PSAC West teams battles rain throughout the week but many teams still managed to post impressive performances. Four PSAC West teams came away with victories, some needing a late-game hero and others a little bit of luck.
Clarion 27, Millersville 21
The Golden Eagles built a 13-0 first-quarter lead and held off a late Millersville comeback to pick up their second win in as many weeks on Thursday at home. Millersville scored a touchdown with just 1:10 showing on the final game clock. After going for an onside kick and recovering it, it seemed that Millersville was in prime position to complete the comeback bid. Clarion’s Matt Koerper had other plans, though, sacking Millersville quarterback J.J. Page, forcing a fumble for the Golden Eagles’ Jared Davis to recover and end the game. Clarion got another big night from QB Connor Simmons, who completed 16-of-25 passes for 238 yards and two scores in the 27-21 win to improve the Eagles to 2-0.
Mercyhurst 37, West Chester 35
Mercyhurst’s offense had no issue with a usually-stingy West Chester defense on Saturday, walking away with a 37-35 win as a result.The Lakers came back from a 14-point deficit and held on as West Chester missed a field goal at the buzzer. Lakers QB Brendan Boylan threw for 331 yards and three TDs on 19-of-41 yards passing. RB Brandon Brown-Dukes scored once and racked up 112 yards on the ground for the Lakers.
Gannon 44, Cheyney 6
The Knights held Cheyney scoreless in the final three quarters to roll to 44-6 win at home Saturday. Gannon running back Brock Jones ran for 143 yards on just 13 carries and scored once while six players carried the ball total. QB Liam Nadler had another solid day, completing 14-of-27 passes for 204 yards and four touchdowns. Gannon improved to 2-0 with the win.
No. 21 Slippery Rock 34, East Stroudsburg 9
Playing in the NCAA Division II Showcase Game of the Week, Slippery Rock’s highly-potent ground game led The Rock to an easy 34-9 win at home Saturday. The Rock gained 414 total yards on the ground, led by Isiah Neely’s career-high 152 yards on only 12 carries. Shamar Greene added 130 yards and Julian Durden piled up 95. Neely and Durden each scored once.
Kutztown 34, IUP 33
Despite offensive outbursts from young players, IUP couldn’t get the job done in a close 34-33 loss to Kutztown at home Saturday. Sophomore running back Chris Temple led the IUP offense with 195 yards rushing and a touchdown while redshirt freshman QB Lenny Williams accounted for 215 yards of total offense with two touchdowns, passing for 163 and a TD and rushing for 52 and another TD. Williams’ favorite target was Walt Pegues, who caught seven passes for 115 yards and the TD. That touchdown gave IUP a 33-20 lead in the fourth quarter, one which it would squander in the one-point loss, moving the Crimson Hawks to 0-1 to begin the season.
Bloomsburg 20, Cal 13
Cal’s defense gave up more than 250 yards on the ground to Bloomsburg and fell by a slim seven-point margin to the Huskies at home on Saturday. The junior tandem of Lawrence Elliott Jr. and Joe Parsnik combined for 240 yards on the ground, Elliott accounting for 166 of those. Despite opening up a 10-point lead, Cal couldn’t find the end zone in the second half and gave up 17 points to take the loss. Cal QB James Harris was picked off three times while completing 17-of-33 passes for 263 yards in the loss, which moves the Vulcans to 1-1.
Shippensburg 20, Edinboro 13
Edinboro was held scoreless in the second half while Shippensburg scored 17 second-half points in a rough loss at home on Saturday. The difference in the game came on the ground, where Ship racked up 203 yards rushing to just 59 from Edinboro. Shippensburg was paced by Andrew Smith’s 117 yards on the ground. Edinboro quarterback Jake Sisson had a decent night, going 18-of-32 for 257 yards and a score, finding top wide out Darren Massey 12 times for 195 yards and the TD. Edinboro fell to 0-2 with the 20-13 loss.
Photo credit: Mercyhurst Athletics