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Small College Roundup: IUP Honors Cignetti with Win, Slippery Rock Continues Strong Start

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IUP football began the day honoring the late Frank Cignetti Sr. and closed out the evening with a win over East Stroudsburg, 38-35. 

The Crimson Hawks honored one of the winningest coaches in college football as Cignetti Sr. amassed a record at IUP of 182-50-1, along with 14 PSAC West Division titles and two appearances to the national championship game.

On Saturday evening, the Crimson Hawks walked it off as kicker Nick Andrasi nailed the game winning field goal as time expired. The Crimson Hawks and the Warriors fought in a back-and-forth affair all game long that saw several major point swings. East Stroudsburg scored 28 unanswered points that spanned across the second and third quarter.

However, transfer quarterback Mak Sexton tossed two touchdowns for IUP as the game wore down to keep pace with East Stroudsburg and allow for Andrasi to close the game out for the Crimson Hawks.

Slippery Rock Continues Strong Start

No. 18-ranked Slippery Rock took care of business on the road against West Chester and claimed a 35-14 victory. 

In the second quarter West Chester evened the game, but Slippery Rock gained the lead 31 seconds later on a 69-yard touchdown reception by Kyle Sheets. From there on out, Slippery Rock never looked back.

Slippery Rock running back Chris D’Or totaled 108 yards on the ground including a 26-yard touchdown run that put The Rock up by two scores in the third quarter.

On the defensive side, Slippery Rock stifled the Golden Rams offense as they only allowed 37 yards of total offense in the second half before West Chester’s final drive of the game. The Rock also collected four sacks on the day as well as two interceptions.

Colonials Fall to 0-2

Another week and another game that Robert Morris could not hold on to a first half lead as they fell to Miami (Ohio), 31-14. 

The Colonials offense became stagnant after scoring five minutes into the first quarter. It was not until the last 19 seconds of the game until the Colonials found the end zone again as the RedHawks poured on 28 unanswered points. 

Once again, the Colonials struggled to find a rhythm at the quarterback position as Anthony Chiccitt (Bethel Park) threw two interceptions and was replaced in the second half by Jake Simmons. Simmons went on to only throw for 41 yards in the losing effort.

Kutztown Edges No. 17 Cal U

With an opportunity to rise in the American Football Coaches Association poll on Saturday, California will instead fall in the poll as the Vulcans fell 24-19. 

The Vulcans held the lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Kutztown scored twice in the span of four minutes, including a 42-yard touchdown pass from Donny Blaine to Jerome Kapp.

Kutztown’s quarterback play was night and day from its season opening loss against Assumption (Mass.) where Blaine threw three interceptions. Against Cal U, Blaine accumulated 153 yards through the air, along with two passing touchdowns.

Mercyhurst Explodes in Second Half Over Lock Haven

The Mercyhurst offense totaled 466 yards on the day en route to a 49-7 victory in Lock Haven. After not scoring a touchdown in the first half, the Lakers scored one touchdown after another in the final 30 minutes. Mercyhurst running back Dustin Shoaf (Yough) added two short rushing touchdowns in the third quarter to propel the Lakers ahead. The game was nearly sealed after Dillon Ferretti (Hempfield) returned a 32-yard interception for a touchdown.

Turnovers Plague Edinboro in Loss to Shepherd

Four turnovers, including a nine-yard interception by Shepherd’s Kyle Smith proved costly for Edinboro as the Fighting Scots lost 41-7. Edinboro quarterback Isaac Bernard threw for 338 yards in the loss, but it was the two interceptions which came back to bite the Fighting Scots. Along with the takeaways, No. 5 Shepherd was fueled by three long rushing touchdowns from Ronnie Brown who finished with 278 total rushing yards on the day.

Gannon Earns Road Victory at Millersville

For the first time since 2016, the Gannon Golden Knights start the season 2-0 as they came out on the winning side of a defensive battle, 16-10. The first score of the day defined the outcome of the matchup as Gannon blocked a punt in the first quarter which led to the ball rolling out of the back of the end zone resulting in a safety. Gannon did not relinquish the lead the rest of the way. Gannon running back Melvin Blanks (North Hills) ran for 135 yards, including a six-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Defense and Special Teams Propel Raiders 

Shippensburg scored 16 points via defensive takeaways and special teams and topped Seton Hill, 36-17. The Raiders got on the board in the first quarter with a 75-yard interception return from Khi’on Smith. Shippensburg’s defense went to work again forcing a safety early in the second quarter. The Raiders’ special teams also played a factor in the win as Redd Douglas ran back a 100-yard kickoff return, which gave Shippensburg a two-touchdown cushion that they did not let up.

Clarion Offense Vanishes in Loss to Bloomsburg

Despite a rushing attack that put up 192 yards on the ground, Clarion failed to score a touchdown in a 42-3 loss to Bloomsburg. While Clarion’s offense faltered, Bloomsburg saw one splash play after another. Bloomsburg’s freshman quarterback KJ Riley tossed four touchdowns, along with 70 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground. As Riley flourished, Golden Eagles’ quarterback Zach Benedek (Elizabeth Forward) threw for a mere 65 yards.

Pfeuffer Shines as Grove City Dismantles Geneva

The quarterback play for Grove City continues to be solid as Logan Pfeuffer (Peters Township) threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns in Grove City’s 55-17 win over Geneva. The Golden Tornadoes led heading into the second quarter, but that lead quickly evaporated thanks to Grove City’s offensive push which was commanded by Pfeuffer. Complementing the passing offense, four different running backs scored for Grove City in the victory.

Allegheny Running Game Drives Offense in Win 

Allegheny evened its record at 1-1 with a 34-6 victory against conference rival Thiel. The Gators found success on the ground with three touchdowns as they rushed for 126 yards against the Tomcats defense. To help in the winning effort, the Gators also added a 52-yard pick-six from Hudson Alread.

W&J Offense Impresses Against Saint Vincent

Washington & Jefferson’s offense surpassed 500 total yards on Saturday as they defeated Saint Vincent, 52-21. The Presidents scored 28 unanswered points to kickoff the contest as quarterback Colton Jones diced up the Bearcats defense as he threw three touchdown passes in the first 19 minutes of the game. Presidents’ running backs Justin Huss (Derry) and Raymond Holmes (Serra Catholic) each eclipsed the 100 rushing yard plateau in the victory.

Carnegie Mellon Claims Road Win Over No. 22 RPI

In a defensive battle, Carnegie Mellon upset no. 22 RPI on the road, 10-7. Neither team found the end zone until the fourth quarter as Tartans’ junior quarterback Ben Mills crossed the goal line on a one-yard run. The lone Carnegie Mellon touchdown held off RPI’s comeback chances despite a late score with 1:46 left in the game.

Slow Start Limits Waynesburg in Loss to Case Western Reserve

Despite a strong quarterback performance from Waynesburg’s Tyler Raines, the Yellow Jackets move to 1-1 after a 45-31 loss to Case Western Reserve (Ohio). Waynesburg’s offense did not start to come together until the second half when the Spartans already had a comfortable lead that they did not give up. Raines finished the day with 310 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Westminster Secures First Win

In the matchup’s 59th meeting, Westminster rolled along as they defeated Bethany (W.Va.), 42-3. Westminster running back Ryan Gomes rushed for 183 yards, which included a 59-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

 

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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