EDINBORO, Pa. – Buoyed by a dominant rushing attack for the second straight week, the Golden Eagle football team bullied their way to a 34-20 road victory over Edinboro on Saturday afternoon. Clarion went off for 280 yards on the ground, while Golden Eagle quarterbacks provided some timely big plays in the passing game to lock up the win.
Anthony Guercio made the start at quarterback and was able to contribute on the ground and through the air. He notched his second 100-yard rushing game of the season, leading all players with 155 yards on the ground on 19 attempts. His day included a 55-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to give the Golden Eagles a 14-7 lead, an advantage they never relinquished from that point. The Golden Eagles attempted just 10 passes on the day but Guercio made the most of them, completing six of them for 74 yards and three touchdown passes.
Conversely, the Golden Eagle defense stymied the rushing attack of the Fighting Scots, holding them to just 40 rushing yards on 20 attempts. Quarterback Isaac Bernard threw for 324 yards and two scores but much of that came after the Golden Eagles had the game in hand. Grifin Buzzell had eight tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack.
Clarion’s second drive of the game was the one that put them on the board first, marching 61 yards down the field and needing just one third down conversion to do it. Guercio ran up the middle on a quarterback draw but was stopped at the goal line, losing his helmet and setting up a 3rd-and-Goal situation. Will Alexander checked in for Guercio on the subsequent play and punched it in, running over the right side of the line for a score to make it 7-0.
Edinboro responded with a 15-play, 70-yard touchdown drive that consumed 8:08 of the game, tying the game at 7-7. A key turnover set the stage for Clarion to take the lead for good. With 9:14 left to go in the first half, Alex Huzicka punched the ball out of Brian Trobel’s hands deep in Golden Eagle territory, with Shane Kemper scooping it up for the recovery. Four plays later, Guercio took a shotgun snap and ran a quarterback draw 55 yards, reaching the end zone untouched for a 14-7 lead.
Another turnover – this time a muffed punt by Amani Bailey deep in Edinboro territory – gave the Golden Eagles a choice opportunity to build onto their lead, and build onto it they did. On 3rd-and-4 from the Edinboro five-yard line, Guercio rolled out to his right and found Meadville grad Khalon Simmons on a screen pass with no time remaining on the clock at the half. Simmons also carried 14 times for 75 yards.
NO. 7 SLIPPERY ROCK 42, CAL 21
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The seventh-ranked Slippery Rock University football team used a dominant second half to pull away for a 42-21 win over California (Pa.) Saturday on Homecoming, moving The Rock into sole possession of first place in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division.
Saturday’s game featured two teams that entered the game tied for first place in the PSAC West with unbeaten divisional records. Slippery Rock moves to 8-0 overall and takes over sole possession of first place with a 5-0 divisional record, while Cal slips to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in PSAC West action.
The Vulcans led twice in the first half with a 6-0 lead with 5:50 to play in the first quarter and a 13-7 lead with 6:26 to play in the second quarter, but Slippery Rock quickly responded after each of those deficits to retake the lead.
GANNON 31, MERCYHURST 28
ERIE, Pa. – A banged-up Gannon team retained the Niagara Cup thanks to the showing of some unlikely heroes on Saturday afternoon at Mercyhurst’s Saxon Stadium.
It’s the first time the Golden Knights have claimed the trophy emblematic of the win in the crosstown rivalry in back-to-back years since 2010-11. Gannon began the season with three straight losses in games decided late in the fourth quarter.
SETON HILL 35, IUP 28
Seton Hill hosted Indiana (PA) in PSAC West action on Saturday afternoon at Offutt Field in Greensburg.
The Griffins won a back and forth battle with a late touchdown and an even later defensive stop as they defeated the Crimson Hawks by the score of 35-28. The Griffins improve to 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the west. IUP falls to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the west.
It is the first victory for the Griffins over IUP in the history of the program.