District preview: Slippery Rock has chance to win PSAC title

Share with others:


Print Email Read Later

Two years ago, the Slippery Rock football team was in the same situation it is now — at the top of its conference and a game away from the Division II playoffs.

The Rock lost that game, 21-14 to Kutztown, but with its success this season, it has a chance to do what it could not in 2011, as it will face Bloomsburg in the PSAC championship Saturday.

The game is the culmination of an extended run for a Slippery Rock team that was picked to finish third in the PSAC West.

After a promising 2-0 start, The Rock dropped its third game of the season, a 38-27 loss at Gannon, putting it an early disadvantage with a division loss. From there, however, it has won its past seven games by an average of 27.9 points, a run highlighted by a 42-16 rout of defending PSAC champion IUP on Oct. 12.

“In reality, in the past seven weeks, every week has been a playoff scenario for us knowing that we had to win in order to stay in contention and get this great opportunity for a conference championship,” Slippery Rock coach George Mihalik said in a conference call.

The Huskies boast the No. 5 rushing offense in Division II at 313.4 yards per game. The team’s interim head coach, Paul Darragh, is a Bishop Canevin graduate and former player.

Other games

Waynesburg (7-2, 5-1) at Washington & Jefferson (7-2, 6-1), 1:30 p.m., Cameron Stadium — With a victory against the Yellow Jackets, the Presidents will clinch the PAC championship, which would be their 23rd. Even with a win, Waynesburg would not be able to win the conference title. Both offenses average more than 30 points per game.

IUP (8-2) at Shippensburg (7-3), 1 p.m., Seth Grove Stadium — In a matchup of the PSAC’s two preseason favorites who are both eliminated from a possible conference championship, the Crimson Hawks would bring their two-year record to 21-4 with a victory against the Raiders.

Sacred Heart (9-2, 3-2) at Robert Morris (5-4, 3-1), noon, Joe Walton Stadium — A month ago, the Colonials were 2-4. Now, buoyed by a three-game win streak, they’re in first place in the NEC and will win the conference’s outright title with victories against the Pioneers and Saint Francis. Sto-Rox graduate and Penn State transfer Paul Jones has thrown six touchdowns and just one interception the past five games.

Central Connecticut State (4-6, 2-2) at Duquesne (5-4, 3-2), 12:10 p.m., Arthur Rooney Field — The Dukes saw their NEC championship hopes take a hit with a 10-0 loss to Sacred Heart last week. The offense, which has averaged 11.7 points per game in the past three games, might be Duquense’s bigger concern.

Case Western Reserve (4-4, 1-1) at Carnegie Mellon (3-6, 0-2), 6 p.m. — After a 3-2 start, the Tartans have lost four consecutive games, three of which came by less than three points. Quarterback Rob Kalkstein, a Gateway graduate, is 186 yards from breaking the school’s all-time career passing record.


Craig Meyer: cmeyer@post-gazette.com and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG.

Join the conversation:

Commenting policy | How to report abuse
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Commenting policy | How to report abuse

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here