District notebook: PSAC shows its mettle with stellar first week
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The PSAC is often regarded as one of the toughest NCAA Division II conferences in the nation, and it certainly lived up to its reputation over the weekend.
Conference teams went 10-3 in non-conference games, and two of those losses were to Division I-AA teams -- Lock Haven lost to Fordham, 55-0, and West Chester lost to Delaware, 41-21.
That means the PSAC went 10-1 against Division II competition with the lone loss coming when Mercyhurst dropped a 59-42 shootout against Notre Dame College.
According to the PSAC, the 10 non-conference wins is its most since the current two-division format took hold in 2008 and the most since '04 when 12 PSAC teams won non-conference games.
It is the ninth time in the past 20 years that the PSAC has won double digit non-conference games.
And, while some of the wins were not against juggernauts, California knocked off 17th-ranked Hillsdale (Michigan.), 30-22, and Shippensburg beat No. 19 Shepherd, 38-28.
As a result, six PSAC teams were ranked or received votes in the AFCA (coaches) Division II poll this week.
Kutztown nearly set a PSAC record for total yards in a game as the Golden Bears gained 723 in their 58-6 romp against St. Anselm.
It was the fifth-highest total in PSAC history and marked the eighth time in conference history that a team amassed more than 700 yards in a game.
IUP also posted some impressive statistics as the Crimson Hawks beat Southern Connecticut, 33-6. IUP had a total of 456 yards, including 310 on the ground.
And the Crimson Hawks also had two running backs rush for 100 yards as Harvie Tuck ran 28 times for 185 yards and Montay Green, a Fox Chapel graduate, gained 101 yards on 20 carries.
Duquesne coach Jerry Schmitt believed the Dukes would not back away from the challenge of playing in front of a large crowd at Old Dominion nor would they be intimidated by the Monarchs, who are ranked No. 5 in the AFCA poll.
And the Dukes, still a limited scholarship Division I-AA program with about 30 less scholarships than the top programs in the division, proved their coach correct.
Duquesne led Old Dominion, 20-10, at the half, trailed, 27-23, with a little more than 11 minutes to play, but then they ran out of gas and lost, 54-23.
Such a valiant fight gave the Dukes something to build on as they get into the Northeast Conference schedule.
Geneva quarterback Zack Hayward (Blackhawk) set school records for completions, yardage and touchdowns in the Golden Tornadoes' 56-53 loss against Frostburg State, completing 39 of 49 passes for 535 yards and seven touchdowns.
He was named the PAC offensive player of the week and NCCAA national player of the week.
But Geneva also had a pair of runners -- as in cross-country runners -- merit honors.
Nick Edinger (Mars) won the 8K Westminster Invitational in a school-record 25:45. He was named the NCCAA men's runner of the week. Sarah Noel won a 6K for women in 24 minutes flat at the same event.
It was the sixth-best 6K time in school history, and Noel won by 58 seconds.
The D2Football.Com poll had California (No. 10) and IUP (24) ranked in the top 25 and the AFCA Top 25 had California (11), IUP (24) and Slippery Rock receiving votes. The D3football.com poll did not have any local teams ranked, and the first AFCA Division III poll will not come out until Sept. 21. For IUP, it marked the first time the Crimson Hawks have been ranked in the AFCA poll since 2008.
Youngstown State rose eight spots to No. 10 in the coaches poll after its victory against Pitt.
First Published September 7, 2012 12:08 am