INDIANA, PA – Harvie Tuck (Akron, OH/St. Vincent-St. Mary) rushed for 233 and De’Antwan Williams (Woodbridge, VA/Woodbridge) added 158 yards on the ground as 22nd-ranked IUP ran over rival Slippery Rock in a 33-16 win on Homecoming at George P. Miller Stadium on Saturday.
With his big day, Tuck moves into third place overall in the IUP history books with 3,676 career rushing yards, passing Aamir Dew’s 3,623 yards he gained from 1999-2001. It was Tuck’s third 200-yard game of the season, the most for an IUP runner since James Suber also hit that milestone three times in the 1996 season.
He’s now at 995 rushing yards this year, averaging 165.8 per game. He added a touchdown today to give him 10 on the season, a new career-high.
It was a career-high in rushing yards for Williams, who got his 158 yards on just 16 carries, averaging a smooth 9.9 yards per carry. He scored a pair of touchdowns on the day, including a 31-yarder at the end of the second quarter.
IUP moves to 5-1 overall on the season and 2-1 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West Division, while Slippery Rock drops to 2-4 and 1-2.
The Crimson Hawks controlled the ball early, putting together back-to-back 11-play scoring drives to open the game. However each of those drives, while chewing up a combined 11:04, resulted in just a pair of field goals by Brett Ullman (Baltimore, MD/Perry Hall) as IUP took a 6-0 lead.
Slippery Rock responded on its second drive of the game, using a 28-yard run up the middle by quarterback Jared Buck (McDonald, Pa./West Allegheny) to get into IUP territory, setting up its own field goal to make it a 6-3 game.
IUP’s very next drive went nine plays, but stalled at the Rock 46-yard line, forcing a punt. However punter Pat Smith (Hollidaysburg/Hollidaysburg)’s knee would touch the ground while grabbing a low snap, downing the ball and giving The Rock good field position at the Crimson Hawks 39-yard line.
They would capitalize, needing just six plays to score as Brett Crenshaw ran it in from three yards out. The ensuing extra point would fly wide left, but Slippery Rock still held a 9-6 lead with 11:20 left in the half.
That is where the Crimson Hawks would gain control, using the running of Tuck and Williams to march 80 yards in 11 plays on the very next drive, as Williams rushed in from 12 yards out to put IUP back on top 13-9.
The next Slippery Rock possession lasted just one play, as an overthrow by Buck landed in the hands of Marvase Byrd (McKeesport/McKeesport), returning the interception to the Rock 34-yard line, giving IUP great field position. This time it was Tuck’s turn to score, as he bulldozed in from one-yard out seven plays later to give IUP a 20-9 lead.
The Rock would a change at quarterback, as Nigel Barksdale, last week’s star, entered. But he couldn’t provide a spark as Carl Fleming (Reisterstown, MD/Franklin) sacked him on a third-and-seven, forcing a punt that traveled just 14 yards due to the heavy win and a bad bounce. Taking over once again at the Rock 34-yard line, IUP needed just three plays, with the last being the 31-yard touchdown bolt from Williams to go on top 27-9 heading into the half.
The Rock took their turn with a long scoring drive, going 75 yards on 12 plays in their opening possession as Jaimire Dutrielle ran it in from two yards for the score. The extra point was good as IUP held just an 11-point lead at 27-16 with 9:32 left in the third.
The Crimson Hawks stretched it to a two-touchdown lead as Ullman connected on a 40-yard field goal on the following drive and nearly went on top by 17 and the end of the third, but his 49-yard field goal missed just wide right.
IUP kept it on the ground in the fourth, as Ullman got his fourth of the day from 19-yards out at the 8:10 mark to finish off the scoring.
Slippery Rock had three drives in the last quarter, ending on a Johnny Franco (Altoona/Tyrone) interception, a punt and then on a four-down pass that fell incomplete.
In all, the Crimson Hawks completely dominated time of possession, controlling the ball for 41:14 of the game while Slippery Rock had it for just 18:46.
IUP more than doubled Slippery Rock’s first downs, winning that battle 29-13 as the Crimson Hawks totaled 486 yards of offense. 388 came on the ground, led by Tuck and Williams, with IUP averaging 6.7 yards per rush.
The Crimson Hawks held Slippery Rock, which totaled 561 yards a week ago against Kutztown, to 238 yards with three turnovers today. The Rock finished 9-of-23 for 118 yards and three interceptions through the air, with Franco picking off a pair. The IUP defense got to Buck and Barksdale often, sacking them a combined four times, including two from Carl Thornton (Beaver Falls/Beaver Falls).
Thornton finished with seven tackles while Jerrell McFadden (Manassas, VA/Osbourn), Alexander Berdahl (Ashburn, VA/Bishop O’Connell) and Greg Meisner (Greensburg/Hempfield ) each had five apiece. Fleming and Shane Meisner (Greensburg/Hempfield ) also each posted a sack.
Mike Box (Lawrenceville, GA/Collins Hill) finished 8-of-23 for 98 yards and an interception while Pat Brewer (Coatesville/Coatesville) caught three passes for 49 yards.
The Crimson Hawks are back on the road next week as they travel to Edinboro to face the 3-2 Fighting Scots. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.