ATHENS — It’s been 22 months for the reason that final snap of an intercollegiate soccer recreation in Athens.That gridiron hole seems to be to be closed at 2 p.m. at this time when the Harmony Mountain Lions and the Bobcats of West Virginia Wesleyan School are scheduled to collide at Callaghan Stadium on June O. Shott Area.The benefits of a house recreation will likely be “big,” mentioned Dave Walker, who will likely be making his residence debut as Harmony head coach.
“I’m excited simply to have the ability to play at residence, and have a few of our group and our college students and followers to be right here,” he mentioned at a press convention earlier this week. “ I do know our guys are actually trying ahead to it.”“These guys will likely be excited simply to see their households, having the ability to come and watch them play. … I believe it’ll be particular for them,” he mentioned. “Harmony historically has a great presence on the residence video games, and good attendance, so I’m trying ahead to the environment.“And, hopefully, we carry out very well, so it offers our followers loads of cheering to do.”The Mountain Lions (0-1) started their season with a 17-10 loss at Glenville State School on Sept. 9.Jack Mangel threw for 402 yards in that recreation for CU, the primary time a Harmony quarterback went over 400 passing yards in a recreation since Brian Novak, late in 2016. Mangel broke the varsity file for single-game completions (36) and makes an attempt (51).Jarod Bowie caught 15 balls for 204 yards and one landing. The 15 receptions have been second-most in an NCAA Division II recreation thus far this season. Tywan Pearce made six catches for 101 yards, transferring into fifth place on Harmony’s all-time catch record.Bowie performed for Walker in highschool at Martinsburg. The coach described him as “scrappy, good child, works onerous, and a competitor.” Walker mentioned that the freshman wideout is “a recreation changer — however we’ve obtained to have the ability to unfold it round somewhat extra as nicely.”The Mountain Lions netted simply 50 yards on the bottom. Freshman Justin Lee ran 15 occasions for 70 yards however Mangel was listed for negative-28 yards within the dashing stats, which included six sacks.
At Glenville, the Harmony protection racked up eight tackles for lack of yardage and recovered 4 fumbles. Veteran Dwain Porterfield had 2.5 sacks and 7 complete tackles. Newcomer Rashon Lusane made 9 solo tackles.Harmony’s new defensive coordinator, Logan Williams, held the identical job at Wesleyan in 2019.West Virginia Wesleyan is 0-2, after a 45-3 loss to Division I Drake College and a forfeit loss final week on account of covid, however Walker mentioned the Bobcats are “a strong group.”“They cross the ‘eye take a look at,’” the coach mentioned. “They’ve obtained some handsome youngsters. It’s only a matter of placing collectively performs, and performing.”“We are able to’t flip the ball over, can’t have silly penalties. We’ve obtained to complete,” he mentioned. “We’ve simply obtained to compete, and eradicate as many errors as we are able to.”Towards Glenville, Walker mentioned, “I actually preferred our effort. I believed our guys performed onerous. We performed quick. … I believed we didn’t deal with adversity nicely at occasions. However I believe there are issues we are able to repair. I did see extra optimistic than destructive, although we didn’t win the sport.”Walker mentioned there may be “nonetheless loads of soccer left to be performed. Our season will not be going to be made or damaged on one recreation at this level, particularly the primary recreation.”The final time the Athenians earned a win at Callaghan Stadium was a 28-24 comeback victory over West Virginia Wesleyan on Nov. 2, 2019.Walker’s debut as a school head coach got here in March as Harmony received at Wesleyan 52-14. Mangel threw for 310 yards and 5 touchdowns in that recreation, and Pearce had 10 receptions, two of which have been scoring performs.Harmony has received 10 of its final 12 contests with the Bobcats to increase its lead within the all-time collection to 23-14-1.