Several games in PSAC West action came down to the final quarter this past week, beginning with a close battle on Thursday night. The division continues to take shape, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Clarion remains the only unbeaten team at the top of the list at 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the West. Clarion also entered this week’s AFCA Poll at No. 25 while Slippery Rock moved to No. 15. The Golden Eagles are heading into some historic waters, not having had this kind of success in quite a while. Behind Clarion, the league looks like this: IUP (5-1, 4-0 PSAC West), Slippery Rock (6-1, 4-1), Gannon (5-2, 2-2), Cal (4-3, 2-2), Seton Hill (2-5, 1-3), Mercyhurst (3-4, 0-4), Edinboro (0-7, 0-4).
No. 25 Clarion 44, Seton Hill 29
Clarion used a strong third quarter to remain unbeaten when it hosted Seton Hill on Saturday. The Golden Eagles scored 24 points in the third quarter behind two TD passes from Connor Simmons, a Delrece Williams TD run and a chip-shot field goal. Simmons wound up throwing for 432 yards and four TDs while Williams ran for 201 yards and a score for Clarion, which improved to 7-0. Williams also had eight catches for 108 yards and another TD. Seton Hill QB Christian Strong threw for 356 yards and two TDs in the losing effort, which dropped the Griffins to 2-5.
Gannon 49, Edinboro 42
The Gannon Knights slipped past winless Edinboro by a single touchdown last Thursday night at home. Never in much real danger or actually losing the game, Gannon allowed Edinboro to pull within a score with 1:51 left in the ballgame before closing the door. Brock Jones ran for 134 yards and four touchdowns for the Knights while quarterback Liam Nadler threw for 321 yards and the other three touchdowns for Gannon, which improved to 5-2. Jones also caught a TD, giving him a school-record five touchdowns in the game’s first half. QB Jake Sisson tossed five touchdowns and threw for 364 yards in the loss for Edinboro, which fell to 0-7. Sisson’s five passing TDs tied the school record. Alex Caratelli caught nine balls for 210 yards and three TDs for Edinboro.
No. 15 Slippery Rock 35, Mercyhurst 24
Slippery Rock scored two touchdowns in come-from-behind fashion in the fourth quarter to best Mercyhurst on the road Saturday. Two two scores came early in the quarter and put a dagger in the Lakers. Shamar Greene ran for 167 yards and a score while Julian Durden scored twice on the ground for SRU, which improved to 6-1. The Rock defense held Mercyhurst to minus-11 rushing yards, including an unprecedented minus-16 from standout Brandon Brown-Dukes. Lakers QB Zach Emerick threw for 412 yards, though, and tossed three touchdowns in the loss for Mercyhurst, which fell to 3-4.
IUP 20, Cal 15
IUP held off a late Cal comeback en route to a close win at home Saturday. After Cal came within five points and recovered an onside kick in the fourth quarter, IUP’s Mikale Makle picked off a pass at the IUP 1-yard line to take the life out of the Vulcans before another fourth-down stop iced the game. IUP racked up 388 yards on the ground, including 255 and three scores from Chris Temple and another 134 yards from QB Lenny Williams in the win, which improved the Crimson Hawks to 5-1. Garry Brown caught eight passes for 128 yards to lead the Vulcans, who fell to 4-3.
Photo Credit: Clarion Athletics