looking over the playbook trying to figure out what the problem was. This seemed to help as Dallas took over the game in the second half. The Cowboys chipped away at the Oakland lead while the defense held the Raiders to only three points in the second half. DeMarco Murray found the end zone three times through the game. He and Lance Dunbar combined for 145 rushing yards on the day and ran the Cowboys to a 31-24 victory.

The final game was a classic rivalry battle between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. These two hard-hitting teams fought hard throughout the game. The Steelers were held scoreless in the first half while Baltimore clang to a ten-point lead. In the third quarter, controversy struck. The Steelers kicked off after scoring a touchdown and Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones received the ball. He took the ball up the left sideline behind his blockers.

With one man to outrun, he narrowly avoids running into Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Tomlin was standing with one foot in play, seemingly not paying attention and watching the end zone scoreboard. He jumped out of the way at the last second, causing Jones to cut back inside and get run down by a defender and go down. Despite this series of events, the Ravens managed to squeak out a win after a dropped two-point conversion attempt by the Steelers.

Thanksgiving is not complete without football. Whether it’s throwing the pigskin around in the backyard or watching the pros do it on the television, people love football on Turkey Day. It seems fitting that all three of the home teams won this year, since home is where your family is.

Systemic changes led to improved season

Nolan Potts, ‘Doah Staff Writer
November 20, 2013

'Doah photo courtesy of SU Athletics
‘Doah photo courtesy of SU Athletics

Culture is defined as, “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.” When a coaching change takes place, it typically means that the culture needed some type of revamping, and that definitely applies to the Shenandoah football team.

When former head coach Paul Barnes was relieved of his duties in November 2012 after 41 wins in 11 seasons, it was apparent that the program needed to head in a different direction.

To address this need, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Doug Zipp conducted a nationwide search to usher in a new era of S.U. football. In January 2013, Zipp hired Scott Yoder to lead the Hornet football program and develop a consistent winning culture- something that has been lacking in past years.

Yoder is a 2001 graduate of Hobart College in New York and spent the following 12 years as an assistant coach at his alma mater. Taking over a team that finished 1-9 overall and 0-7 in their first year in the ODAC, Yoder had a lot of work to do entering his first head-coaching job.

One of the first things he did was meet with the returning players and set his expectations of what direction the program was heading. The returners went through a rigorous course of workouts during the spring, and they, along with the incoming freshmen, pushed through a very difficult series of summer practices just to have the opportunity to put on the jersey in the fall.

With a new head coach, optimism around the football program was higher campus-wide than it had ever been in years. The excitement even made its way onto social media sites, and before the season even started, players and fans alike were talking about the season to come. The Twitter hashtag “#RedDawn” was developed by new offensive coordinator Stan Hodgin, and it was used throughout the entire season and served as the team motto.

In all, the team finished 4-6 overall and 3-4 in their second season in the ODAC.

The team didn’t have big playmakers such as former All-American wide receiver Rico Wallace and quarterback Daniel Wright in the first year of the Scott Yoder era, but they have a very talented and dedicated group of young players, as well as a coaching staff that will continue to bring in recruits.

They got great leadership out of the four captains that were elected for this season. Those four were seniors Byron Mitchell, Sean Blackman and Preston Funk, along with junior David Bell.

The team got good production out of freshman quarterback Justin Neff and sophomore running back Andrew Smith, who earned ODAC Offensive Player of the Week honors after a program-record 357 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns in an upset victory over Hampden-Sydney.

Sophomore Brandon Adams was the team’s leader in receptions, along with freshman wide receiver Qyli Middelijn and freshman tight end Miles Green. Defensively, the team was lead by Mitchell, who was named ODAC Defensive Player of the Week multiple times during the course of the season.

When you consider the majority of the starters on both sides of the ball are returning, along with a new recruiting class and another year for the returners to get acclimated to Coach Yoder’s system, the 2014 football season should bring just as much, if not more, optimism to the football program.

Change can sometimes be a scary thing, but after the Hornets only won one game in 2012, a four win season is certainly a step in the right direction and nothing to be ashamed of in such a difficult conference.

In my opinion, as someone who isn’t a member of the football team, the change in culture has definitely been noticeable throughout campus in just one season. With more time, the football team has the potential to accomplish feats that haven’t been associated with S.U. football in a long time.

With a young, enthusiastic head coach who knows how to motivate his players, an experienced coaching staff and very talented players on both sides of the ball, don’t be surprised if you see Hornets rising up the ODAC standings in the years to come.

It’s only a matter of time before they become a force to be reckoned with and a team that can compete for a conference championship year in and year out.

Bullying scandal hits NFL

Joe Bittner, ‘Doah Staff Writer
November 20, 2013

'Doah photo courtesy of sports illustrated
‘Doah photo courtesy of sports illustrated

November is Anti-Bullying Month here at Shenandoah University, sponsored by the Psychology department. In this month, we reflect on the effects bullying has on people of all ages. This sounds like something the Miami Dolphins should do.

Richie Incognito, a guard for the Dolphins, has been anything but his name. He has been accused of bullying his teammate Jonathan Martin. The Dolphins drafted Martin in the second round last year and he started all 16 games at offensive tackle. The two players worked together for an entire season before the recent explosion of controversy. Instead of chemistry, these two developed a relationship based on fear.

Many players viewed Incognito as a leader in the clubhouse. However, he immediately began harassing Martin from the moment he was drafted. Incognito left Martin, a bi-racial player, a voicemail in which Incognito said, “I’ll kill you.” He tried to defend his words saying the offensive lineman use vulgar words and threats all of the time. Naturally, the Dolphins organization rejected this excuse.

The Dolphins suspended Incognito on Nov. 3 due to the allegations. This date could not have come sooner. Incognito has a record of bullying teammates dating back to college at Nebraska. He singled out a non-scholarship lineman by the name of Jack Limbaugh and physically hazed him. Finally, Limbaugh left the team after constant abuse.

Incognito is aware of his gifted ability and knows how he can use his size to his advantage. Instead of using this on his opponents, he picks his teammates to hurt. In college, he picked on someone not as talented and gifted- a non-scholarship walk-on. In the NFL, he picked a second-year player with less experience. The definition of bully reads, “a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.” Incognito became very obvious.

NFC South teams underperform this season

Allen Bridge, ‘Doah Staff Writer
November 6, 2013

'Doah photo courtesy of NFL.SI.COM
‘Doah photo courtesy of NFL.SI.COM

What was once considered to be a perennial powerhouse in the NFL, the NFC South has let fans down so far this season. With a conference that boasts the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers, at least two of these teams were expected to be in the playoff hunt by this time in the season. However, it appears that the Saints are on their way to winning the division and locking up a playoff spot. The Saints sit at 6-1, the Panthers at 4-3, Atlanta at 2-5, and the Bucs at a dismal 0-7.

Coming into the season on paper, the Buccaneers were a much-improved team. They brought in pro bowl defensive back Darrelle Revis, safety Dashon Goldson, kicker Nate Kaeding, and drafted defensive back Jonathan Banks and quarterback Mike Glennon. These additions were aiming to help the team reach the playoffs this season after just missing out last year. So far, this season has been nothing but a disappointment for the Bucs. They released their starting quarterback Josh Freeman; they lost running back Doug Martin and receiver Mike Williams to season ending injuries. This past week they were playing division rival Carolina. This game was as ugly as it can get for a team still searching for its first win as Carolina blew them out 31-13. The team is out of sync and it appears as though Coach Greg Schiano is now on the hot seat. This week doesn’t get any easier for Tampa as they play the Seattle Seahawks.

The Atlanta Falcons were one win away from reaching the Super Bowl last season losing to the San Francisco 49ers. This offseason, they brought in running back Steven Jackson, offensive tackle Sam Baker, defensive end Osi Umenyiora, and promising drafted defensive back Desmond Trufant. This season was thought to be Super Bowl or bust for the Falcons. The injury bug has hit them hard losing star receiver Julio Jones for the year while receivers Roddy White  and Seven Jackson have been in and out of the line up. Quarterback Matt Ryan has done all he can to win games, but the challenge has been tough with few weapons to go use. As White and Jackson make their way back from injury, look for Atlanta to start sneaking into the wild card race. This past week, the Falcons lack of depth was on display as Ryan threw four interceptions in the loss to Arizona. This week, the Falcons will look to get back on track as each game begins to become a must win and that starts as they travel to Carolina.

The Carolina Panthers have been a surprise team this year as they are second in the NFC South at 4-3. Cam Newton has been playing some of his best football as of late and the defense has been outstanding. The offense has been clicking as of late with Newton often finding Ted Ginn Jr, Steve Smith and Mike Tolbert for touchdowns. The Panthers are also looking to make at least the wild card this season after missing out last season at 7-9. If they can continue to play like they have been, and with the return of running back Jonathan Stewart coming this week, this could be a very dangerous football team.

The New Orleans Saints sitting at the top of the division with a record of 6-1. Coming into the season things were looking very promising for the Saints. They welcomed the return of their head coach Sean Payton after the whole bounty scandal, they brought in Rob Ryan to lead the new look defense, signed defensive back Keenan Lewis, linebacker Victor Butler, safety Jim Leonhard, offensive tackle Jason Smith, and drafted promising safety Kenny Vaccaro and the speedy receiver Kenny Stills.As long as they can stay healthy and the defense can hold its ground, look for the Saints as a possible candidate to represent the NFC in the super bowl. Last week, they dismantled the Buffalo Bills and look to continue the trend this week as they travel to take on Geno Smith and the Jets.

The NFC South looks to be in the hands of the Saints. The question remains: who can make the wildcard? With plenty of football left to be played this season, wait to see the answers to these questions unfold.

AFC West teams doing well in first half of season

Allen Bridge, ‘Doah Contributing Writer
October 23, 2013

The AFC West is one of the most competitive divisions in football this year. As it stands, the remaining two teams in the league that remain unbeaten are in the division, with the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos both standing tall at 6-0. The San Diego Chargers, with Philip Rivers back to his old form, stand third in the division at 3-3, and the Oakland Raiders round it out at 2-4.

Let’s start with the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. They have a new quarterback in Alex Smith, a new coach in Andy Reid, and are coming off a season in which the team only posted two wins. There was some improvement expected this year from the team due in large part to Reid coming to town, but no one expected the 6-0 start.

The Chiefs started off strong in week one only allowing two points to the Jaguars. The Chiefs defense as a whole has not allowed more than 17 points in a game, with the Titans being the only team to score 17 against them in week five. There may be some doubts about the Chiefs offense as they go only as far as Smith and running back Jamaal Charles can carry them. As long as their defense stays solid enough to keep the score low and give the offense a chance game in and game out, look for the unbeaten streak to continue.

Next are the San Diego Chargers. This is a team that in two of their three losses were only three points away from being 5-1 rather than 3-3. Once the powerhouse of the AFC West with Philip Rivers and Ladainian Tomlinson leading the charge, injuries and changes have taken place and the team has spiraled downward until this season where a new hope has been found.

The Chargers opened the season with a heartbreaking loss to Houston, rebounding week two against Chip Kelly’s Eagles, losing another close one in Tennessee week three and rebounding again week four against Dallas. The Chargers need to be consistent if they are going to hang around in this division with the Chiefs and Broncos.The defense needs to apply more pressure up front to cover up the glaring problem that is their secondary. If they can do that, look for a possible shot at a wildcard spot in January.

The Oakland Raiders are up next. Often considered the laughing stock of the NFL, or no man’s land where all the washed up players go only to never be heard of again, have shown some flashes of promise with dual threat quarterback Terrelle Pryor at the helm.

The Raiders have always been a team to pride themselves on speed, looking to outrun anyone to victory. That theme has not changed under new coach Dennis Allen. They are a top 15 defense but health is a concern on offense with Darren McFadden battling hamstring injuries and Pryor having dealt with a concussion. If they can stay healthy and continue to build through the draft, this is a team to watch out for in the future.

Lastly, we have the top team in the league: the Denver Broncos. They have a high powered offense led by MVP candidate Peyton Manning, newly acquired slot receiver Wes Welker from New England and a strong defense that will have Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller returning to them from a six game suspension. The Broncos are first in the league in passing with Peyton Manning off to a record- breaking start, and now have a reliable running game with Knowshon Moreno finally getting healthy and Ronnie Hillman providing power.

This high-octane offense is averaging 44 points a game and has eclipsed 50 points twice already this season. Although the secondary has disappointed so far, look for the defense to slowly make their climb in the ranks throughout the rest of the season as Miller returns, and players like Champ Bailey begin to return from injuries. The Super Bowl is definitely realistic for the preseason favorites as the Broncos are exceeding their already high expectations, but will they begin to overlook opponents and lose a game that matters? If they keep this pace up, it looks like no one can get in their way from winning the Super Bowl.

The AFC West will essentially come down to two teams — the Chiefs and the Broncos. Which team can stay undefeated the longest? These two teams still have to play each other twice in the coming weeks of the season, so things are only starting to get interesting in this division.

Hornets celebrate Homecoming

Hilary Legge, ‘Doah Managing Editor
October 23, 2013

'Doah photo courtesy of Jessica Richardson
‘Doah photo courtesy of Jessica Richardson

Shenandoah University commemorated another year with its 2013 Homecoming Weekend. The events began on Friday, Oct. 18, with the Homecoming Kickoff and Homecoming Court Presentation. The Hornets cheerleaders, as well as the Buzzin’ Dozen Pep Band, were in attendance to celebrate the announcement of the 2013 Homecoming prince and princesses.

Among those chosen was Melodie Farnan, a sophomore nursing student. “I feel so honored to have been chosen to represent the sophomore class! It was one of the most exciting experiences in my life. I love S.U. and to be chosen to represent an important role felt fantastic.”

Saturday was host to a quintessential homecoming festivity, with the football game and Tailgate Party. The Tailgate Party was held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sprint Field at Shentel Stadium. Immediately following that was the football game with the Hornets going up against Catholic University. The S.U. football team ultimately couldn’t best the Cardinals, losing 37-7. During the halftime show the 2013 Homecoming king and queen were announced. Receiving the honors were senior mass communications majors Myles Hairston and Aysha Malik.

Unfortunately, due to rain, the Homecoming Bonfire was cancelled.

A large part of the purpose of homecoming each year is for alumni to come back and celebrate their alma mater. Therefore, there was a large number of alumni-specific events held throughout the weekend. Along with a few class reunions, there were alumni basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, tennis, field hockey, football and baseball games where former S.U. athletes went up against current members of the respective sports teams. On Saturday night, an alumni dinner was also held to honor distinguished members of various graduating classes.

Throughout the course of the weekend faculty, staff, students and alumni came together in honor of S.U. “I think Homecoming went well, I enjoyed the time I spent with other members of the Homecoming court. It was exciting and I’m looking forward to next year,” said freshmen prince Qlyl Middelijn.

A tough season for fans in the AFC North

Joe Bittner, ‘Doah Staff Writer
October 2, 2013

The AFC North is a very close division this year. As of now, the Ravens, Browns and Bengals share first place in the division with a record of 2-2. The Steelers continue to struggle as they are now 0-4, something almost unheard of in Pittsburgh.

So, let’s start with the Steelers. After two weeks of losing by at least 10 points, things were not looking good. Week three was going to be the week to turn it around though, or so they thought. It was a big game against the Chicago Bears; a historic matchup between two tough and physical teams. But only one showed up that day: the Bears. Pittsburgh’s defense gave up 17 points in the first quarter, digging themselves an enormous hole. The Bears continued to trample the Steelers defense and go on to win 40-23. Going into Minnesota the next week, Pittsburgh had high hopes of finally getting a win. However, going into halftime trailing by 10 did not help their spirits. After three quarters, they were trailing 34-17. They managed to score 10 points in the fourth quarter, but still lost 34-27. The historically solid Steelers defense has shown some serious issues this season. If they cannot right the ship, they are heading for a disastrous year.

Next are the Cleveland Browns. After a 0-2 start, the Browns realized the next two weeks would be crucial for their season. They went into Minnesota and came out with a big win. The offense started slow, but by halftime they had built a 24-17 lead. They added another touchdown in the second half and the defense was able to hold off the Vikings offense for a 31-27 victory. The next game was the division rival Bengals. A low scoring affair was in store for these teams. The Bengals struggled against the Browns defense and only scored six points in the game. The Browns put up 17 points to win 17-6. The Browns seem to have figured it out these past two weeks and hope to continue the pace they are on. If the defense can hold opposing offenses to minimal scoring, the Browns could see a playoff run in their future.

Speaking of the Bengals, Cincinnati came into week three with an even 1-1 record. Their next opponent would be a test — the Packers. After jumping out to a 14-point lead going into the second quarter, the Packers answered back with 16 unanswered in the second. The Bengals found themselves trailing 30-21 entering the fourth quarter and needing a comeback. After scoring 13 points, the Bengals won 34-30. As mentioned before, the Bengals faced off against the Browns. The Bengals offense struggled severely against the tough-nosed Browns defense. The offense played well through the first three weeks with the defense giving up too many points. However, the fourth week showed a switch in roles. The lack of consistency on both sides of the ball can hurt this team in the long run.

Finally, are the Ravens. Also coming into week two with a 1-1 record, the Ravens were still feeling the ridicule of their week one beat down by the Broncos. They went out against a very good Texan team and made a statement. Building a 17-9 lead by halftime, the offense showed no signs of slowing down. The defense did not allow another score in the second half and the Ravens won 30-9. While the offense carried over into week four, the defense did not. In a game against the Bills, the Ravens defense let up 20 points in the first half while the offense could only score seven. The defense was able to hold the Bills to only three points in the second half, but the offense came up short and lost 23-20. The theme of inconsistency continues for the Ravens. The offense shows signs of being hard to stop, then is shut down. At times, the defense seems insurmountable. But at other times, they are unable to tackle. Although it is still early, one side of the ball needs to step up and take control.

The AFC North will be a close division throughout the season. Although the Ravens are the bottom feeders now, they show signs of being able to figure things out. Do not be surprised if in two or three weeks, the teams are only separated by a game or two.