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X’s and O’s

The best way to judge a team is not by the number of wins or losses it has, but by the way it plays each specific game. So while a 5-3 record for CW Post is not the most glamorous mark, it tells a deep, promising story.  Case in point: the Pioneers’ 50-48 loss against Kutztown.

In the game, the Pioneers took a halftime lead with great amount. The half ended with two dominant drives led by Eric Anderwkavich. CW Post’s senior quarterback did not back down at any moment and one-upped the Golden Bears.

Coming into the game, Kutztown had the country’s 21st ranked passing offense. Their quarterback Kevin Morton entered the game with 22 touchdowns and just under 2000 passing yards.  The guy is good.  But Anderwkavich was able to channel himself from 2009, when he won ECAC player of the year, and set a conference record with 651 total yards – 556 of those coming through the air.

Anderwkavich’s play helped the Pioneers get back into the game after they lost the halftime lead. Down by 20, CW Post was able fully command the field on offense.  But a few bad breaks were the difference in the game. A Keith Hadnagy extra point was blocked. Darnel Williams dropped a possible touchdown ball late. And Andrew Kell came inches short of a 2-point conversion.

I highlight all of that to state this; the CW Post Pioneers can play like a playoff team. The squad not only hung with but also nearly overcame a 20-point deficit to a nationally ranked, undefeated team. Eric Anderwkavich has surmounted his early season struggles and went head-to-head with one of the nation’s top passing defenses. The season is not over after this loss, no matter how draining and disappointing the final outcome was.

So yes, the record could be better, mistakes could have been avoided and calls could have gone the other way. But as the great Cleon Salmon once said, “If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas.” The Pioneers have not had a disappointing season by any stretch, but the team does need to step up. With the playoffs in reach and three games left – two against top ten teams in the ECAC – every decision becomes so much more important.  The Pioneers control their own fate and need to win.

“I don’t think it’s much about putting any losses on anybody else,” said Head Coach Bryan Collins. “It’s about us. It’s about us getting another shot to play for first place.” And while the Pioneers didn’t win, they still have an opportunity at first place and a playoff spot in Division II.

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