By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports
Our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ coverage continues with a closer look at the Fitchburg State Falcons, who begin their season on Saturday, September 7th when they visit Cortland State for a 12 p.m. kick-off.
The Falcons’ 2018 Season: Fitchburg State capped its season with a 32-29 win over UMass Dartmouth to provide the Green and Gold with some momentum (and optimism) heading into the offseason.
The Falcons mustered just two wins last fall but were competitive in a few conference clashes, including an early-season setback to Worcester State.
The Falcons’ 2018 squad featured 34 first-years and 27 sophomores – the experience these student-athletes gained should help them this upcoming season.
The 2019 Outlook: As noted above, the Falcons were young last year, so the experience the squad gained should help them be more competitive this fall, both in and outside the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). The Falcons graduated nine members of the 2018 squad, including halfback Sterlin Garvin, who led the unit with 10 rushing touchdowns along with defensive back Jared Citizen.
But despite the graduation losses, the Falcons return a slew of talent on both sides of the ball, including linebacker Melchior Lynch, who led the defense with 58.0 total tackles, and quarterback Brandon Brown. Brown was a first-year quarterback last season – he was spotted under center in all 10 games but did split some reps with Connor Fitzsimons, who could also be counted on to lead the offense this fall, as well.
Brown finished second on the team in rushing – he rushed for 519 yards on 85 carries and four scores – while Jacqua Solomon tallied 498 yards on 109 carries and one touchdown.
Back for his final season is wide-out Jesse Brown, who led the receiving core with 44 receptions for 493 yards and three touchdowns. He, along with Kevin Quinn will most likely be Brown’s go-to targets.
Connor Briggs will be a player to watch on the offensive line, along with Darious Morkeski.
Fitchburg State’s Schedule: Following an opening day meeting with the Red Dragons, the Falcons will host Castleton University before hopping into conference play with games against Bridgewater State and UMass Dartmouth.
The schedule won’t get any easier for the Green and Gold as the calendar turns from September to October with some important conference meetings with Plymouth State and Framingham State.
A late-season meeting with Worcester State on Friday, November 1st will be a game to watch, as well, before the Falcons cap their season with a ‘Senior Day’ clash with Western Connecticut.
Players to Watch: Brandon Brown (Quarterback/Lake Mary, Fla.), Connor Fitzsimons (Quarterback/Flushing, N.Y.), Jesse Brown (Wide Receiver/ Yonkers, N.Y.), Kevin Quinn (Wide Receiver/Holliston, Mass.), Connor Briggs (Offensive Line/East Taunton, Mass.), Darious Morkeski (Offensive Line/Methuen, Mass.), Melchior Lynch (Linebacker/Roxbury, Mass.), Caleb Gonsalves (Defensive Line/Mashpee, Mass.), Samuel Kenny (Defensive Line/South Yarmouth, Mass.) and Richard Austin (Defensive Back/Wareham, Mass.).
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