MVSU Football: A Chat With Starting QB Chris Fowler

(Photo Credit: MVSU Athletics)

Mississippi Valley State University Delta Devils’ sophomore quarterback Chris Fowler Jr. is coming off an opener against North Dakota where he was the main conductor for the quick-strike offense of the Delta Devils. This team runs a system that relies on his ability to make quick reads and adjust to the defense on the fly.He finished with 263 yards and a touchdown pass last week. The system that Fowler plays in encourages quick passes to his talented group of wide receivers lead by seniors Quinn McElfresh and Booker Chambers, as well as junior Demarcus Frazier.

The Delta Devils take on Jacksonville State tomorrow night on the road at 6:00 PM on ESPN Plus.

Recently, I had a chance to talk with Fowler about some of his off-field experiences, why he choose MVSU, a bit more about what he hopes to improve on in his sophomore season, and how his game has developed so far.

What are your off the field goals for your sophomore season?

“One of the things I take pride in, is my effort in the classroom. So I would like to be an Academic All American for the second year in a row and maintain a 4.0 GPA like I did last year.”

What are some fun off the field things you and your teammates like to do when not practicing?

“My teammates and I like to compete, so that competitive nature follows us off the field as well. Whether it’s a Madden tournament, bowling, racing, or ping pong in the locker room, we all have fun striving to be the best at whatever it is we are doing at that moment. The funnier moments come in the locker room when you have guys rapping/singing and dancing to their favorite artists while the others are cracking jokes. “
What inspired you to choose your major?
 “A variety of things. Let me start by saying I didn’t just come to college to play football. I wanted to push myself the same way I do in the weight room and on the field, in the classroom as well. With that being said, I wanted something that would challenge me but also give me something to fall back on if the game of football didn’t work out. I used to always wonder how criminals would serve a sentence where “the time didn’t fit the crime” based off some loophole in the system. It just so happens my mother is a paralegal so we had a lot of books about the laws and particular cases in the house growing up so I knew Criminal Justice would always be a major that had a special place in my heart.”
Why did you come to MVSU?
 “I felt wanted. Coach Anderson did a GREAT job recruiting me and they stuck with me through thick and thin.”
What are your career goals?
“To be happy and love whatever it is I end up doing. I know that if I love what I’m doing and I am genuinely happy doing it, then I’ll be successful no matter what it is. “
What is the biggest area of your game that’s developed since you have come to MVSU?
“My feet. Coach Flowers [Offensive Coordinator] has done an awesome job at stressing how important my feet are in relation to rhythm, timing, and velocity. The constant drilling in practice has caused me to play faster and more confidently in the pocket. Every time I catch a snap I hear Coach Flowers’ favorite five words ‘YOU HAVE TO DROP HARD!’ “
What are some of your favorite spots on campus but away from the field to be?
“Study hall, the weight room and my room. I love to help people, so in study hall when I see my teammates or other athletes struggling with a subject I’m strong in, I take pride in being the first to lend a helping hand. In my opinion the weight room is where championships are won and lost. The sweat equity from the weight room can take teams a long way late in the season and I love giving everything I have in the weight room for this team. Last but not least, my room. Like the old saying goes, “There’s no place like home.” Sleep is a big part of my recovery and I like to read knowledgeable books in my down time; both of which happen in my room.”
What do you get from being at MVSU that you could get no where else.

“Gratitude. Being at MVSU made me thankful for the little things in life that I sometimes used to take for granted and for that reason Valley will always hold a special place in my heart. “

Magnificient Moller: How Katie Moller’s Hat Trick Helped UND Fly to 3-0 Win Over Minnesota Duluth

(Photo Credit: Russ Hons-FightingHawks.com)

Last week, the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks learned more about their team in Montana. They did not concede a goal in 210 minutes of play, improved their defense, and utilized opportunistic strikes from their forwards to take the first game against Idaho. Against Montana on UM’s home turf, they were able to come within inches of an extra-time penalty kick and win with their depth and speed, combined with more superb play from netminder Olivia Swenson.

Today, the team was able to draw on their goal-scorer extraordinaire, senior forward Katie Moller to propel them to the victory.Her three goals now give her six tallies on the season. She earned the first hat trick for this program since 2010 when Rachel Loomis scored three goals against South Carolina State.

Moller’s goals came from three different fighting Hawks. Megan Wright, Ashley Ebeling, and Cassie Giddings all contributed to Katie’s superb day. In addition, these goals each showcased how Moller is able to deal with oppenents,either with speed or by winning battles. She won a battle on a throw in and did not miss for her second score, and was able to use her precision shot on the first and third goals to provide the difference for UND.

As for the rest of the game, Head Coach Chris Logan noted that Minnesota Duluth played quite well. Without Moller on the field this result may have been a bit different. In addition, give credit to the entire UND team for playing sound defense. While they gave up a lot of chances, as Minnesota Duluth had 12 shots total, only six of those were able to get on goal to goalie Olivia Swenson. She has earned the starting job through her consistent play and ability to help set up attacks for UND.

Unlike previous years where she started, Swenson is not being asked to make 15 or more saves a game. She praises her defense at every chance she can, and because of them has less work each game. Thanks to UND’s ability to limit chances on net, the Fighting Hawks will be competitive in the games they play the rest of the way.

The next test for the Fighting Hawks comes Sunday at 2 PM against Bemidji State. The Beavers’ team speed will be the biggest thing UND has to contend with on the fast turf surface this Sunday.

Looking Ahead for UND Football: A Chat With Sam Herder of Hero Sports

(Photo Credit: Russ Hons-FightingHawks.com)

Recently, Sam Herder, senior FCS analyst for Hero Sports, had a chance to describe some answers to immediate questions that will determine what UND does both in a few weeks against FCS power Sam Houston State, what they do this week against Pac-12 powerhouse Washington, and more on all things UND Fighting Hawks Football.

  • Which Fighting Hawks do you see as having the most pro potential and why?
    • “Deion Harris. He was one of the top NFL Draft prospects in the FCS last spring before suffering an injury that sidelined him for the entire 2017 season. His stock has dropped obviously, but I think if he can get more comfortable out there and get back to his old self, NFL teams are going to love his size and athleticism.”
  • What does UND need to work on against Washington to get ready for the Bearkats?
    • “UND’s secondary is no doubt going to get tested against SHSU. Just getting experience, especially against a power of an opponent in Washington, is going to make going up against the Bearkat wide receivers a more doable challenge.”
  • What is the biggest benefit besides the guarantee UND gets from playing Washington?
    • “Honestly, these type of matchups are usually about the money, trying to compete for most of the game and staying healthy. The trenches are usually where FCS teams get beat up and UND just wants to make it out of here healthy. The big benefit is this is without a doubt the best opponent on the schedule, so the rest of the opponents are on a more equal playing field.”
  • What does UND need to build on in 2018, and 2019 to be competitive in the Missouri Valley?
    • “To get more physical on the offensive and defensive lines and to recruit better overall athletes. If the Hawks want to make noise in the MVFC, it’s going to have to match the physicality of teams like UNI, Illinois State and NDSU. And as we saw last year, USD was much more athletic than UND. They need to recruit better and develop those athletes.”
  • Who are some players on Sam Houston State Fighting Hawks fans need to keep an eye on this weekend as they take on Prairie View A&M?
    • “Keep on eye on who the quarterback is going to be and how well he replaces two-time Walter Payton Award winner Jeremiah Briscoe. Indications are it’s probably going to be Mike Dare, who started his career at Rutgers. And keep an eye on wide receivers Nathan Stewart and Davion Davis, who are probably the best duo in the FCS.”
  • What type of scheme do the BearKats run on offense, and how do the Fighting Hawks stack up against them?
    • “SHSU wants to score as many points as possible and hold on for dear life on defense. It’s basically all shotgun with a ton of passing, although SHSU does have talent at running back. The Bearkats are going to take their shots downfield, but also will get the ball out of the QBs hands quickly with screens and quick passes to the flats to their speedy WRs.”
  • What are some off-field things UND fans traveling to Huntsville Texas should take advantage of?
    • “Just check out the tailgating and interact with SHSU fans. It’s always fun to see the type of tailgating people do in different parts of the country.”
  • Is Sam Houston State capable of winning the FCS Championship this season?
    • “It’s not impossible. But it’s also not very likely. SHSU can go toe to toe with anyone in the FCS when it comes to pure athleticism. However, the offensive and defensive lines are nowhere close to being physical enough and the defense has major work to do. Both of those weaknesses have been exposed for the last handful of years in their playoff exits.”

 

 

 

 

Rautio and Williams Return the UND Fighting Hawks to Another UND Classic Championship

(Photo Credit Russ Hons-FightingHawks.com)

Coming into the final match of the UND Classic for the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks, Head Coach Mark Pryor’s squad had ridden a roller coaster in their previous two games. Both resulted in sweeps, both included points where the opponent was able to exude some influence and make some plays or cause a few UND errors. Tonight was no exception. UND was able to utilize consistent offense throughout while working to keep its mistakes to a minimum to withstand opponent runs. The Fighting Hawks ended tonight with a sweep of the UND Classic thanks to a 3-0 sweep of the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters.

One player that stood out tonight was freshman Finnish setter Roosa Rautio. Her ability to provide clean set after set for the superb hitters this team has does not go overlooked by anyone. Kayla Williams noted the energy she brings to the team. Tonight, Rautio had a double-double featuring 32 assists and 10 digs.  She helped set 32 of the 37 kills UND had on the evening. Rautio assisted on 86.4 percent of the offense generated by the Fighting Hawks.

After this weekend,we are beginning to see the form of this UND team. They prioritize not only being low error, but using superb passing and setups to spur their front line hitters to greatness every game. Rautio and her years of international experience will help UND drive to its goals this season. In addition, Kayla Williams has had a superb weekend for the Fighting Hawks. She had a double-double on Thursday against Eastern Washington and participates in all phases of the game for UND. From her jump serve to her ability to play all six rotations for UND and lead the way with kills, Head Coach Mark Pryor has found a talented hitter, that along with Rautio and the rest of the Fighting Hawks should provide a strong base from which to retool this year.

The Fighting Hawks spend the next few weeks on the road to finish out their non-conference schedule before starting the Summit Season at home against The North Dakota State University Bison.