- High School
Who will win the PSAC West title, Cal, IUP and Mercyhurst all battle for the crown
The focus this week heads to the city of Erie to see who will win the PSAC West and face Shippensburg in next week's State Championship Game.
Cal travels to Mercyhurst with both of those teams having a shot at the crown, while a few blocks away IUP meets Gannon, the Crimson Hawks are also battling for the title.
The Steel City Showdown takes place in Moon Township as Duquense and Robert Morris meet, the PAC still has 2 more weeks of conference play.
Here are previews of ALL the games, including 2 heard here on the Network:
Lock Haven(0-9) at Slippery Rock(5-4) 1pm on WLER 97.7 FM and the MSA Sports Network.
The Bald Eagles have dropped 51 straight games, the longest losing streak in the history of Division II football and the longest current losing streak on any level of NCAA football.
Lock Haven fell at home to Gannon 13-7 last week. The offense did not score a point, George Christas returned an interception for a touchdown for the only score for the Bald Eagles.
QB Jarret Kratzer has thrown for 1,298 yards and 5 touchdowns this season.
Lock Haven is last in the PSAC in scoring, rushing and total offense, averaging just 7 points per game.
The Rock is 4-2 in the PSAC West and has won 3 straight games, knocking off then 13th ranked Cal 28-26. QB Nigel Barksdale was a big part of that win, throwing for 283 yards and running for 119 yards. Barksdale was named PSAC West Offensive Player of the Week.
Barksdale has thrown for 1,237 yards, he has figured in on 16 touchdowns this season.
Akeem Satterfield leads the Rock in rushing for the season with 587 yards, he did not play last week. LaQuinn Stephens-Howling has made 30 catches this season for 400 yards and 5 touchdowns.
The SRU defense has been opportunistic, with 13 picks on the year. Anthony Saunders and Isiah Coleman are tied with 3 each.
Slippery Rock is 7th in the PSAC in scoring offense and 11th in scoring defense.
W & J(6-2) at Geneva(2-6) 7pm on WJPA 1450-AM and WBVP 1230-AM and the MSA Sports Network
The Presidents are 5-1 in the PAC, a game and a half back of Waynesburg. W & J would need to win this game and next week against the Yellow Jackets to claim the PAC title. A win by the Golden Tornadoes wraps up the title for Waynesburg.
W & J was idle last week, but the Presidents have cliched a 29th consecutive winning season, the fifth longest active streak in any of the NCAA divisions.
The Presidents are 5th in the PAC in scoring offense at 24 points per game and 4th in scoring defense at 20 points.
Dion Wiegand leads the Presidents with 475 yards rushing.
Matt Bliss is 3rd in the conference with 1,550 yards passing, with 8 touchdowns but a troubling 11 interceptions.
Alex Barrofio has 54 catches to lead the Presidents, Hunter Creel follows with 38. Creel leads the team with 5 td catches.
Nathan Melhorn leads the defense with 60 stops. Jon Lowery has 7.5 sacks.
Geneva is 2-4 in the PAC, falling 26-8 to Grove City last week. The loss ensured back to back losing seasons for the GT's for the first time since 1992-93.
Rocco Colavecchia took all of the snaps at QB last week as Zach Hayward was out with an injury. Colavecchia was held to 56 yards rushing and just 82 yards passing. He is 4th in the conference, averaging 80 yards rushing and leads the PAC with 17 td's scored.
Hayward is 2nd in the PAC passing stats at 1,601 yards and 12 touchdowns. Geneva has 3 of the top 10 receivers in the conference, Jordan Curry leads with 41 catches, Corey O'Patchen has 39 and Colavecchia 31
Jake Delmonico had 9 tackles last week and an interception. Dillon Goodell leads the PAC with 85 tackles, Brett Hutira has 68 and Ryan Fronius 61.
Geneva is 3rd in the conference at 27 points per game, they are 8th in scoring
defense at 33 points allowed. The yellow flags could help to determine this one, both teams are near the bottom of the PAC in staying away from penalties. Both teams also turn the ball over, both are minus 5 in turnover ratio.
W & J leads the series 38-19-1 and has won 7 straight meetings.
IUP(8-1) at Gannon(2-7) Noon
IUP is 5-1 in the PSAC West, tied for the lead with Cal and Mercyhurst. The Crimson Hawks gain the berth in the PSAC title game next week against Shippensburg with a win and a Cal loss.
The Crimson Hawks moved up to 14th in the AFCA poll, however they hold the 6th and final spot in the NCAA Super Region One rankings. IUP would likely need to win this week and go to the PSAC title game to ensure a playoff berth.
CB Marvis Toussaint was named PSAC West Defensive Player of the Week. Tousaint picked off 2 passes in the red zone to stop Clarion threats in what turned out to be a 45-0 victory over the Golden Eagles. IUP is first in the PSAC in scoring, rushing and total defense and third against the pass.
QB Mike Box got it done last week for IUP, throwing for 2 scores and running for another. Harvie Tuck added another 97 yards to his total. The Crimson Hawks have the second best rushing attack in the conference, at 291 yards per game.
Gannon is 1-5 in the West and ended a 7 game losing streak with a 13-7 win over Lock Haven last week. Jansen Jones ran for 183 yards last week in the win.
Liam Nadler has thrown for 2,337 yards and 13 touchdowns, his favorite target is Abraham Ocasio, with 778 yards receiving and 8 td catches.
California(7-2) at Mercyhurst(7-2) Noon
Both teams are 5-1 in the PSAC West. Cal will win the West with a victory and a trip to the PSAC title game and a date with the Red Raiders, no matter what IUP does, since they beat the Crimson Hawks in the Coal Bowl. Mercyhurst must win and have their neighbors from Gannon beat IUP to claim the West.
The Vulcans fell to 22nd in the AFCA D-II poll after the loss to Slippery Rock last week. However, Cal U is in 5th place in the latest NCAA Super Region One rankings, ahead of IUP. 4 teams from the PSAC are in the rankings, Shippensburg at #1, Bloomsburg #3, Cal and IUP
Cal blocked two punts in the loss last week, the second consecutive week with two blocked kicks. The Cal defense has forced 9 turnovers in the last two weeks.
RB Lamont Smith is 28 rushing yards away from becomi$ng only the third 3-thousand yard rusher in Cal history.
Mercyhurst defeated Edinboro last week when backup QB Alec Swartz came off the bench and led the go-ahead drive with a 75 yard touchdown pass to Paris Bruner. Brandon Brown-Dukes ran for his 12th and 13th touchdowns of the season, he needs one more to set the Lakers single season record.
Freshman TE John Matarazzo made his first catch of his career, he played QB during his high school career at New Castle.
The Lakers have the best pass defense in the conference, led by Aaron McGhee with 58 tackles, Serge Augustin at 6.5 sacks and Linnell Robinson of Union, who has 2 picks and 10 pass deflections.
Edinboro(3-5) at Clarion(4-5) 1pm
Both teams are 2-4 in the PSAC West.
Edinboro fell 24-21 to Mercyhurst last week. Cody Harris ran for his 8th touchdown of the season, a Edinboro record for quarterbacks. Harris has figured in on 21 of 25 touchdowns scored by the Fighting Scots offense.
Branden Williams blocked a field goal and a punt last week, the punt block was returned by Williams for a touchdown. Williams has 4 blocks for the season and 12 for his career. James Jackson leads the Fighting Scots with 4 interceptions, Kenny Pettis has 2. Pettis leads the team with 90 tackles and has been among the conference leaders all season.
Clarion was blanked 45-0 by IUP last week, but the Golden Eagles had plenty of changes. Clarion was stopped 3 times inside the IUP 10 yard line and held without a point on those 3 possessions.
QB Ben Fiscus leads Clarion in rushing with 554 yards, passing at 2,087 and has accounted for 17 touchdowns.
Jacob Heintz led the Golden Eagles with 15 tackles. Julian Howsare posted 2 more sacks, he leads the PSAC with 13.
St. Anselm(1-8) at Seton Hill(0-9) Noon
The Hawks got 430 yards and 3 touchdowns from QB Andrew Murray in a 37-34 loss to Northeast 10 leader American International. The freshman signal caller was picked off 4 times in the loss.
The Griffins have dropped 11 straight games, dating back to 2011. Seton Hill fell 41-29 last week to West Liberty. Andrew Jackson threw for 439 yards and 4 touchdowns in the loss. Niko Hall-Brown caught 11 passes for a school record 223 yards and a score. Tyler Zimmer made a game-high 14 tackles for the SHU defense.
Thomas More(5-3) at Bethany(2-6) 1pm
The Saints are 5-2 in the PAC, two games back of Waynesburg. Thomas More defeated Saint Vincent 38-3last week. Freshman Trey Wells was named the PAC Special Teams Player of the Week. Wells blocked a punt and recoverd it for a Saints touchdown.
DB Zach Autenrieb has 32 interceptions for his career, holding the D-III record, he is just 5 shy of tying the NCAA all division record of 37.
Adam Rauch ran for 92 yards and 3 scores, Jensen Gebhardt threw for a score.
The Bison are 2-4 in the PAC. Bethany defeated Thiel 26-13 last week. DB Jordan Joyce was named PAC Defensive Player of the Week. The former Baldwin star picked off 2 passes and made 7 tackles in the win. Eric Blinn is turning into a top receiving for Bethany with 8 catches for 182 yards last week for the Western Beaver standout.
Thomas More leads the series 5-2 and has won the last 4 meetings.
Thiel(2-6) at Westminster(3-4) 1pm
Both teams are 2-4 in PAC play. Thiel fell to Bethany 26-13 last week. Taylor Fink ran for 92 yards and a touchdown for the Tomcats last week. QB Andrew Smith scored on a 1 yard run. Ethan Ludwig made 14 tackles for Thiel.
The Titans fell to Waynesburg 42-16 last week, trailing 35-0 in the second quarter. QB Dak Britt ran for 2 scores, but struggled in the air, going 14-36 for 122 yards and 2 interceptions. RB Tyler Banks ran for 59 yards last week, Banks is second in the PAC at 94.7 yards rushing per game.
Westminster leads the all-time series 43-19-8, the home team has won 5 of the last 6 meetings.
Grove City(4-4) at Saint Vincent(0-8) 1pm
The Wolverines are 3-3 in PAC play. Grove City leads the PAC in time of possession. Shane Kaclik leads the PAC in rushing at 919 yards, he needs just 91 in the final two games to become only the third 1 thousand yard rusher in school history. WR Anthony Ritchie had 6 catches for 111 yards in last week's victory over Geneva.
Grove City also has the top overall defense, allowing just 279 yards per game.
The Bearcats have dropped 9 straight games and are last in the conference in scoring and total offense, scoring just 11 points per game. Thomas More converted 4 turnovers into 10 points last week in a 38-3 +++ to the Saints.
Grove City leads the series 4-1 since it was resumed in 2007, this will be the Wolverines' only game on grass this season.
University of Chicago(4-4) at Carnegie Mellon(5-3) Noon
The Maroons fell to Case Western Reserve last week 28-15. CWR led 21-6 at the half. Tom Brutofsky scored on a 1 yard run in the first to give UC the lead. Vincent Cortina threw for 264 yards on 24-43 in the loss. Brandon Meckleburg had 7 catches for 141 yards and a td for the Maroons.
Carnegie Mellon lost at Washington University 15-3. Rob Kalkstein has thrown for 1,701 yards this season, he needs 268 yards in the last 2 games to set the single season record. Kalkstein has 5 touchdowns of 50 yards or more, 3 to Timothy Swanson and 2 to Tim Kitka. Patrick Blanks leads the Tartans with 502 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns. Liam McGrath has picked off 6 passes this season, he needs 1 more to tie the season record.
The Tartans have a 19-5 series advantage.
Ohio Wesleyan(7-1) at Allegheny(4-4) 1pm
The Battling Bishops are still in line for the NCAC title, even after last week's 28-0 loss to Wabash at 4-1. Ohio Wesleyan is tied with Kenyon, Wabash and Wittenburg for the lead. QB Mason Espinosa threw for 428 yards on 52-75, but Ohio Wesleyan could not find the end zone.
The Battling Bishops lead the NCAC in passing offense at 352 yards per game.
The Gators are 3-2 after their 20-7 loss to Kenyon. Allegheny committed 3 turnovers in the loss. QB Joe Dawida made his 2nd career start, going 24-40 for 178 yards. Andrew Nicklaus and Derrick Emigh are battling for the lead, with 35 and 34 catches respectively.
Duquesne(5-3) at Robert Morris(2-6) 3:30pm
The Dukes are 3-2 in the NEC after falling to Monmouth 28-27 last week. Sean Patterson threw for 259 yards and 3 touchdowns in the loss. Larry McCoy returned and ran for 116 yards.
McCoy leads the conference in rushing at 118 yards per game. Patterson is third in passing with 1,702 yards. Patterson has thrown 14 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions. Gianni Carter is 2nd in the conference with 45 catches and 647 yards. Sean Brady and Noel Oduho each have 35 catches.
The Colonials are 1-4 in the NEC, falling to Wagner 23-13. Jeff Sinclair tossed 2 4th quarter touchdown passes but it was not enough to complete a comeback.
Evan Taylor has ran for 629 yards this season, 7th in the NEC. +Sinclair has thrown for 1,151 yards with 10 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Donte Jeter has just 25 catches but has 516 yards receiving, Jeter has scored 5 touchdowns.