At the start of the 2017 season, Stevenson’s football team was nationally ranked No. 18 at the Division III level.
The Mustangs started off their season facing Frostburg State, a team ranked No. 17 at the time. This matchup was a true test to see what head coach Ed Hottle’s Mustangs had early in the season.
Stevenson lost 33-7 with a total of -30 rushing yards for the game, turning the ball over three times. In a post-game interview, Hottle said, “The opener forces the coaching staff to look back and we believe we didn’t prepare the team to be ready to play. We did not play enough football before week one.”
Junior quarterback Dan Williams threw for 174 yards and a touchdown, but Frostburg proved to be a bigger opponent.
Stevenson started the season off 0-1 with a test against King’s College for the home opener on Sept. 9.
The Stevenson crowd was loud and supportive to create energy for the players. “Home field advantage is huge, and we have one of the best facilities and fan bases, which really gets the team excited to play,” said Hottle.
The Mustangs started the game with a big play which kept the early momentum in the hands of Stevenson. The special teams unit forced a fumble which led to a touchdown in the first quarter.
Stevenson won the game 38-9 as Williams threw for 247 yards and four touchdowns. Junior running back Jainard Crawley–Lambert ran the football 94 yards on 15 attempts, including a 32-yard run. The victory put the Mustangs at 1-0 in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC).
Williams talked about how the team will continue to play in the upcoming games. “We have to stay consistent and continue to work hard. We know what we have to do, it’s about going out and performing at a high level,” he said.
The Mustangs are away the next two weekends playing at FDU-Florham on Sept. 16 and Delaware Valley on Sept. 23. Both games are conference match-ups. The Mustangs were picked to finish second in the MAC (tied with Albright) behind Delaware Valley in a poll released in late August. The game against Delaware Valley will be an especially significant one for the Mustangs.