Some big games highlighted this week’s PSAC West action, and the outcomes came out even bigger. Clarion fell for the first time this season at the hands of the Cal Vulcans, who picked off one of the nation’s most efficient quarterbacks six times. Then, on Saturday night, Slippery Rock held off a potent rushing attack from IUP and won by a single point. Despite the loss, Clarion remains atop the PSAC West, but it fell out of the AFCA Top 25. SRU moved up from 15th to 13th in the AFCA poll. Clarion sits at 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the PSAC West, followed by SRU with the same records. IUP (5-2, 4-1), Gannon (6-2, 3-2), Cal (5-3, 3-2), Mercyhurst (4-4, 1-4), Seton Hill (2-6, 1-4) and Edinboro (0-8, 0-5) follow.
The first set of regional rankings also came out. Slippery Rock sits at No. 4 in Super Region One while Clarion is sixth, Gannon is eighth and IUP is ninth, giving the PSAC West four teams in the top 10 spots.
Cal 42, No. 25 Clarion 28
The Cal Vulcans put an end to the undefeated season for the Clarion Golden Eagles with a dominating win on Saturday.The Vulcans built a 42-14 lead in three quarters and coasted to the upset victory. Cal was led offensively by John Franklin III’s 101 yards and two scores on the ground while, defensively, the Vulcans picked off six passes. Six different players for Cal recorded interceptions in the game. Minus the turnovers, Clarion’s offense managed to get 112 yards and a TD on the ground from Delrece Williams and quarterback Connor Simmons threw for 367 yards and three TDs. Cal improved its record to 5-3 while Clarion fell to 7-1.
No. 15 Slippery Rock 40, IUP 39
Slippery Rock was able to hold off upset-minded IUP at home on Saturday for a slim one-point win as IUP kicker Ryan Stewart missed an extra point that would have tied the game with less than 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Slippery Rock’s Julian Durden ran for a 2-yard score at the beginning of the fourth quarter to give SRU a seven-point cushion. Then, 34 seconds later, IUP’s Lenny Williams ran one in from 45 yards out to pull within one. Then Stewart’s kick failed to go through the uprights, and Slippery Rock’s defense held on to close out the game. SRU rallied from a 20-9 deficit in the opening quarter to take control with a 30-26 halftime lead. By night’s end, SRU was led by Shamar Green’s 192-yard, two-TD night. The Rock also got two scores from Durden. IUP was once again led by Williams, the Crimson Hawks’ dual-threat QB. Williams threw for 364 yards and two TDs and ran for another 140 yards and a score. Williams’ 504 total yards broke IUP’s school record for a single game and were the most by any PSAC West player this season. IUP’s Chris Temple scored three times in the game, giving him a league-high 15 this year. SRU moves to 7-1 on the year while IUP fell to 5-2.
Mercyhurst 38, Edinboro 28
The Lakers got back to their winning ways with a 10-point win over Edinboro on the road to open up the week for the PSAC last Thursday. Up by just a field goal heading into the final quarter, Mercyhurst put the game away with two touchdowns while holding Edinboro to just one score. Richie Sanders ran for 170 yards and two scores for the Lakers, who improved to 4-4 on the season. Alex Caratelli continued his hot streak at wide receiver, catching five passes for 116 yards and a TD for Edinboro, which fell to 0-8. Edinburg’s Darren Massey caught seven passes in the game, which moved him into the top spot for career receptions for the school with 164.
Gannon 43, Seton Hill 28
The Gannon Knights picked up a convincing win over Seton Hill at home on Saturday. Brock Jones ran for 199 yards and two scores for the Knights to lead the offensive attack. For Seton Hill, Brandon Stout ran for 93 yards and a TD while QB Christian Strong was held to just 193 yards through the air and turned the ball over three times. Gannon improved to 6-2 while Seton Hill fell to 2-6.
Photo Credit: Cal U Athletics