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ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Friday, April 19, 2013

SCSU football to hold Spring Game on Saturday

Here is Andrew Anastasio's preview of Saturday's SCSU Spring football game

NEW HAVEN — Coming off a 3-8 campaign, the Southern Connecticut State football team practiced last Wednesday in preparation for today’s spring game.
“We had a very good offseason,” head coach Rich Cavanaugh said. “Our guys have worked hard in the offseason strength and conditioning program, and I think the attitude has been good. From a spring practices perspective, the effort has been there along with the focus. We are doing the things we need to do to get better.”
JJ Jablonski is back under center for the Owls

Going into the 2013 campaign, the Owls will be without starting wide receivers Willie Epps and Jayson Holt. The team will also be without starting tight end Jerome Cunningham, who recently was selected to participate in the NFL Super Regional Combine held at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
Despite losing several offensive starters, Cavanaugh said he expects players like Lewis Edney, C.J. Staggers, Gary Williams, and Vito Fornarelli to make an immediate impact. Southern will play the annual William “Sully” Sullivan Spring Game today at Jess Dow Field at 10:30 a.m.
“All those guys are working very hard,” Cavanaugh said. “They have shown quite a bit of improvement and I think they all could be quality receivers. I think we have skill guys who are going to be quality players this season.”
The Owls return starting running back Vaughn Magee, who rushed for 1,141 yards and eight touchdowns in 2012. The team will also welcome back starting senior quarterback Jacob Jablonski, who in 2012 threw for 1,675 yards and 10 touchdowns before suffering a season-ending ankle injury against New Haven.
Jablonski said the teams’ focus this spring is building confidence.
“Coming into this spring, a key focus for us is to believe in ourselves and focus on what is being
See SCSU, C3
 taught,” Jablonski said. “Coach strongly emphasizes that, and I think if we can focus on that and do what we are supposed to do, it’s really going to make things happen. If we believe that, then we can do anything.”
Last season, the Owls offense ranked eighth (second-to-last) in the Northeast-10 Conference. Collectively, they averaged 318.5 yards per game. The passing game also saw an eighth place finish with 195.5 yards per game. However, they did finish sixth in rushing with 122.9 yards per game.
“As a quarterback, I don’t think a lot needs to be done,” Jablonski said. “What I do think is important is we have to focus as an offense. Coach pointed out the other day saying ‘it is different from defense where one guy can make a play and maybe the rest of the defense can make a mistake or miss an assignment.’ On offense, it is important that if one guy does their job, the other 10 guys need to do the same. If we can do that, then we will be successful.”
Jablonski said he’s going to miss Epps, who led the team in receiving in 2012 with 655 yards and four touchdowns.
“I’m going to miss throwing the ball to him,” Jablonski said. “It was fun, and having him out there was a pleasure. I am definitely going to miss him.”
For the remainder of the spring preparations, Cavanaugh said he’s looking for his team to improve in all areas of the game.
“I think we need to focus on all phases of our game,” Cavanaugh said. “I can not pin point one area that needs the most improvement. We all need to collectively continue to improve our game.”

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