CNU Football kicks-off a new season (almost)

Discussing the mysterious scrimmage against Sailisbury following a year-long hiatus 

~Matthew Morhiser, Sports Editor~

Christopher Newport University (CNU) Football is back, ladies and gentlemen. I know, kind of a weird thing to say during the Spring Semester, but here we are. It almost seems surreal to suggest we would be seeing the Captains take the field for another “gridiron gameday” this time of year, but I don’t think any of us are complaining. Of course, the safety of our university’s athletes is always the foremost concern, but you have to admit, seeing the Captains back between the numbers at TowneBank Stadium is truly a sight to behold. That whole “seeing” part may have to wait a week longer, as the scheduled scrimmage against Salisbury University this past Sunday was not aired on CNUSports.com. 

When we do finally get to see the boys in blue jerseys, there will be some nostalgia attached to the picture. The CNU Football team has not competed in a game since Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. More than a year ago, the Captains suited up for a clash against Dover, De’s Wesley College on Drass Field at Scott D. Miller Stadium. Wesley, who has actually produced a National Football League (NFL) talent in the form of free agent quarterback and former Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers again legend Joe Callahan, escaped the night with a decisive victory. The Captains fell to the Wolverines by a final score of 42-7. 

Ouch. Callahan got one up on CNU. It pains me to write out that sentence, but as a journalist with staunch integrity, it must be done. Regardless of Callahan and whatever trickery Wesley used to vanquish the Captains (a year has passed, so clearly nobody remembers), CNU had the chance to get back on the winning track against Salisbury on Sunday, Mar. 7. At 2:00 p.m. From our gorgeous backyard (and coincidentally enough, our front yard) of Newport News, the Captains once again entered the field of regulated team combat for a contest against the Seagulls. Again, the game was not made available to the public, and it was not recorded live on CNUSports.com. So, I guess you could make the argument that CNU Football isn’t quite exactly back yet. Regardless, it still marks a week before the Captains’ true return to play. Truthfully, the rest of this article will be based on pure speculation, and while the game was only a scrimmage, it still presented two opportunities for the Captains. 

Firstly, CNU had the chance to win their first game since Oct. 26, 2019. The Captains last bested the Lions hailing from The College of New Jersey. CNU defeated “The Garden State’s” academic institution 17-6. Funnily enough, it was Homecoming Weekend for the Captains, and they did not disappoint. Former quarterback and now graduated Captain Jack Anderson threw for 186 yards on 20 of 21 completions. He only connected on one touchdown pass to then sophomore wide receiver Leland Girdy in the closing minutes of the first quarter, but a win is a win. 

The second opportunity presented to the Captains by the scrimmage was to get a sneak peak at how members of the team may fare when games start to get counted towards an overall record and divisional standing. As briefly mentioned, CNU’s last quarterback has graduated, so they would no doubt be traughting out a new signal caller to lineup under center. Everyone loves a good conclusive mystery, so there were many soft whispers discussing who would get the start for the Captains’ first game of 2021. Would it be one of the freshmen? Maybe Matt Dzierski or Tanner Lewis were immediately ready to step up to the leadership role in captaining the Captains. Or would it be a sophomore? Surely the Virginia Beach product Xander Jedlick was prepared for the role after adding one year of experience under his belt. Plus, out of every quarterback on the roster, he was the only one to attempt a pass in the 2019 season. In fact, he played in five games for the team. Jedlick completed 23 of his 43 attempts for a completion percentage of 53.49%, and he averaged 62.20 passing yards per game. But then there’s the juniors. Ty Crabb and Scotty Forbes have awesome names, but are either of them starter material? Lastly, you have the oldest dog in the race, the senior. I am talking, of course, of Mr. Walker Venable. During the 2019 season, Venable did not see the field due to an injury. Would now be the time for No. 7 to finally stake his claim as lead gunslinger? 

Luckily, a lot of questions were answered during the scrimmage for the CNU Football coaching staff. Not so luckily for everyone else (as mentioned before), the scrimmage was not made available to the public. We may not know if the team won their first “game” in over a year or who started at quarterback, but at least the people who absolutely need to know do. Was this article pointless if I had no real news to report on? No, as the scrimmage should be acknowledged, and these are all storylines to remember as the first official game begins. But was this article absolutely necessary? Firstly, how dare you consider that if you actually did, but probably not. 

The Captains’ first official game will be Saturday, Mar. 13 against William Paterson University (WPU). The game will be on the road at WPU’s Wightman Stadium in Wayne, Nj, but you can stream the game live on CNUSports.com. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. 

All statistics, information and results retrieved from: 

Christopher Newport University Athletics – Official Athletics Website (cnusports.com)

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