District College Football Preview for Saturday, November 2nd

Thursday, October 31, 2013 | 9:05 PM

A huge battle for the PSAC West Division crown and the berth in the State Championship Game will be at stake at Thompson-Mihalik Stadium on Saturday afternoon when the Vulcans and the Rock do battle.

In the PAC, Geneva will play it's final home game of the season and in the NEC, a good matchup on the Bluff as Saint Francis meets Duquesne.

Here are previews of ALL the games, including two heard here on the Network:

California (6-2) at Slippery Rock (7-1)   1pm on WLER 97.7-FM and msasports.net
It’s a battle for the PSAC West title as both teams are tied with 4-1 records in the division. The winner will likely represent the West in the PSAC State Title Game against the Eastern Division Champion.

Both teams are in the first NCAA Super Region One rankings this week, that determine the six regional playoff bids. Slippery Rock is ranked fifth, behind West Chester, Shepherd, Bloomsburg and Winston-Salem State. California is just out of the top six at number 8.

Cal is led by quarterback James Harris, who took over as the starter three weeks ago. The Vulcans have won all of his starts.

Jeff Knox became the first Vulcan to rush for more than 100 yards in a game last week in over a year. Knox averages 70 yards per game and has scored five touchdowns.

WR Mike Williams has 40 catches for the season for 763 yards, with a 70 yard per game average and four touchdowns.

DB Dewey McDonald leads the Vulcans with 60 tackles, he also has two interceptions and three tackles for loss. The Vulcan defense held Gannon to a season low 7 points in last week’s win.

True freshman DB Aaron Terry set a career high with seven tackles and picked off his fourth pass of the season.

The Rock is ranked 20th this week in the D2football.com poll. SRU also entered the AFCA poll this week at #24 and has won five straight games. 

Slippery Rock leads the PSAC at 46.5 points per game. The Rock also leads in passing and total offense at 580 yards per game.

QB Nigel Barksdale is fourth in D-II at 348 yards per game passing. He is eighth in D-II with 23 touchdown passes. The senior’s 2,790 yards is the best single season mark in Rock history.

WR John Schademan is second in the PSAC averaging 126 yards per game. Schademan has gone over 100 yards receiving in six of the eight games.

RB Teddy Blakeman ran for a career high 145 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s 44-20 win over Edinboro. The junior from Penn Hills was named the PSAC West Division Offensive Athlete of the Week. Blakeman now has 12 touchdowns this season, the most for a Rock running back since Akeem Satterfield scored 20 times in 2010.

DB Austin Miele leads the Rock with 61 tackles and has 7.5 for loss this season.

The Rock leads the series 44-28-3.

Grove City (3-4) at Geneva (4-3)    1pm on WBVP 1230-AM and msasports.net
The Wolverines are 1-4 in the PAC, falling to Thomas More last week.

Grove City actually led 7-3 in the first on a 53 yard td pass from Brian Pell. The defense then gave up 323 rushing yards to Domonique Hayden and 41 unanswered points.

S Chris Gibbs made 17 tackles. LB Ben Manwaring 15. Joe Diani picked off his third pass of the season.

Geneva is 3-2 in the PAC, they are 4-0 at home this season and 0-3 on the road.

The linebackers were busy in a 31-14 loss to Waynesburg last week. John Onufer made 15 stops and Dillon Goodell had 13 in the loss. Goodell leads the PAC with 75, Onufer has 73 tackles this season.

RB Dylan Jones is fourth in the PAC in rushing at 422 yards, he runs behind one of his former Laurel teammates in Bobby Hites.

QB Zach Hayward is third in the conference in passing with 1,987 yards, he has thrown for 10 touchdowns.

Rocco Colavecchia is third in the PAC with 15 touchdowns and 2 two-point conversions.

Geneva leads the series 41-36-7.

Edinboro (4-4) at Mercyhurst (4-4)    Noon
QB Jon Girvin has thrown for 6 touchdowns and 5 interceptions this season. Girvin is the third quarterback to start for the Fighting Scots this season. Starter Cody Harris is out with a season ending injury.

DB Devin Ghafoor has 54 tackles for the defense, he also has four interceptions. S Delano Faber also has four picks with 67 tackles.

The Lakers were held to 58 yards passing against IUP, ending a three game winning streak. RB Brandon Brown –Dukes leads Mercyhurst with 886 yards on 121 carries. RB Allen Jones II has racked up 587 yards on just 98 carries, he has five touchdowns. LB Pat Behm is among the team leaders with 46 tackles, including 29 solo stops.

Edinboro leads the series 5-4, the visiting team has won the last five games.

Seton Hill (0-8) at Gannon (4-4)   Noon
The Griffins have lost 21 straight games, Seton Hill has not tasted victory since they defeated West Liberty State 26-22 in 2011.

WR’s Norman Darden leads the Griffins with 21 catches, Erik Kerns has made 17 grabs. LB Chase Parker leads the team with 63 tackles.

Gannon fell out of the PSAC division race with the loss to California last week. QB Liam Nadler averages 275 yards passing per game, good for fourth in the PSAC. Nadler has tossed 13 touchdowns. RB Jansen Jones has carried 205 yards for 1,102 yards, he is 11th in D-II and third in the PSAC in rushing. Jones has scored 10 touchdowns.

Gannon and Seton Hill meet for the first time on the gridiron, it’s the eighth time the Griffins have played a new opponent this season since moving to the PSAC.

IUP (6-2) at Clarion (4-4)   1pm
IUP ended a two game losing streak with a 28-6 victory over Mercyhurst. WR Terrill Barnes has 47 catches for 745 yards, good for fourth in the PSAC.

Lineman Shane Meisner has 40 tackles this season, with 8.5 coming behind the line of scrimmage. LB Carl Fleming leads the Crimson Hawks with 72 tackles. The IUP defense is allowing just 14 points per game, good for the top spot in the PSAC.

Clarion blocked three punts and scored two defensive touchdowns in a 41-2 victory over Seton Hill. All-American Julian Howsare blocked two of those punts, he made ten stops in the victory, for his efforts, Howsare was named PSAC West Division Defensive Athlete of the Week. Sophomore Darrelle Carson has struggled in the passing game since taking over for Ben Fiscus, who is out for the season. Carson has thrown for four touchdowns but been intercepted six times. TB Bobby Thomas has ran 129 yards for 550 yards, he has scored six touchdowns.

IUP leads the series 56-24-3.

Thiel (1-6) at Bethany (3-4)   1pm
The Tomcats are 1-4 in the PAC and winless in four tries on the road this season. Thiel had the bye last week.

Bethany is now 3-2 in the conference and one game back. The Bison saw their title hopes go up in the final 44 seconds last week in a 7-6 loss to Westminster in which the Titans blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown.

Thomas More (6-1) at Saint Vincent (0-7)   1pm
The Saints are tied with idle W & J for the top spot in the PAC at 5-1. Thomas More trailed 7-3 to Grove City before scoring 41 unanswered points. RB Domonique Hayden tied the PAC single game rushing record with 327 yards in the win. Hayden also set the school record for career touchdowns with 49. As expected, Hayden was named the PAC Offensive Player of the Week.

Saint Vincent has lost 18 straight games.

Waynesburg (6-2) at Westminster (3-4)   1pm
The Yellow Jackets are 4-2 in the PAC, one game back of Thomas More and W & J for the top spot. QB Carter Hill threw for 300 yards on 33 of 52 with four touchdowns. Hill has 2,341 yards passing with 23 touchdowns and just one interception. CB Steven Holt picked off two passes last week, becoming the first Yellow Jacket with multiple picks since 2011. K Alex Henry has hit eight field goals this season, tying a season high.

The Titans are 2-3 in the PAC after the upset win at Bethany last week. QB Dak Britt ran for 108 yards on 16 tries. Rich Ellebie was named the PAC Defensive Player of the Week, he made a career high 9 stops with a sack in the victory last week. Dylan Heitmeier was named PAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his punt block and recovery in the end zone with 44 seconds left to give the Titans a 7-6 win.

Bryant (4-4) at Robert Morris (3-4)    Noon
The Bulldogs are 2-1 in the NEC but have a tiebreaker over Duquesne after beating the Dukes 42-14 last week. Bryant’s Jordan Harris made six catches for 91 yards, his 3,494 career yards are the best ever in the NEC.

S Sebastian Amdee was named NEC Defensive Player of the Week with six tackles and two picks in the win over Duquesne.

Robert Morris came from behind to beat Wagner 17-13, the Colonials are 1-1 in the NEC. QB Marcus Prather was named NEC Rookie of the Week for his performance in his first NCAA start. Prather threw for 204 yards and led RMU on two scoring drives in the fourth for the win.

Saint Francis (3-4) at Duquesne (4-3)    6:10pm
The Red Flash are 1-1 in the NEC after a 24-10 victory over Sacred Heart. Kyle Harbridge continued his comeback from knee surgery in a big way, running for 190 yards and two touchdowns in the win. For his efforts, Harbridge, a finalist for the Walter Payton award given to the best player in the FCS, was named NEC Player of the Week for the second time this season.

The Dukes are 2-1 in the conference, but fell to Bryant 42-14 last week. Dillon Buechel threw for 200 yards on 24 of 36 but was intercepted three times and did not toss a td pass for the first time this season.

Washington University (5-2) at Carnegie Mellon    Noon
The Bears come off a 7-0 win over Macalester College.

CMU was idle last week, the Tartans open UAA play for the final time before moving to the PAC next season. The bye week has not been kind to CMU, they have dropped six straight games following a bye with the last win coming in 2006. QB Rob Kalkstein needs 67 yards to move into second place all time at CMU in passing yards, 453 to move into the top spot.

This game features two of the top 10 active winning coaches in Division III. CMU boss Rich Lackner has 184 wins, while Washington head man Larry Kindborn has 181, good for fourth and sixth respectively.

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