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October 16, 2003 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-16

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October 16, 2003




Rohlfs off to
start for 'M'
By Michael Nisson
Daily Sports Writer
David Rohlfs' young hockey career has jumped
off to a quick start, but if you ask him he might
not remember why.
That's because Rohlfs, who was the second
Michigan freshman in a row to win the CCHA
Rookie of the Week award, was knocked uncon-
scious in Saturday's game against Miami as he
scored the go-ahead goal for the Wolverines. Fel-
low Michigan freshman T.J. Hensick won the
award two weeks ago.
"It took a little while (to figure out what had
taken place)," Rohlfs said. "I really did not know
what happened.
"I didn't remember the goal or anything (there-
after), so it was a shock, and then when I finally
realized it, I was in the lockerroom."
Prior to the injury, Rohlfs' effort was a good
look at what he brings to the Michigan hockey
team. Rohlfs, a Northville native, is a bruising
player, weighing in at 225 pounds while standing
This gives him a natural physical advantage.
But don't think he's just a one-dimensional play-
"I would tell you that we're probably surprised
that his skating is a lot better than we thought it
probably was (initially)," Michigan assistant
coach Billy Powers said.
"But he's a very good skater for (being) such a
big kid."
Powers also pointed out that Rohlfs' goal was
an example of how hard work pays off.
"I think, to me, it just kind of carries over that
anything that's he's going to attack, he's going to
go 110 percent," Powers said. "David is a kid that
takes everything in (during) practice and really
wants to be a better hockey player.
"You don't really worry about him. You tell
him once and he usually takes things and runs
with it, so in that regard he's a great young kid
and he's doing a great job so far."
When you ask Rohlfs about his early success
on the wing for the Wolverines, he defers the
compliments to his teammates.
"It's easy with the guys you're playing with out
here because they're great and they'll always find

Michigan won't hurry
up and run the hurry-up

The Daily Grind
Sluggish. Slow. Inefficient. Inept.
Those words describe Michigan's
offense in last Friday's game against
Minnesota. But so do these: Potent.
Attacking. Efficient. Explosive.
Michigan has a Jekyll-and-Hide
thing going. It was apparent against
Oregon earlier this season, as well. The
offense masquerades as a gentle giant
for long periods of time, and then, just
like that, morphs into a threatening
So what gives?
The hurry-up.
Michigan sends quarterback John
Navarre to the shotgun formation and
runs a quick-tempo system near the
end of tight games, and it's instant
offense. Just add water.
The Wolverines' comeback against
the Gophers was all the more impres-
sive because all but seven of their 38
points came in the fourth quarter. In
the first 44 minutes, the only thing that
worked was a tricky double pass to
Navarre, who ran in for a touchdown.
Michigan produced 97 total yards in
the first half, compared to Minnesota's
215. Navarre completed just 53.8 per-.
cent of his passes and Braylon
Edwards had just eight receiving
yards. Things weren't going much bet-
ter early in the second half.
Enter the shotgun. The Wolverines
came out in the hurry-up after Min-
nesota scored to make it 28-7 at the
end of the third quarter. 1:34 later,
Navarre had completed nine of his last
10 passes and it was 28-14.
The next time the offense took the
field, it needed just five plays and 53
seconds to find the endzone. And
Michigan had two more scoring drives

for a total of 24 points in the fourth
quarter (the Wolverines also scored a
defensive touchdown).
The two-minute offense worked
nearly as well against Oregon on Sept.
20, when Michigan scored 14 points in
the last quarter.
The hurry-up sparks Michigan and
keeps the Wolverines from panicking
when they're behind late. Against Min-
nesota, switching schemes was like
trading in a rusty pickup for a sleek,
high-performance sportscar.
Which brings up an obvious ques-
tion. Even defensive end Larry Stevens
asked it.
"You wonder like, 'Hey, that two-
minute offense we run, how come we
don't do that the whole game?"'
Stevens pondered last Friday night.
It seems like a logical move. If you
have a system that's nearly unstop-
pable, you use it all the time.
But take it easy before you go grab-
bing the headsets, thinking that even
you could make that call. The Michi-
gan coaches and players say it's not
that simple.
Edwards explains that the hurry-up
offense works so well late in games
precisely because it's late.
"At the end of the game, defenses
are tired and don't want to give up the
big plays, so they allow a lot of the
underneath routes for five, seven and
eight yard gains," Edwards said.
But it seems that even early in the
game, Michigan's receiving corps
should be able to beat most defenders
one-on-one anyway,
There are other issues, though.
Quarterbacks coach Scott Loeffler said
it can limit the play-calling.
"Our system is built on rhythm, and
when you get in the shotgun there are
certain throws you can and can't throw
because of rhythm."
And coach Lloyd Carr is worried
about putting too much pressure on the
offensive line. He said if a defense puts
six or seven players on the line, "the
quarterback can take a real pounding
and you can eliminate the running
See LEWIS, Page 10A

" ,


Freshman David Rohlfs scored a key goal at Miami (Ohio) despite being knocked out on the play.

you wherever you're at to give you the puck,"
Rohlfs said.
For Rohlfs, this season is just about doing the
things that he knows how to do and seeing where
that takes him.
He noted that he would like to replicate his
feat from last year when he scored 30 goals for
the Compuware Ambassadors of the North Amer-
ican Hockey League, but is willing to help the
team out in any way possible.
"I try to be a power forward, (to) be a presence
out there, hopefully, not just go to the corners but
also contribute to the team and give (teammates)

the puck," Rohlfs said. "(1 will) go into corners
when I have to, obviously and get the puck out to
the other guys."
Rohlfs is also different from many athletes
because he readily acknowledges that it is a priv-
ilege to be playing college hockey.
"You can't really describe it," Rohlfs said. "It's
just when you step on that ice there's nothing bet-
While he may not remember the feeling of
scoring his first game-winning goal, it's safe to
assume that he will have many more chances this
year to relive that moment, albeit consciously.

University to
The Michigan basketball team is
eligible for the postseason. But that
doesn't mean that the Ed Martin
scandal is completely behind the
Michigan Athletic Director Bill
Martin said Wednesday that the school
has agreed to pay an undisclosed
amount of money to the National Invi-
tation Tournament.
The Wolverines won the tourna-

give money
ment in 1997. Maurice Taylor, Robert
Traylor and Louis Bullock, three of
the four players implicated in the
Martin controversy, helped Michigan
win that title.
"We were extremely pleased with
the outcome from our discussions with
the NIT," Martin said.
In a ruling this past May, the
NCAA accepted Michigan's self-
imposed penalties from last season

back to NIT
and, among other punishments,
added an additional year to the
team's postseason ban.
In September, the Wolverines
won an appeal of the ban and will
be eligible to enter the postseason
this year.
-Staff reports and the Associated Press
contributed to this report.

Field hockey mourns sudden
death of alum in Chicago

By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
Last Saturday, a sunny, unseason-
ably warm Chicago morning, about
32,000 runners set out to compete in
one of the most ยข
grueling events
that an athlete f.
can attempt.
The Chicago
Marathon gives
runners a chance
to test their
strength and z
stamina over a
26.2-mile course. Townsend
year-old Michigan alum Rachael
Townsend perched at the starting line
alongside her competition, among
them some of the best athletes in the
She wound through the streets of
Chicago determinedly, and finished
in the top fifth of the pack, with a
time of 3:40.33.
Then something went terribly
Moments after crossing the finish
line, Townsend, who had been an ath-
lete all her life, collapsed. Doctors
immediately rushed to her side, but
were unable to revive her.
Sports truly permeated Townsend's
life. While at Michigan, she wore the
maize and blue as a standout field

moved with him, agreeing to teach
dance at the university.
Even in her last moments, she met
yet another sports-oriented goal in
qualifying for the Boston Marathon
thanks to her Chicago time.
So how could something so
extreme happen to a woman this
physically fit?
According to autopsy reports,
Townsend suffered from Mitral Valve
This condition affects approxi-
mately 5 percent of the population,
and is characterized by a slight heart
There is no surgical procedure that
can correct this condition, but doc-
tors typically prescribe a healthy diet
and a generous dose of exercise.
Townsend lived unaware of her
condition, but clearly followed both
of these criteria to the letter.
Unfortunately, the 71-degree
weather, which presented a challenge
for all runners that day, was more
than Townsend's heart could manage,
and she collapsed about 100 meters
after crossing the finish.
David Rigan, of Michigan's
Department of Recreational Sports
said that in his experience with dis-
tance runs, heat is typically a predic-
tor of the number of people that need
medical care during or after races.
"Basically, if the temperature is
over 55 degrees, you'll have a good

that she looked well at all of them.
"I saw her at the three-, seven-, 12-
and 25-mile marks," Moore said. "At
most of them, there were huge
crowds of people, so she didn't see
us, but at the 12-mile mark, she shed
her top, threw it to me, and pumped
her fist."
Athletics were not the only realm
in which Townsend excelled. She
was also a beloved teacher and
"She was a teacher," Michigan
field hockey coach Marcia Pankratz
said in describing Townsend. "She
was a mentor and a wonderful ath-
"She just wanted to change as
many lives as she could ... and she
Townsend inspired Moore's daugh-
ter as a teacher and cross country
and soccer coach. Through this,
Townsend became a close family
friend, and stayed with the Moores
during the summer while her hus-
band began the move to Ohio.
"She was just a fantastic person,"
Moore said. "She transcended so
many communities in this area - the
University of Michigan, Eastern
Michigan University (where she
received her Master's), as well as
Ann Arbor and Saline."
She was especially involved as a
Michigan field hockey alumna.
"Our hockey alumns and team

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