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Slippery Rock, Two Other PSAC Teams Earn Division II Playoff Bids

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Despite Slippery Rock’s Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) title loss to Kutztown Saturday afternoon, The Rock is making a third consecutive Division II playoff appearance.

After a 9-2 season, with losses to only rival Indiana University (Pa.) in early October and Kutztown on Saturday, Slippery Rock still managed to earn an at-large bid in Region One of the 2021 Division II playoffs, with a road matchup against No. 3 Notre Dame (Oh.) in South Euclid, Ohio on Saturday as a reward.

After advancing to the 2019 NCAA Division II national semifinals in 2019, losing to Minnesota State-Mankato, there wasn’t a Division II football season in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Harlon Hill Award-winning quarterback Roland Rivers III graduated from Slippery Rock after the 2019 season, SRU reloaded with redshirt senior Andrew Koester and junior Noah Grover this season.

Grover, a transfer student from North Dakota, took over for Koester late in the season and immediately set SRU records. Grover has thrown for 1,424 yards and 17 touchdowns on 109-of-159 passing attempts this season, completing 68.6 percent of his throws with just six interceptions.

With wide receivers Henry Litwin, Jermaine Wynn Jr. and Cinque Sweeting at the ready, Grover has been set up for success, but with Wynn suffering an injury during SRU’s loss to Kutztown Saturday, Sweeting will be looked to carry the all-around slack left from Wynn’s absence.

Slippery Rock’s first round matchup with Notre Dame will mark the third consecutive Division II playoffs with SRU and ND meeting up. Notre Dame won 21-17 in 2018, SRU won 65-59 in 2019 and 2021’s matchup will complete the saga in a recent rivalry buildup between the two schools.

Slippery Rock will travel to Notre Dame Saturday, Nov. 20 (with a kickoff time to be announced later) for the latest installment in the saga.

Kutztown clinched the No. 1 seed in Region One of Division II football with a huge redemption win over SRU, after having lost 37-35 to The Rock in the 2019 PSAC championship game.

Kutztown will play the winner of No. 4 New Haven and at-large Bentley on Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. at Andre Reed Stadium in Kutztown, Pa.

Shepherd, the lone university outside of Pennsylvania in the PSAC,

 

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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