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Lions’ RB Brown snags conference selection for top rookie performer, James snubbed–team’s O-line, stellar D likely to blame

September 20, 2009

To the Lions’ offensive front-five and defensive starting-11—you should be ashamed of yourselves.

In spite of Hollywood’s best efforts to dissuade society from succumbing to the enticing appeal of “playing God,” it looked as if two units couldn’t resist the temptation to so sorely dominate their opposition Friday night, as the units’ collective performance fueled the Lions’ 58-28 dismantling of FDU-Florham.

And—to a limited extent—it paid off, cracking the window of opportunity for freshman running back Kevin Brown to capture honors as the week’s top rookie performer.

In the wake of his offensive line’s manhandling of the Devils’ front-seven—one that illuminated a catwalk down which Lion ball-carriers casually strutted toward their second-consecutive 300+ yard rushing performance—Brown averaged 12.2 YPC on his only seven attempts, including a 34-yard dash to pay dirt in the second half.

But just as it burned protagonists in films like Jurassic Park and King Kong (and about every other critter-on –island sci-fi flick), assuming the puppet master role in the team’s rout of its MAC rival rendered the Lions’ passing attack unnecessary in the second half. Rather than continue what appeared.

End result—it fixed a ceiling on quarterback Chris James passing totals, squandering an opportunity for its four-year starter to beat out The College of Brockport’s signal-caller for Offensive Player of the Week.

Though Lions’ quarterback Chris James posted a career day, efficiently delivering the rock to his receivers (72.6%) while he tallied 358 yards and three scores through the air—not to mention the other 44 yards and six points he added with his legs—his NJAC counterpart, Jake Graci, found himself in a scenario indescribably dissimilar to James’ just hours earlier.

While the scene in Lions’ Stadium Friday night so eerily resembled a hardcore game-freak’s television picture, both framing the kind of spectacle you’d only expect from a Madden exhibition, Graci found himself in the thick of an vehement scoring exchange —one leaving the fate of an apparently “real game” dangling in his fingertips.

Inclusive in 344-yard, four-touchdown dissection of the Golden Eagles’ secondary, Graci concocted a game-winning drive with 1:43 left in the fourth-quarter, propelling his squad past non-conference foe Frostburg State, 37-32. Graci completed all four of his tosses on the 45-yard march, on par with his precision throughout the contest during which he completed 26 of his 37 throws (70.2%).

So while all indications suggest that the Lions’ hogs enjoyed their zone-blocking clinic—one that demanded the Devils’ reluctant participation—and the defense did…well…about exactly what cornerback Justin Beres’ said it would, neither can argue the detriment inflicted upon one of its most tenured leaders.

Though it’s too late to right the wrongs of the past, one can only hope that recognizing the harm of which it’s capable will prevent each group from acting so selfishly in the future.

Maybe. Just maybe.

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