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IUP Claims Top Seed in Super Region One, Earns Bye; Slippery Rock to Face No. 3 Assumption



After claiming the PSAC championship on Saturday, Indiana (Pa.) was slated as the top seed in Super Region One of the 28-team Division II playoff bracket, earning a first-round bye.

IUP returns to postseason play for the first time since 2019 after a 9-1 season including a 24-21 victory over then-undefeated Shepherd to win its 19th PSAC title. 

In head coach Paul Tortorella’s fifth season at the helm of the program, the Crimson Hawks boasted the best offense in the West Division with top marks in scoring (34.7) and yardage (436.6). The offense is led by Pittsburg State grad transfer quarterback Mak Sexton who currently sits with 29 touchdowns and 2,555 yards. His top target, Duane Brown, collected 16 touchdown receptions – third most in all of Division II.

With the first-round bye, the Crimson Hawks will await the winner between No. 4 Ashland and No. 5 Notre Dame (Ohio). IUP will host the victor at Miller Stadium on Nov. 26.

Another PSAC West program that earned a spot in the Division II postseason field was Slippery Rock with an at-large bid. The Rock find themselves in the postseason bracket for the fourth consecutive year as they will travel to No. 3 seed Assumption (Mass.).

Despite a regular-season finale loss to Kutztown, The Rock still paved out an impressive season that saw them go 9-2 with their only other loss coming against PSAC champion and rival IUP.

Slippery Rock owns one of the best defenses in Division II, limiting teams to 14.5 points per game along with 263.7 yards per game. As for the offense, The Rock was without some key players against Kutztown including starting quarterback Noah Grover, starting running back Chris D’Or, backup running back Chris Wells and top receiver Kyle Sheets. They were out with minor injuries and are expected to return for the postseason contest.

The Rock will look to make another deep playoff run as they have advanced to the quarterfinals three times since 2015 and made an appearance in the national semifinals in 2019.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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