District notebook: Defense is IUP's calling card after 2 games
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IUP coach Curt Cignetti prides himself in coaching football with old fashioned values such as playing physical on both sides of the ball, winning the line of scrimmage and playing great defense.
So it isn't a surprise that the Crimson Hawks are at or near the top of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in just about every defensive category.
The Crimson Hawks (2-0) have given up just one touchdown in two games and are giving up a league best 3.0 points per game.
IUP also leads the conference in total defense (149 ypg), rushing defense (28 ypg) and is second in passing defense (121 ypg) and third in sacks (six total).
IUP has wins against Southern Connecticut (33-6) and Cheyney (56-0), and its defensive numbers might even improve this week with a game against Lock Haven, which is scoreless this season.
Waynesburg is off to a 2-0 start and the Yellow Jackets have shown they can play some defense.
Last Saturday against Frostburg State, which scored 56 points in its opening day win against Geneva, Waynesburg's defense gave up only one score, allowing the Yellow Jackets walked away with a workmanlike 21-7 win. Waynesburg gave up 286 total yards, just 46 on the ground.
California and Kutztown are two of the best teams in the PSAC and since they are in opposite divisions it is possible they could play for the league championship down the road.
The teams met last Saturday at California, and it is hard to imagine a second game could be anywhere near as exciting.
California jumped out to a 27-0 lead and looked like it was rolling to an easy blowout. But Kutztown scored 38 consecutive points for a 38-27 lead late in the third quarter. California regained the lead, 41-38, with back-to-back scores, but Kutztown scored with less than two minutes to play.
That set stage for some dramatics as the Vulcans drove 67 yards in four plays to winning touchdown on a 39-yard pass from Peter Lalich to Kowan Scott.
The President's Athletic Conference nominates players of the week in every sport each week and this week it was a local player who took the honors in men's soccer.
Thiel forward Francis Ahia, who is from Penn Hills, was named the men's soccer player of the week after scoring three goals and assisting on another in four games. Ahia is a junior.
Saint Vincent forward Brody Ruffner set a school record for goals in a game in a 14-0 win Tuesday against Penn State-New Kensington.
Ruffner, from Newton, N.C., scored six goals and helped the Bearcats, who also set a team-record for goals in a game, get to 4-2.
California is No. 6 in the Division II coaches poll and the D2football.com poll; IUP is No. 17 and No. 22nd.
No local schools are in the top 25 of appeared in the D3football.com poll, but Waynesburg was in the "receiving votes" category.
Youngstown State is No. 8 in the Division I-AA top 25 and No. 5 in the Sports Network's Top 25.
First Published September 14, 2012 12:00 am