District College Football Preview for Saturday, November 8th

Thursday, November 6, 2014 | 4:29 PM

The PSAC West Division Title and a berth in the State Championship Game against #5 Bloomsburg will be at stake this week in Week 10 of the district college football slate. Four teams are still alive for the title going into the final week of divisional play.

California is at Mercyhurst, Gannon hosts IUP and Slippery Rock is at Clarion. SRU, Gannon, California and Mercyhurst all are still alive for the title. Here’s how the tiebreakers would go:

California, Slippery Rock and Gannon are all tied at 6-2 in the division, Mercyhurst is 5-3. The tie situation was created when California forfeited to Gannon last week. If all three of the tied teams win, Cal gets the tiebreaker on record against Western Division opponents. If California and Slippery Rock win and Gannon loses, the Vulcans get the berth. If California and Gannon win and SRU loses, then Gannon wins the tiebreaker. If Cal loses and both SRU and Gannon win, then Slippery Rock would go. If Cal, Gannon and Slippery Rock all lose, then there is a five way tie at 6-3, Mercyhurst would go to the title game.

Confused, good, so am I, but let’s see how it plays out on the field.

In the PAC, W & J can punch it’s ticket to the NCAA Division III playoffs with a win, the Presidents are now #13 in the AFCA poll. Here are previews of ALL the games, including two that can be heard here on the Network:

W & J (8-0) at Thiel (3-5)   1pm on WJPA 1450-AM and the MSA Sports Network
The Presidents will clinch the PAC title and the automatic berth in the NCAA Division III playoffs with a win in Greenville. W & J is 6-0 in the PAC, one half game ahead of Thomas More, but the Presidents defeated the Saints earlier this year. The Saints host Case Western Reserve in their final PAC game this week.

Should W & J seal up the conference title, it would be the third season in a row for the Presidents. The title would be the 24th in school history and also the 24th playoff berth.

W & J defeated Geneva 51-12 last week, the Presidents went over 50 points for the fifth time this season and piled up over 500 yards of offense for the sixth time. The Presidents lead the PAC in scoring offense at 47 points per game. The Presidents are 43-52 in the red zone this season, with 39 touchdowns.

QB Pete Coughlin of Upper St Clair threw for 281 yards and four scores in the win, two went to Jesse Zubik. Coughlin leads the PAC in passing at 287 yards per game, he has 23 touchdowns.

RB Ryan Ruffing of Thomas Jefferson ran for 113 yards last week, the eighth straight game over the 100 yard mark. The junior is second in the PAC at 144 yards per game, he is tied for the league lead with 21 touchdowns.

Daniel Lis is third in the PAC with 49 catches, Max Creighan is fifth with 45.

DE Jon Turner of Freeport was named PAC Defensive Player of the Week, the junior had 3.5 sacks in last week’s win. Turner leads the Presidents with ten sacks.

W & J is tied for the league lead in turnover margin at plus ten with Saint Vincent.

The Tomcats come off a 40-27 victory over CMU last week, to go to 2-4 in the PAC. Sophomore QB Ryan Radke threw for three scores and ran for two more in the win, he was named PAC Offensive Player of the Week. Radke is the fifth leading rusher in the PAC at 693 yards, he is second in the conference at 292 yards total offense per game.

WR Marcus Johnson caught three touchdown passes last week with just seven catches.

Thiel is fourth in the PAC in scoring offense at 27 points per game, but they are 10th in scoring defense at 33 points allowed.

The Thiel defense came up strong last week, holding the Tartans to just nine yards rushing and had five sacks.

W & J leads the series 43-22-1, the Presidents have won eight straight and 31 of 32 with the Tomcats.

Saint Vincent (3-5) at Geneva (2-6)   1pm on WBVP 1230-AM/WMBA 1460-AM and the MSA Sports Network
The Bearcats are 3-3 in the PAC, falling to Westminster last week.

QB Andy Borgen threw for 191 yards and a touchdown in the loss, he was intercepted twice. Borgen has thrown for 1,022 yards, he has four touchdowns and five interceptions.

Sophomore RB Shavonta Craft ran for 93 yards and a score. Craft is fifth in the PAC in rushing at 85 yards per game. Craft has ran for 597 yards and six scores.

WR DJ Oceant-Kelly has 49 catches, but only has one touchdowns.

The Golden Tornadoes are 1-5 in PAC play.

QB Aaron Channing threw for only 115 yards last week. Channing has thrown for 1,551 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Ryan Mosura and Nick Cook ran for touchdowns.

RB Dylan Jones of Laurel is ninth in the PAC at 427 yards rushing.

WR Lemuel Fuller and Josh Guiser are tied for the team lead with 43 catches.

Geneva leads the series 11-4-1 and has won all seven meetings since the Bearcats restarted football.

Bryant (7-1) at Duquesne (5-4)   Noon
The Bulldogs are ranked #21 this week in the FCS Rankings and are on top of the NEC by one half game over Sacred Heart. Bryant is 3-0 and has won two straight games. Junior Ricardo McCray ran for 243 yards and three touchdowns last week in a 31-3 win over Central Connecticut State, he was named the NEC Offensive Player of the Week. McCray is third in the NEC in rushing at 95 yards per game. His backfield mate Paul Canevari is fourth at 92 yards per game. The Bulldogs lead the NEC in scoring defense and turnover margin. Chad Ward leads the Bulldogs with 35 catches.

The Dukes are 1-2 in the NEC. WR Chris King leads the FCS in receiving with 1,067 yards and 13 touchdowns. Both King and Devin Rahming are tied for the NEC lead with 61 catches. QB Dillon Buechel leads the NEC at 274 yards passing per game, he has not played the last two games. Ryan Egolf has filled in for Buechel, he is listed as the starter this week on the depth chart. Malik Shegog has four interceptions to lead the Dukes.

Wagner (4-4) at Robert Morris (1-7)   Noon
The Seahawks are 2-1 in the NEC. Otis Wright is eighth in the NEC in rushing at 408 yards with five touchdowns. Brian Gehring and Chris Andrews have both played quarterback this season for the Seahawks. 

RMU is 1-2 in the NEC and comes off a bye week. RB Rameses Owens is fifth in the NEC in rushing at 80 yards per game, he has only scored two touchdowns. Duane Mitchell has caught 43 passes this season, good for fourth in the conference. David Taylor has picked off four passes for the Colonials.

Slippery Rock (7-2) at Clarion (2-7)   Noon
The Battle for the Milk Jug started four years ago, the Rock has won all of the meetings and leads the overall series 50-23-3. The Rock is 6-2 in the division, the Golden Eagles 2-6.

The Rock offense is led by RB Shamar Greene of West Mifflin, he is the second leading rusher in the PSAC at 136 yards per game, he has scored 10 touchdowns. QB Jared Buck has done a good job running the offense and allowing the Rock to get back on their winning ways. WR Jaimire Dutrieuille has 36 catches on the season, he has two touchdowns as Melvin German has become the scoring threat for the Rock. The defense has also been doing the job with 14 sacks in the last two games.

DE Marcus Martin leads the PSAC with 13 sacks, that is the SRU single season record. Martin had 3.5 sacks in last week’s win over Edinboro, the freshman from West Mifflin was named PSAC Defensive Athlete of the Week.

Clarion is led by QB Connor Simmons, with 1,363 yards and eight touchdowns, he has thrown seven interceptions and is also one of the team’s leading rushers. All-American DE Julian Howsare is having another great season, with 62 tackles, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception to his credit.

IUP (6-3) at Gannon (7-2)   Noon
The Crimson Hawks are 5-3 in the division but have been eliminated from the race. Freshman RB Luigi Lista-Brinza of Pittsburgh Central Catholic has led the offense, running for 799 yards and ten touchdowns, he is fifth in the PSAC rushing stats at 88 yards per game. IUP shut down the Clarion running attack last week, holding the Golden Eagles to negative yards, the second time the Crimson Hawks defense has accomplished that feat this year.

The Golden Knights return to play after the forfeit win over Cal last week. WR Justin Caliste leads the PSAC and is 16th in D-II with 61 catches for 730 yards, an average of 104 yards per game. RB Brock Jones leads the conference at 150 yards per game rushing, Jones has scored twelve touchdowns.

IUP leads the series 4-2, the Crimson Hawks have won three straight meetings.

California (7-2) at Mercyhurst (5-4)   Noon
The Vulcans look to close out the regular season with a PSAC division title. QB James Harris has thrown for 17 touchdowns with just four interceptions. Harris averages 283 yards passing per game. WR Garry Brown is the leading receiver with 47 catches for 755 yards and five scores. Brown is third in the PSAC at 94 yards receiving per game. Cal sits at 6-2 in the West. 

Even if Mercyhurst does not get into the state title game, it has been an amazing turnaround for the Lakers this season, after dropping four straight to start the year, Mercyhurst put themselves back into contention with five straight wins. QB Brendan Boylan is a yard shy of 2,000 passing yards on the year, he has thrown for 18 touchdowns and averages 250 yards per game.

RB Brandon Brown-Dukes holds the Lakers record for fifteen 100 yard or more games, he has ran for 719 yards this season. For his 158 yard performance last week in a victory over Seton Hill, Brown-Dukes was named PSAC West Division Offensive Athlete of the Week. The junior also went over the three thousand career yard mark in the win. Mercyhurst is 5-3 in the West.

The series is tied at three games each, the Lakers have won the last two meetings.

Seton Hill (2-7) at Edinboro (1-8)   Noon
The Griffins are 2-6 in the West. QB Drew Jackson has put up some good numbers this season, the Griffins are the second best passing offense in the conference. Jackson has thrown for 2,338 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. WR FJ Williams is second in the PSAC at 101 yards receiving per game, with 66 catches for 909 yards and seven touchdowns. The Griffins are 15th in the PSAC in total defense.

The Fighting Scots are looking for an end in the road that is the 2014 season. WR Darren Massey has 68 catches for 771 yards and nine touchdowns. RB Anfreenee Williams has ran for 613 yards and three scores. Edinboro won the only meeting between the schools last season 43-7.

Grove City (0-8) at Westminster (2-6)   1pm
The Wolverines are 0-6 in the PAC. Grove City lost to Bethany last week. The Wolverines led 7-3 at the half but turned the ball over four times in the second. Josh Peach caught four passes last week, he started the season at quarterback, the Wolverines have used five quarterbacks and have scored only 67 points all season.

The Titans are 2-4 in PAC play. Westminster defeated Saint Vincent 28-14 last week. Freshman Todd Jeter of Gateway was named PAC Special Teams Player of the Week, he blocked a field goal in the second quarter and picked off a pair of passes. Freshman Paul Columbo threw three touchdown passes in the win last week.

Westminster leads the series 50-36-8, Grove City won four of the last five.

Carnegie Mellon (3-5) at Chicago (6-1)   1pm
The Tartans head back into UAA play against the Maroons. QB Andrew Hearon threw for 244 yards on 24-40 and two touchdowns. WR Max Reinertsen had a career high nine catches for 119 yards and two scores. CMU wound up their first season in the PAC at 3-5, they are 0-1 in the UAA after dropping the season opener to Case Western Reserve. Senior WR Tim Swanson needs 42 yards to move into fourth place on the CMU all time list, he sits at 1,393 yards.

The Maroons are 1-0 in the UAA and come off a 44-23 victory over Washington University. Senior Zac Ross-Nash ran for 100 yards on 22 carries in the win, he scored three touchdowns. Freshman Chandler Carroll ran for 78 yards and a score. Ross-Nash leads the team in rushing with 548 yards and eight touchdowns. QB Patrick Ryan has only thrown 98 times but has 12 touchdown passes.

CMU leads the series 20-6.

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