Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

September 17, 2012

Rose rises to starting QB job at Concord

ATHENS — A different offense carried the Concord University colors onto the field on Saturday.

Freshman Albert Rose from Orlando, Fla., took over at quarterback after Zack Grossi’s season ended in an automobile crash. Fellow freshman Calvinaugh Jones from Glen Burnie, Md., sparked the run game in his first collegiate contest.

Little-used receivers Tiko Henderson, Tyler Smith and Darrick Williams each caught passes in relief of Concord starters in the Mountain Lions’ 17-14 loss to the University of Charleston.

Rose completed almost 60 percent of his passes — he was 16 for 27 — for 137 yards. He provided a new dimension to the attack with his running ability, carrying 15 times. His longest run was 14 yards. But yardage losses due to six sacks lowered his net rushing total for the day to 9 yards.

Rose, a 175-pound accounting major, had seen the field in a couple of Concord’s games prior to Saturday, but had never started.

Preparation for the Charleston game was “completely different,” Rose said, from his tasks while a backup. Rose said, “I had to watch a lot of film. I worked with Coach [Dustin] Ward a lot, to go over stuff.”

In the early going, Rose said, “They were trying to get me on the move a little bit, line up with a little bit of a read here and there. I was comfortable with everything that we were calling. A couple of breaks here and there, it could have been a completely different game.”

Concord was 0 for 3 in third down conversions in the first quarter but was 7 for 13 after that. CU wound up with 18 first downs, seven more than UC.

The Mountain Lions controlled the ball for 9:32 of the third quarter, and took the lead for the first time in the game on a 4-yard run by Ben Nester — who, like Jones, had never carried the ball on offense until last weekend.

Head coach Garin Justice explained after the game that some of the quarterback sacks were attributable to an undetected injury to his left tackle.

Justice said, “His shoulder popped out of place, and I don’t know it. And then we get the two sacks. He’s playing with a bum arm. All he’s got to do is tap his helmet and let me know, but I don’t know. And you get two sacks.”

A late sack also produced a fumble that Charleston defensive end Jeff Green carried to the end zone for what would be the final score of the game.

“We figured with a new quarterback, pressure would be good,” Green said. “I was in the right place at the right time.”

The game ended with Rose trying to pass the ball downfield.

Jones was called upon 22 times and ran for 111 yards, an average of five yards per rush, and he caught a pair of passes for 21 yards.

His playing status had been in limbo until last week because of a mix-up with his high school transcripts that eventually got sorted out with the NCAA.

The newcomers now have a game under their belt. They have a ways to go to bring the offense back to its former powerhouse status in the conference and in NCAA Division II.

But the confidence already appeared to be building Saturday, only a few minutes after the final whistle.

Rose said, “This game helps take away the jitters. The first series or two, I was like, oh man, what do I do? And then, after that, throughout the game, it was, this is what I’ve been doing since I was 7. Nothing changes. Next weekend, it’ll be the same way.”

Justice said he thought Jones was “the best back on the field today.” About Rose, he said, “Albert’s going to be fine. Albert’s a competitor. He’s a good football player.”

— Contact Tom Bone at

tbone@bdtonline.com

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