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Published: Sunday, 9/30/2012

BG's young receivers step up

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN -- The Bowling Green State University football team's young receivers took big steps forward in a 48-8 win over Rhode Island at Doyt Perry Stadium Saturday.

Freshman receivers finished with 10 of the 24 catches the Falcons had in the game, including two TD catches by Chris Gallon and one by Herve Coby.

"It's good to see Chris Gallon hopefully get some confidence after catching two touchdown passes," BG coach Dave Clawson said. "Hopefully Herve Coby's plays will spur him on and give him some confidence.

"It was exciting to see Jermal Hosley make some plays. He gave us some speed and quickness on the outside."

Injuries played a part in the young receivers seeing action. Slot receivers Ryan Burbrink and Heath Jackson did not suit up for the contest, and Shaun Joplin has seen limited action the last two weeks because of injury.

But Clawson said that's only part of the reason the young receivers were on the field.

"It's a combination of attrition -- Ryan Burbrink is hurt, Heath Jackson is hurt, and I don't know how soon we'll have them back," he said. "And we haven't been making as many plays at that position as we needed to."

Gallon caught four passes for 43 yards, including TD catches of 15 and 6 yards, and quarterback Matt Schilz said Gallon has come a long way since the start of fall drills.

"He's practicing a lot harder, which is huge for him," Schilz said. "He's taking every practice rep and treating it like it's the game."

The Falcons originally expected to redshirt Hosley this season. He finished with three catches for 53 yards, including a 30-yard reception.

Coby, who saw extensive action in the second half, finished with three catches for 40 yards, including a 19-yard scoring strike from backup quarterback Matt Johnson in the fourth quarter.

"They are starting to know their assignments and focus on the details," Schilz said of the young receivers. "They just need to keep making plays."

TWO-WAY PLAYER: Sophomore tight end Kendall Montgomery continues to see action on offense for the Falcons. Saturday he added a new position to his repertoire: the defensive line.

Clawson said that injuries were a factor in the decision to give the 6-5, 268-pound Montgomery snaps on defense.

"We haven't been getting a pass rush," Clawson said. "It's something I told the staff: 'Let's think outside the box.'

"Here we have an incredibly physically talented kid that is at a position where we have good depth. As our third tight end, Kendall is playing just 10-to-15 snaps a game. If he can give us 10-to-15 snaps as a pass-rusher, let's use him."

While Montgomery did not make a tackle against Rhode Island, his teammates enjoyed the enthusiasm he brought to the defense.

"That was very exciting [to see] -- Kendall was pretty amped up to get out there and make a play," Gabe Martin said.

Injuries forced the Falcons to use one defensive tackle they had hoped to redshirt, true freshman Mike Minns, while Johnathan Fry has shifted permanently from offense to defense. Minns finished with two tackles while Fry had none.

"We're getting a little banged up on the defensive line, losing Hunter Maynard and Jairus Campbell [to season-ending injuries]," Clawson said. "And we took the redshirt off Mike Minns, and he played.

"We have a lot of football left. We have to play those guys, anticipating that we'll need them."

KICKING CAROUSEL: Both senior Stephen Stein and freshman Tyler Tate kicked extra points for the Falcons against Rhode Island.

Stein missed the extra point following the game's first touchdown but made his next three before he was replaced by Tate, who made a pair. Stein kicked the final PAT.

The Falcons did not attempt any field goals.

When Clawson was asked who his starting kicker will be at Akron next week he said, "It's Stein. I wanted to give Tate some kicks.

"Those two are neck-and-neck. … I wanted Stein to take a few to get some confidence. But I think Tyler Tate is a very talented kicker, and I think he will be good for us in the future.

"I wanted him to make some extra points and be rewarded for all the work he has done."



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