For the Cumberland Times-News
BEAVER FALLS, Pa. — Frostburg State opens the season tonight againstt the Geneva Golden Tornadoes for the fifth-consecutive season.
Kickoff will be tonight at 7 p.m. at Reeves Field.
Last season, the Bobcats defeated the Golden Tornadoes for the second-consecutive year with a 56-53 thriller at Mountain Ridge High School.
The Bobcats will play Geneva for the 23rd time with the Golden Tornadoes holding a slim 11-10-1 advantage in the series. The two teams renewed the rivalry in 2009 after a 16-year hiatus. Geneva won the first three meetings after the series resumed before the Bobcats defeated the Golden Tornadoes 34-21 to open the 2011 season. Last season's touchdown in the final minute gave FSU its second-straight win.
The Bobcats return eight starters on offense including four on the offensive line that has arguably been the team’s biggest strength for the past two seasons. The foursome has combined to start nearly 80 games over the past few years and paved the way for the Empire 8's fourth best rushing attack last season at 150.6 yards per game.
On defense, Frostburg returns five starters from a unit that had its struggles at different times throughout the year. Peter Mayer was named the team’s defensive coordinator. The defense could be spearheaded by senior Tavis Henry and junior Keith Smith who combined for 123 tackles a year ago.
Last year in Frostburg, sophomore Ken Emmons and senior Anthony Young connected on a touchdown with 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lift the Bobcats to a wild 56-53 victory.
The two teams combined for 109 points, 73 first downs and 1,215 yards in total offense. The two combined for 33 points in the fourth quarter alone, all within the last 7:46.