Around the Region

Not dead yet

Owen Costello is one of many Tigers who have had to step up into larger than expected roles in 2016.
Photo courtesy Hampden-Sydney Athletics

There isn't much that head coach Marty Favret hasn't experienced in his 17 years at Hampden-Sydney. Most of it is positive -- 13 winning seasons, five Old Dominion Athletic Conference titles and six NCAA postseason berths.

A four-game losing streak is decidedly less positive, and until this fall, the Favret-led Tigers had never experienced such a prolonged stretch of defeat.

"It's quote unquote a 'rebuilding year' at that point," Favret said, "and everybody outside your locker room is telling you, 'Hang in there, Marty. Seventeen years, you're bound to have a season like this.'"

Favret's response to those shoveling dirt on the 2016 season in early October?

"Don't bury us yet."

Sure enough, Hampden-Sydney has won its last two games, including a 21-15 win against previously unbeaten Guilford on Oct. 8. If you're wondering whether one win can outweigh four losses, it can.

"Somewhere along the lines, you've got to get a win," Favret said. "The Guilford game galvanized our spirits."

So how does a team that's won at least six games in nine consecutive years open a season with four straight losses? There isn't one lone reason, but rather a perfect storm of injuries, growing pains and unexpected challenges.

Senior quarterback and captain Edgar Moore, who passed for 2,513 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior, was lost for the season in the first half of the team's season-opening 38-28 loss to Averett. Senior defensive lineman and captain Ben Carson, who had a team-high six sacks, suffered a season-ending injury before the season even started.

"We don't like to play the injury card, but when two of your captains are on crutches and in a sling, it makes things difficult," Favret said.

Running back Kyree Koonce, who led the team with 1,313 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman last season, did not return to the team this season.

On the field, Hampden-Sydney's defense struggled mightily over the season's first four games, and the numbers back that up. The Tigers allowed 38 points and 520 total yards to Averett, 45 points and 557 yards to Christopher Newport, 42 points and 485 yards to Ferrum, and 45 points and 451 yards to Bridgewater.

"We were really struggling on defense," Favret said. "When teams are able to run the ball on you, it demoralizes you."

In the two wins since then, Hampden-Sydney has held its opponents to 15 points and 290 yards, and 28 points and 423 yards, respectively. It hasn't...

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Andrew Lovell

Andrew Lovell is a writer based in Connecticut and a former online news editor for, as well as a former sports staff writer/editor for the New Britain Herald (Conn.). He has written feature stories for, currently contributes fantasy football content to, and has been a regular contributor to sites since 2007. Andrew has also written for a number of daily newspapers in New York, including the Poughkeepsie Journal, Ithaca Journal and Auburn Citizen. He graduated from Ithaca College in 2008 with B.A. in Sport Media and a minor in writing.

2012-2015 columnist: Adam Turer
2007-2011 columnist: Ryan Tipps
2003-2006: Pat Cummings
2000: Keith McMillan
1999: Pat Coleman


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