District College Football Preview for Saturday, September 25th

Thursday, September 2, 2010 | 12:00 AM

It's the final week of September and the local college football slate is strong once again. Conference play opens up in the Northeast and Missouri Valley, divisional play begins in the PSAC, and in the PAC, a matchup of the conference powers over the last two seasons.

Here are previews of all the matchups:

Slippery Rock (3-0) at IUP (2-1) 1pm on WISR 680-AM and the MSA Sports Network

Akeem Satterfield was named the PSAC-West Offensive Player of the Week for the second time in four weeks. Satterfield ran for 192 yards on 26 carries and three touchdowns as the Rock rallied from a 14-10 deficit to defeat West Chester 33-27 in overtime. Satterfield racked up 141 yards in the second half.

SRU is 3-0 for the second straight season, third time in the last four and seventh out of 23 seasons under Dr. George Mihalik. Mihalik picked up his 150th win last week.

Devin Goda leads the Rock in receiving with 19 catches for 282 yards, he is fourth in the conference. SRU is third in the conference, averaging 36 points per game. Sophomore Ryan Sabo has thrown for 414 yards, completing almost 58 percent of his passes, with four touchdowns and just one interception.

The Rock swept the weekly awards as junior corner Andre Freeman was named the PSAC Defensive Player of the Week. Freeman made 13 tackles and forced a fumble in overtime. Freeman leads the team with 26 tackles. The Rock is third in the conference, allowing just 53 points this season.

IUP led 10-0 but turned the ball over seven times including five interceptions in a 47-20 loss to Bloomsburg. Bo Napoleon will lead IUP the remainder of the season, sophomore Pat Smith broke the thumb on his throwing hand against East Stroudsburg and is lost for the season. It's the second season in a row that the opening day starter at QB was lost as Andrew Krewatch went down last season. Michael Skinner leads the team with 12 catches for 191 yards, but no touchdowns.

IUP will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of it's 1990 Division II finalist team at George P. Miller Stadium on Saturday. IUP has scored only 59 points this season. It will be a battle of field position and time of possession as SRU is third and IUP fourth.

It could come down to the kicking game with two of the best in the PSAC, C.J. Bahr for SRU and Craig Burgess for IUP.

Washington & Jefferson (1-1) at Thomas More (2-0) 1:30 on WJPA 1450-AM and the MSA Sports Network

This game has decided the PAC title the last two seasons. It's the sixth meeting ever, W & J won the first three, Thomas More the last two. The Saints are the only team to defeat the Presidents in two consecutive seasons since Hanover in 1997-98.

Gino Rometo threw for three touchdowns, going 15 of 22 in just three quarters of work in a blowout win over Bethany. The Presidents led 45-0 at the half on the way to a 59-21 victory at Cameron Stadium.

Sophomore Colin Kracinovsky was named PAC Special Teams Player of the Week, going eight for eight in conversions and hit on a 27 yard field goal in his first NCAA action. He was pressed into action when senior kicker Joe Kelly was unable to play.

The Saints defeated Geneva 36-20 last week. Freshman Dominique Hayden was named PAC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance, running for 180 yards and four touchdowns.

Sophomore quarterback Robert Kues has done a nice job running the offense, he is 23 of 35 for 217 yards.

On the defense, senior tackle Tyler Owens had two sacks in the Geneva game. Junior linebacker Zach Mink leads the defense with 13 tackles.

Thomas More is ranked 12th in the D3football.com poll, 15th in the AFCA coaches poll.

Geneva (1-2) at Bethany (1-2) 7pm on WBVP 1230-AM/WMBA 1460-AM and the MSA Sports Network

It's only the second time in Bethany history that a home game will be played under the lights.

Geneva dropped a second straight home game 36-20 to two-time champion Thomas More last week. Junior running back Gerald Muschette ran for two scores. Muschette is averaging 131 yards per game, he has six touchdowns. Muschette also leads the conference with 20 catches.

Quarterback David Girardi and wideout Corey O'Patchen discovered a connection, O'Patchen had 132 yards receiving and two touchdowns in the loss. Girardi is leading the PAC with 663 yards passing. A.J. Delmonico is third in the conference with fifteen catches. O'Patchen leads the conference with 282 yards.

Geneva turned the ball over twice and struggled against a Saints rushing attack that might be one of the best in the nation. The GT's are minus four in turnover ratio.

Bethany freshman quarterback Matt Grimard showed some positives running with the football, racking up 129 yards last week, it's the second straight week he has ran for over the century mark. Junior running back Eric Walker needs one touchdown to become the all-time leading scorer in Bison history. Walker and Grimard are third and fifth in the conference in rushing average, with 111 and 93 yards per game.

Defensive back Jeff Joyce recovered a fumble and made seven tackles in the loss to the Presidents.

Geneva leads the all-time series 27-9-1, Bethany has not won in the last five meetings, the last Bison win was in 1973.

Robert Morris(2-1) at Wagner(1-1) Noon
The Colonials are 1-0 in the NEC. Senior running back Myles Russ picked up a pair of weekly awards. Russ was named the NEC Offensive Player of the Week and also picked up the FCS National Offensive Player of the Week from The Sports Network. Russ scored the winning touchdown as RMU defeated then 15th ranked Liberty 30-23 at Joe Walton Stadium. Russ ran for 153 yards and two scores and caught two passes for 76 yards and another score. Russ rushed for 100 yards for the second consecutive game and 12th of his career. He is second in the NEC in rushing, averaging 113 yards per game, he has scored five touchdowns. The Colonials also picked up another award as senior punter Nick Schirtzinger was named NEC Special Teams Player of the Week. Schirtzinger placed two of his six punts inside the twenty yard line and he made a touchdown saving tackle on a return with 5:09 remaining in regulation at midfield. Wagner opens conference play after a win over Cornell 41-7 last week. Nick Doscher had 304 yards of total offense and threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. Doscher's favorite target was Justin Matthews with eight catches and 156 yards. Sophomore running back Torrian Phillips ran for 133 yards on 16 carries.

Albany(1-1) at Duquesne(2-1) Noon
Both teams open NEC play at Rooney Field. The Great Danes had last week off after a 59-14 loss at Stephen F. Austin on 9-11. The Dukes gave up 373 yards on the ground in a 30-6 loss to #11 Delaware. Senior receiver Connor Dixon caught eight passes for 117 yards. Dixon was converted to receiver from quarterback after a shoulder injury last season, he has 15 catches on the season. Duquesne played last week without wideout Akeem Moore, he missed due to an ankle injury.

Southren Illinois(1-2) at Youngstown State(2-1) 4pm
Jermaine Cook ran for 179 yards and three touchdowns as the Penguins lit up the scoreboard at the Ice Castle. Cook ran for a career high, and YSU matched a school record, equaled on 11-25-1994 against Alcorn State with the 63-24 win over Central Conn. State. The Penguins only loss came at Penn State. Kurt Hess has thrown for 471 yards, going 45 of 61. Cook has rushed for 303 yards. Dominique Barnes leads the Penguins with 15 catches for 188 yards and a touchdown.
Southern Illinois fell to Southeast Missouri 24-21. Steve Strother returned a kickoff 91 yards for a score. Pat McIntosh threw a touchdown pass to Matt Guinn and Shariff Harris ran for 89 yards and a score.

Lock Haven(0-3) at Mercyhurst(1-2) 1pm
The Bald Eagles lost 38-13 to Kutztown last week, after jumping out to a 13-0 lead. Lock Haven has now lost 24 straight games and has not had a winning season since 1981. The 24 straight is not the longest streak in the PSAC, Cheyney has lost 32 consecutive games. Mercyhurst got 205 yards on 32 carries from senior Gerald Anderson and two touchdowns. The defense picked off four passes in the 28-20 win over C.W. Post, including two from senior DB Julius McCormick.

Gannon(2-1) at Edinboro(3-0) 1pm
The Golden Knights travel down five exits on I-79 to Sox Harrison Stadium. Gannon saw it's six game winning streak snapped with a 29-26 loss at Millersville to end crossover play. Senior tailback Tyler Batts recorded his second 100 yard game of the season, rushing for 107 yards. Gannon has been outscored 40-10 in the opening half this season. The Fighting Scots moved up from 22 to 13 in the AFCA Division II coaches poll. Edinboro starts the season 3-0 for the second time in three seasons. Senior Gary Nolen had five catches in a tough win over Cheyney to move into eighth place all-time at Edinboro. D'Andrea Vaughn ran for 94 yards and scored his first two touchdowns of his career. Vaughn came to Edinboro after playing baseball in the Tigers system

Clarion(0-3) at California(3-0) 6pm
The Golden Eagles dropped a tough loss to defending champion Shippensburg 28-24, the game saw six lead changes. All-American Alfonso Hoggard was shut down, held to just 28 yards, he did score a touchdown. Senior wideout Jacques Robinson had seven catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. Robinson needs eleven catches to become the all-time Clarion leader and needs one yard to become the all-time receiving yards leader. The Vulcans maintain the number four spot in the AFCA Division II poll. Cal is 3-0 for the fourth time since 2002, they have not started 3-0 since 2007. Sophomore running back Lamont Smith became the first Cal back to post back to back 100 yard games since 2007. The Vulcans lead the PSAC in scoring, averaging over 42 points per game. Cal has not lost a West Division game since 10-11-06 to IUP at Adamson Stadium, a streak of 20 consecutive.

Shepherd(3-0) at Seton Hill(1-3) 3pm
Junior kicker Eric Dobratz kicked the winning field goal with 2:11 to play to give Shepherd a 19-16 win over Fairmont State. Dobratz also averaged 46.5 yards per punt, he was named the WVIAC Special Teams Player of the Week. Also gathering honors was sophomore defensive back Keon Robinson. Robinson picked off two passes, the second came with 90 seconds remaining to seal the win. Robinson leads the conference with four interceptions. Brian Taylor had six tackles and blocked an extra point. QB Kevin Clancy threw for only 138 yards but was 13 of 18 as Shepherd won it's conference opener. D.J. Lenehan threw for 212 yards on 23 of 38 but Seton Hill fell 38-28 to Glenville State. Daniel Butler added 91 yards rushing on 16 carries and a touchdown, he also caught a touchdown pass. Tyree Bryant returned an interception 13 yards for a Griffin touchdown. Seton Hill was 0 for 12 on 3rd down conversions, the Griffins are 0-1 in the WVIAC.

Thiel(0-3) at Saint Vincent(0-2) 1pm
The Tomcats got seven tackles, including two sacks from junior linebacker Ryan Dawes in a 34-6 loss to Waynesburg to open PAC play. Thiel leads the all-time series 8-4, and has won the last three. Senior linebacker Bobby Shew leads the conference in tackles for loss with seven, he has 22 tackles and three sacks on the season. The Bearcats will play their first PAC conference game that counts in the standings. Saint Vincent comes off the bye. The Bearcats have dropped 21 straight games since a win over Gallaudet in 2008, that's the only win for Saint Vincent since the program was restarted in 2007. The quarterback battle will continue for the Bearcats, juniors Aaron Smetanka and Jake Smith will split time. Smetanka has thrown for three scores, Smith has ran for one in the first two games of the season.

Grove City(2-1) at Waynesburg(1-1) 1:30pm
Junior quarterback Zach Gross replaced an injured Clayton Hall last week and shined. Gross was seven of eight for 105 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a five yard score in a 31-16 win over Westminster. One of Gross' strikes was a 64 yarder to Luke O'Hara. It was the longest play from scrimmage for Grove City since 2005. The Wolverines have won three straight road games, dating back to last season. The Wolverines forced four turnovers in the win and are now 1-0 in the PAC. Waynesburg sophomore defensive back Sean Hunt was named PAC Defensive Player of the Week. Hunt intercepted two passes and ran one of those back for a touchdown in a 34-6 win over Thiel. The Yellow Jackets forced six turnovers and held the Tomcats to 173 total yards in picking up the win in the conference opener. Offensively, Waynesburg got 72 yards rushing and a touchdown from freshman running back Bertrand Ngampa. Waynesburg leads the all-time series 25-17-5, the Wolverines have won the last two meetings.

Wittenberg(3-0) at Allegheny(2-0) Noon
Wittenberg is ranked 6th in the D3football.com poll this week, coming off a 37-7 win over Washington last week. Junior quarterback Ben Zoeller threw for a career-high 391 yards, the third best mark in school history. Wide reciever Josh McKee racked up 318 receiving yards, a NCAC record and the 12th best receiving day in D-III history. McKee scored five touchdowns. Head coach Joe Fincham needs one more victory to break the school record for wins, he has 129. Wittenberg has only allowed 13 points all season, having defeated Olivet 48-6 and Ohio Wesleyan 52-0 in the conference opener. It's the first road game for Wittenberg this season, they are averaging 45 points per game. Zoeller has thrown for 11 touchdowns, he has not been intercepted. Allegheny had the bye week last week. The Gators open conference play after wins over Bethany 28-0 and CMU 34-27. T.J. Salopek has completed 64 percent of his passes, throwing for 487 yards and eight touchdowns and just one interception. Salopek has hit David Strawser for four touchdowns and Terry Hartford for three.

Kenyon(0-2) at Carnegie Mellon(1-2) Noon
Kenyon hit's the road for the first time this season after last week's bye, coming off tight losses to Oberlin 29-26 and Hiram 21-13. Sophomore quarterback Dan Shannon has thrown for 585 yards but only one touchdown, he has been picked three times. Brett Williams has 23 catches, Tim Ladwig has 14. Rob Kalkstein staked CMU to a 7-0 first quarter lead on a 10 yard touchdown pass to Chris Garcia, but it was all Hobart in a 35-21 loss. Jared Delello ran for two touchdowns for the Tartans, who have dropped two straight. Kalkstein, the true freshman, has thrown for 324 yards and four touchdowns, with two interceptions. Chris Garcia is the leading rusher with 113 yards, he is also the leading receiver with seven catches for 98 yards.

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