District College Football Recap for Saturday, November 23

Sunday, November 24, 2013 | 12:05 PM

Eyes turn to the hardwood as the district college football season came to an end on a windy and snowy Saturday afternoon.

Slippery Rock fell in the D-II playoffs, while W & J saw their season come to an end in the Northeast Ohio snow belt. Waynesburg lost in the ECAC Northeast Bowl, while Duquense and Saint Francis posted wins in their respective regular season finales.

The district also says goodbye to a coaching great, Joe Walton coached his final game at Robert Morris, ending a 20 yard career in Moon Township.

Here are recaps of ALL the games, a special thanks go out to the sports informations staffs of the local universities and colleges and the PSAC, PAC and NEC conferences, without their hard work, these previews and recaps would not be possible.

NCAA Division II Playoffs/First Round/Super Region One
Winston-Salem State 27 – Slippery Rock 20

The Rock offense, which was one of the top teams in D-II, averaging 566 yards per game, was held to just 210 yards in the opening round of the NCAA Division II playoffs on Saturday in North Carolina.

Nigel Barksdale, the single season passing leader at the Rock, was 9 of 22 on the day with three interceptions. SRU trailed 20-6 in the second quarter and rallied twice to get the deficit to seven but could not tie the game.

Winston-Salem was the fourth ranked team in the region and #9 in the latest coaches poll, the Eagles will now travel to the region’s top seed  # 6 Shepherd next Saturday.

Slippery Rock scored ten plays into the game as Kevin Kulka recovered a Maurice Lewis fumble to set up Teddy Blakeman with a 2 yard scoring run. There was a bad exchange on the PAT and holder Mike Bongivengo tried to run it in, but was stopped short of the goal line. Winston-Salem State answered the score on a 8 play drive with Rudy Johnson hitting Joshua Glisson with a 3 yard touchdown, the extra point was no good and the game stayed tied at 6.

The game changed in the second quarter as Barksdale entered the game, redshirt freshman Zach Newsock started as Barksdale was sat down for the first quarter for a violation of team rules. The senior was intercepted on his second play from scrimmage by Vernon Brandon. Johnson threw to Will Miller for a 1 yard touchdown on a 7 play drive. Slippery Rock drove to the 32 yard line, but Barksdale was intercepted by Larry Hearne, who went 70 yards for a Pick 6. The Rock got an interception return of their own, as Quindell Dean picked off a pass deep in Winston Salem territory and took it to the house. Anthony Sanders picked off Johnson at the goal line, after the Eagles drove to the 6 yard line. Both teams had possessions in the final 43 seconds of the half, Winston-Salem State got to the Rock 32 on a pass interference call but came up short on the final play of the half.

The Eagles opened the scoring in the third quarter, Johnson hit Jerry Chandler for a 33 yard touchdown to go up 27-13. Both teams traded interceptions, Barksdale was picked by Brandon, his second of the game, but Saunders returned the favor for the Rock with his second interception of the game. SRU scored on a 50 yard drive with Barksdale scoring on a 1 yard run.

That would be the last time the Rock would enter the Eagles territory in the game until the final drive, Barksdale led SRU to the Eagles 48 but Barksdale was sacked by Donnie Owens forcing the Rock to go for a fourth and 17 at their own 45, Barksdale scrambled for only 10 yards and the Eagles got the ball back and the game.

Barksdale finished 9-22 for 67 yards with 3 interceptions. Backup Zach Newsock started and was 5-12 for 86 yards. John Schademan had only 4 catches for 73 yards. Slippery Rock ends the season at 9-3 and falls in the final two games.

Rudy Johnson was 24-37 for the Eagles for 315 yards, with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, he carried 18 times for 86 yards. Winston-Salem State is now 10-1 overall.

NCAA Division III Playoffs/First Round
Mount Union 34 – W & J 20

In the wind and snow in Alliance, Ohio, the #1 ranked Purple Raiders started the defense of their national championship with the victory. The win is the 26th straight for Mount Union, the longest current winning streak on any level of college football.

W & J held their own in this meeting, the Presidents were blown out 55-0 in the 2009 first round matchup at Mount Union. Freshman Pete Coughlin made his second career start, as senior Matt Bliss was injured in last week’s regular season win over Waynesburg. The former Upper St. Clair star went 20 of 44 for 216 yards and 3 touchdowns, all to Alex Baroffio.

Mount Union scored on their first drive, going 11 plays and 93 yards. Kevin Burke hit Luc Meacham for a 4 yard score. Burke found Sherman Wilkerson for a 37 yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead. W & J answered that score, Coughlin to Baroffio for 24 yards and the score. But Burke and Wilkerson weren’t done, scoring with 15 seconds left in the quarter, again a 37 yard score and a 21-7 lead after one.

Coughlin answered again, finding Dion Wiegand for a 48 yard pass, setting up a 6 yard reception for Baroffio for a score. Mount Union had a chance to extend the lead but Burke fumbled at the W & J 11, Evan Fuentes recovered, but the Presidents could not take advantage, giving the ball back to Mount Union with 3:32 left in the half. That was plenty of time for Burke and B.J Mitchell, who ran for 40 yards on the drive, Burke hooked up with Wilkerson for a 10 yard touchdown and a 28-13 lead at the half.

Mount Union came out in the third quarter and took exactly half of the quarter clock up, going 15 plays and 85 yards in 7:31, Mitchell going in from 16 yards out. W & J answered with a long drive of their own, but the Presidents came up empty with Coughlin throwing three incompletions after a 2nd and goal at the 9.

The Presidents took advantage of a Burke fumble for their final score, John Wanner recovered at the MU 18, Coughlin connected with Baroffio for a 3 yard score on 4th and goal. The Presidents got the ball back at their own 20 with 3:43 left, but could not get a yard and the Purple Raiders move on.

Burke threw for four touchdowns, on 13 of 23 for 198 yards, he also carried 16 times for 60 yards. Mitchell had 31 carries for 181 yards, Wilkinson had 7 catches for 130 yards. Mount Union is now 11-0 overall and will face Wittenburg next week at a site to be determined.

Baroffio ended his career at W & J with 12 catches for 131 yards. Wiegand carried 25 times for 74 yards. The Presidents finish the season 8-3.

ECAC Northeast Bowl
Brockport 19 – Waynesburg 12

A last minute comeback for the Yellow Jackets came up short in post-season play in snowy New York State. Carter Hill hit Bernie Thompson for a 8 yard touchdown with 1:42 remaining. The junior quarterback struggled for the second straight game, going 19-48 for 219 yards and the one score.

Brockport scored 46 seconds into the game, Dan Andrews ran for an 82 yard touchdown and a 6-0 lead. Alex Henry answered with a 25 yard field goal and a 6-3 lead after one quarter. Brockport got a punt return from Jake Spalik of 40 yards for a score to go up 13-3 and had a chance to score again from the Waynesburg 20 but Wayne Bonsell could not connect with Andrew Mrozek on the final play of the half.

Henry hit a 22 yard field goal midway thru the 3rd quarter to make it 13-6. Brockport missed another opportunity early in the fourth, Tyler Perna missing a 27 yard field goal attempt. Shireem Cobb was able to score on a 2 yard run with 4:12 left to put Brockport up two scores. Hill drove the Yellow Jackets down the field, going 80 yards in 2:32. Waynesburg used their timeouts and got the ball back with 32 seconds left at their own 25.

A pass interference call moved the ball to the 40, but Hill misfired on four straight passes to end the game. Mike Ferraro had 6 catches, Thompson 5. Jerry Lawman ran 17 times for 60 yards. Waynesburg ends the season at 7-4 and dropped the last two games.

Andrews carried 29 times for 188 yards for Brockport, who finishes 8-3.

Duquesne 33 – Monmouth 23
The Dukes go on the road and pick up the win in New Jersey. Dillon Buechel threw for 3 touchdowns and Austin Crimmins kicked a single game record 4 field goals in the victory as Duquesne finishes at 7-4.

Crimmins got the Dukes on the board with a 33 yard kick in the first quarter. Buechel hit Devin Rahming for a 14 yard touchdown and Crimmins kicked another field goal, this one from 27 yards to put Duquesne up 13-0 after one.

Zach Fabel got the Hawks on the board with an 18 yard td catch from Brandon Hill. Duquesne scored twice in the final minute of the half, after Eric Spillane missed a 47 yard field goal after a 7 ½ minute Hawks drive. Buechel drove the Dukes down the field, setting up a Crimmins 30 yard field goal with 14 seconds remaining. The Dukes did a pop up kick which Duquesne recovered at the Monmouth 19. Buechel hit Dave Thomas for a touchdown to lead 23-7 at the half.

Monmouth was able to tie the game. Hill hit Mike McLafferty for a 56 yard touchdown in the third and Neal Sterling for a 17 yard score on the first play of the fourth, also getting two conversions from Hill to Sterling. Rahming returned the kickoff 55 yards to set up Buechel and the offense, the redshirt freshman connected Ethan Dorsey for a 5 yard touchdown to go back up 30-23. Crimmins missed a 33 yard field goal attempt with 4:45 remaining, he was able to connect on a 25 yard field goal in the final minute to end the game.

Buechel was 14 of 27 for 223 yards. Dave Thomas had 6 catches for 102 yards. Ryan Ho added 84 yards on the ground. For the Hawks, Hill was 18 of 31 for 278 yards and 3 scores. Sterling had 7 catches for 84 yards. K.B. Asante carried 27 times for 129 yards but was held off the board. Monmouth ends the season at 6-6.

Saint Francis 23 – Robert Morris 3
The Red Flash close out the season with a win and deny the Colonials a chance to claim a share of the NEC title. Kyle Harbridge racked up 110 yards on 29 carries to lead the Saint Francis offense.

The loss closes out the career of Joe Walton as the RMU head coach, the only coach the program has ever had. Walton announced that he would step down after the season, John Banaszak will take over. In 20 seasons, Walton was 114-92-1 in 20 seasons, and led the Colonials to 6 NEC titles.

Saint Francis led 17-0 after one quarter. Harbridge took a 44 yard pass from Max Ward three plays into the game, the senior added a 10 yard scoring run on the second possession. Lance Geesey kicked a 29 yard field goal for the big advantage after 15 minutes.

Geesey kicked a 32 yard field goal, early in the third, Connor Shennan hit a 22 yard field goal on the final play of the half for the only RMU points. Geesey added a 35 yard field goal in the third for the only points of the second half.

Paul Jones was 6 of 20 for 81 yards for RMU, he was replaced by Marcus Prather, who went 10-25 for 138 yards but was picked twice. Duane Mitchell and Sean Gavin each had 6 catches for the Colonials, who finish at 5-6.

Max Ward was 10-18 for the Red Flash, who finish at 5-6. Both teams end up 3-3 in NEC play.

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