Feb. 26—BRIDGEPORT — The Concord University football team has been predicted to finish in a tie for fifth in the Mountain East Conference Preseason Poll that was released Thursday afternoon.
The Mountain Lions finished the fall of 2019 with a mark of 1-10 with the lone win coming against West Virginia Wesleyan during the first Saturday of November. Three of the losses for Concord were by 10 points or less including an overtime loss at Glenville State in late September, and a seven-point home defeat to Wheeling in the season's final week.
Concord is slated to play five games this spring starting with a Thursday night home opener March 11 at 5 p.m. against Charleston. Consecutive road games follow March 20 and 27 against West Virginia State and West Virginia Wesleyan. The Mountain Lions return to Callaghan Stadium to face head coach Dave Walker's alma mater, Glenville State, April 3. The regular season wraps up at UNC-Pembroke April 10.
In his first season as head coach, Walker inherits one of the most productive wide receivers in program history in senior Tywan Pearce, who is up to fifth in program history in career catches with 139. Pearce has also made an impact in the return game at Concord, ranking first in program history in all-time kickoff yards (1,560) and 10th in return average (21.6). Last season, Pearce had a team-best 65 catches and ranked second in yards (650).
Senior offensive lineman Nathan Toney has three years of starting experience, including the last two at left tackle. Junior offensive lineman Davis Roberson has appeared in 17 games over his first two seasons in a Concord uniform.
Defensively, the Mountain Lions return their two top tacklers from the 2019 in junior linebacker Tylen Fowler and senior linebacker Dwain Porterfield who combined for 156 tackles. Up front, junior defensive lineman Nathan Lease had 10.5 tackles for loss and three sacks in 2019 as he tallied 35 total tackles. Senior defensive lineman JT Turner added two sacks in 2019. Senior defensive back Jonathan Roebuck has appeared in 31 career games at Concord and has recorded four interceptions and 10 pass break-ups.
Walker has added a host of new faces to the program in his 14 months as the head coach of the Mountain Lions. Some of the notables are freshman wide receiver Jarod Bowie (Martinsburg), freshman offensive lineman Bo Rowland (Gaitlinburg, Tenn.), sophomore quarterback Jack Mangel (Athens, Ga.) who transferred from Northeast Mississippi Community College and junior defensive back Marcellus Saint (Woodstock, Conn.) who transferred in from Lackawanna Community College.
MEC Preseason POLL
Place Team Points (First-Place Votes)
1. Charleston 60 (5)
2. West Virginia State 55 (5)
3. Glenville State 48 (1)
4. UNC-Pembroke 41 (1)
T-5. Concord 21
T-5. West Virginia Wesleyan 21