District College Football Preview for Saturday, October 4th

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Thursday, October 2, 2014 | 1:11 PM


Week 5 of the local college football season has two huge games on tap. In the PSAC, a battle of unbeaten as Slippery Rock hosts Gannon, and in the PAC, two ranked teams square off as W & J hosts Thomas More for the easiest path to a conference title.

Here are previews of ALL the games, the W & J can be heard here on the Network:

Thomas More (3-1) at W & J (3-0)   7pm on WJPA 1450-AM and the MSA Sports Network
Two nationally ranked teams will square off at Cameron Stadium with the inside path to a PAC conference title on the line. The Saints are ranked 24th, the Presidents 25th in the latest AFCA Division III poll. The game also features the two top offenses in the PAC, W & J averages 51 points per game, Thomas More 45.

Thomas More is 2-0 in the PAC and tied with Bethany and Saint Vincent for the lead.

The Saints come off a 49-6 home victory over Westminster, the offense set a school record with 537 rushing yards in the win.

Senior RB Domonique Hayden set the Thomas More single game record with 336 yards rushing and became the all-time leading runner in Saints history. Hayden scored four touchdowns, he was named PAC Offensive Player of the Week. Hayden leads the PAC at 187 yards per game.

QB Jensen Gebhardt is fourth in the PAC in passing at 232 yards per game, the junior has thrown eight touchdown passes with five interceptions.

Thomas More is minus three in turnovers this season.

W & J is 1-0 in the PAC, one half game back of the leaders, the Presidents had the league bye last week.

The Presidents hit the 700 win plateau with a win two weeks ago over Carnegie Mellon.

Ryan Ruffing is second in the PAC with 171 yards rushing per game. Ruffing is tied with Hayden with 12 touchdowns.

QB Pete Coughlin leads the PAC in passing at 264 yards per game. The sophomore from Upper St. Clair had thrown seven touchdown passes with only one interception.

W & J is plus five in turnover margin this year, the Presidents are 18-22 in trips to the red zone with 12 touchdowns scored.

Thomas More leads the series 5-4, the Presidents won last year’s meeting 45-21.

West Liberty (2-2) at Duquesne (2-2)   1pm
The Division II Hilltoppers come to Rooney Field for Homecoming as Duquesne puts an eight game home winning streak on the line.

West Liberty lost in a Mountain East Conference game last week to Concord 61-24. QB Dakota Conwell leads West Liberty with 651 yards passing and six touchdowns. Dylan Potts and Anton McCallum each have three touchdowns.

Duquesne had a bye week last week. QB Dillon Buechel is third in the FCS with 887 yards passing, he leads the NEC. WR Chris King leads the FCS with 389 receiving yards. Duquesne is sixth in the country in passing yards per game.

Monmouth (3-1) at Robert Morris (0-4)   3pm
The Hawks come off a 28-21 win over Lehigh last week. Eric Sumlin made a touchdown catch on a pass from Brandon Hill with 12 seconds left for the win. KB Asante leads the Hawks in rushing at 312 yards for the season, he is not on the depth chart for this week’s game. Hill has thrown 10 touchdown passes and for more than 1,000 yards this year, he has only two interceptions. Neal Sterling leads the Hawks with 26 catches.

Junior Derik Abbott makes his first career start at quarterback for the Colonials, he is 7-16 for 66 yards in two appearances this year. RMU has scored only four touchdowns all season, RB Rameses Owens has two. Owens leads the team with 277 yards rushing.  WR Duane Mitchell is among the NEC leaders with 24 catches for 193 yards. David Taylor leads with three interceptions.

RMU leads the series 10-9, Monmouth has won the last two games.

Clarion (2-2) at Mercyhurst (0-4)   1pm
The Golden Eagles are 2-1 in the PSAC West. Connor Simmons led Clarion on a touchdown drive in the first half, the defense gave up 23 straight points in the second half in a 33-7 loss to Gannon.

The Lakers have lost four straight after winning three straight to end last season. Mercyhurst is 0-4 for the first time since 2005.

IUP (3-1) at Edinboro (0-4)   2pm
The Crimson Hawks are 2-1 in the PSAC West. Freshman Luigi Lista-Brinza is fourth in the PSAC in rushing with 356 yards, he has found the end zone eight times, good for second in the conference. QB Chase Haslett has thrown for six touchdowns but has five interceptions.

The Fighting Scots have dropped five straight games, dating back to last year. In last week’s loss to Cal, Cody Harris threw for 312 yards, the tenth time that he went over the 300 yard mark in a game. Harris ran for both Edinboro scores. Harris did not throw a td pass, breaking a streak of 15 straight games.

California (3-1) at Seton Hill (1-3)   3pm
The Vulcans are 2-1 in the PSAC West and have won two straight games. Cal defeated Edinboro last week 34-16, holding the Fighting Scots to minus 12 yards rushing. Sophomore defensive lineman Jawan Turner from Woodland Hills was named PSAC West Division Defensive Athlete of the Week with five tackles, including 3.5 sacks in the win. Junior QB James Harris threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns, junior running back Terrell Roberson ran for two more touchdowns, giving him five in the last two weeks.

The Griffins are 1-2 in the PSAC West and have lost two in a row. Drew Jackson threw for 349 yards and three touchdowns in the loss at SRU last week. The Griffins gave up 261 yards rushing, while only gaining 30.

Gannon (4-0) at Slippery Rock (4-0)   6pm
Both teams are 3-0 in the PSAC West Division, the winner will take first place. Slippery Rock is ranked #22 in the AFCA Division II poll this week. Slippery Rock leads the PSAC in scoring offense at 50 points per game, Gannon leads in scoring defense, allowing just 42 points all season.

Gannon is 4-0 for the first time since 1949. Junior running back Brock Jones was named PSAC West Division Offensive Athlete of the Week after a 33-7 win over Clarion. Jones ran for a career high 213 yards in the win, he is second in the PSAC in rushing at 168 yards per game. Senior WR Justin Caliste had 11 catches for 112 yards in the win, Caliste owns the school record with eight 100 yard receiving games.

Drew Scales returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and the Rock never looked back in a 63-19 victory over Seton Hill last week. QB Zack Newsock threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns. RB Shamar Green ran for 129 yards, he averages 186 yards per game to lead the PSAC. Melvin German had just four catches but three were for touchdowns. 

Westminster (0-4) at Carnegie Mellon (1-2)  1pm
The Titans are 0-2 in the PAC. Freshman Jametrius Bentley was the lone bright spot for the Titans last week on offense, running for 60 yards. Westminster leads the all-time series 17-15-1.

The Tartans are 1-2 in the PAC with a 22-21 win over Geneva. The CMU defense forced five turnovers and junior corner Vince Demarchi set a school record with an 84 yard Pick 6. P Tyler Kohman was named PAC Special Teams Player of the Week, pinning Geneva inside the 20 three times, hitting a 24 yard field goal, set up by a Kohman fumble recovery on the kickoff.

Waynesburg (3-1) at Grove City (0-3)   2pm
The Yellow Jackets are 1-1 in the PAC, after a 33-27 loss to Bethany. Senior RB Jake Forsythe went over the 100 yard mark for the third straight week, going for 183 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Waynesburg leads the series 29-17-5 and have won four straight meetings, including 38-0 last season. QB Carter Hill threw for four touchdowns in the victory one year ago.

Grove City is 0-1 in conference play after a 31-14 loss to Saint Vincent, it’s the first home game for the Wolverines since September 5th. WR David Folkmire had eight catches for 75 yards and a touchdown.

Saint Vincent (2-2) at Thiel (1-3)   3pm
The Bearcats are 2-0 in the PAC, tied for first place with Bethany and Thomas More. It’s the first 2-0 conference start for Saint Vincent since the program’s reboot. Junior LB Renny Larue-Holloman was named PAC Defensive Player of the Week, he made eight tackles, picked off a pass, forced a fumble and returned it 91 yards for a touchdown in the 31-14 win over Grove City. Shavonta Craft ran for 199 yards and two scores in last week’s win, he averaged nine yards a carry.

The Tomcats are 0-2 in the PAC, falling 23-16 at Case Western Reserve last week. QB Ryan Radke threw 49 times last week, the fifth highest in school history. The Tomcat defense forced four turnovers last week. Thiel leads the series 10-6.

Bethany (3-1) at Case Western Reserve (2-1)   6pm
The Bison are 2-0 in the PAC, tied for the top spot. Junior WR Eric Blinn is now the all-time leader in receptions with 181. The former Western Beaver star leads the PAC with catches and receiving yards. The Bison are off to the best start since 2001, when Bethany opened at 5-0. Junior Nadim Raddar leads the PAC with seven sacks. Bethany leads the series 12-2, but the teams haven’t played since 1983.

The Spartans are 2-1 in the PAC, picking off four passes in a 23-16 home win over Thiel. Jordan Estaban returned one of those interceptions for a 72 yard touchdown. Last week’s win was the 200th in the program’s history. QB Billy Beecher has thrown for 658 yards and six touchdowns.

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