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Elon brings high-powered passing attack into Paulson

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Posted: October 11, 2006 12:00 a.m.
Updated: October 23, 2006 4:18 p.m.
    Elon quarterback Wes Pope — the reigning Southern Conference offense player of the week — will do his best to pick apart Georgia Southern’s shaky secondary when the Phoenix visit Statesboro this Saturday at 1 p.m.
    Behind the first-year quarterback, Elon (3-2, 1-1) boasts the league’s best passing offense (247.7 yards a game). Pope, a former tight end and fullback, had a record-setting day during Elon’s 37-19 win over Western Carolina last Saturday - the first league victory for the Phoenix since November 13, 2004.  
    Against the Catamounts, Pope threw for a career-high 296 yards and three touchdowns, which tied his career-best. He completed 24-of-33 passes without an interception, including a career-long 62-yard pass to Terrell Hidgins. Pope leads the league in passing yards per game (229.2), total offense (234.4) and is among the leaders in passing efficiency.
    “He’s slowly but surely becoming a better quarterback,” Elon coach Pete Lembo said. “I think he took a step forward on Saturday, because he was more relaxed early in the game. He was a big factor in us getting off to a good start. Wes is a special person. He’s a real competitor. He’s got a great attitude, and a great work ethic.”
    With the loss to Elon, Western Carolina fell to 2-3 (0-3 SoCon). This week the Catamounts host the Chattanooga Mocs (2-4, 1-2), who were manhandled by defending national champion Appalachian State at home last week, 56-21.
    “I was disappointed in the score differential,” Mocs coach Rodney Allison said. “It wasn’t characteristic of the way we played the last 17 games.”

Furman to
start backup QB
    Backup quarterback Jordan Sorrells will start for Furman this weekend when the Paladins host The Citadel. Furman (4-2, 2-0) is looking to bounce back from last Saturday’s 29-27 road loss to Coastal Carolina.
    “It was a tough week for us,” Furman coach Bobby Lamb said. “We didn’t make plays down the stretch. We couldn’t finish and close the deal.”
Sorrells, a redshirt freshman whose father Tim is currently the Paladins’ offensive coordinator and a former Furman quarterback, replaces starter Renaldo Gray. Gray suffered a high ankle sprain during the Paladins’ 18th play of the game last weekend. Lamb is hoping to have Gray back in two weeks when the Paladins travel to App State on Oct. 28.
    Furman will host a Citadel team coming off of a 28-20 loss at Wofford. The Bulldogs (1-4, 1-1) lone win this season was over Chattanooga on Sept. 30.
    “We’ve got a long ways to go before we can turn the corner,” Citadel coach Kevin Higgins said. “We have to stay consistent in their approach and keep our eyes off the scoreboard.”

ASU’s Moore goes
for 100th SoCon win
Before the SoCon’s weekly teleconference Tuesday, App State coach Jerry Moore had no idea he was on the verge of his 100th league win.
    “I didn’t know that,” the affable coach said. “It’s been such a fun ride.”
    The Mountaineers (5-1, 2-0) will look to give their coach the landmark victory when they host Wofford (2-3, 1-1) Saturday.
    “Year in and year out, Wofford is always one of the schools we prepare the hardest for,” Moore said. “Their kids always play hard.”
    ASU freshman quarterback Armanti Edwards set new career-marks against Chattanooga, throwing for 311 yards and three touchdowns.
    “He keeps surprising me,” Moore said. “He is unpretentious about his role, and he has nice vision for a young quarterback. We are very pleased with him.”
    Wofford coach Mike Ayers said his team will have its hands full this weekend.
    “App is on a roll,” Ayers said. “They are just a heck of a football team. We know we have to do a lot of things right.”

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.
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