Slippery Rock belts Lock Haven, 45-7, in PSAC-West Action
Written by: William Albright on Saturday, November 1st, 2008
By BILL ALBRIGHT
Western PA Writer
SLIPPERY ROCK — When you are averaging less than six points per game and allowing more than 37, you aren’t going to win many football games.
That was the scenario facing the Lock Haven University football team once again Saturday afternoon as the Bald Eagles dropped a 45-7 decision to Slippery Rock University at N. Kerr Thompson Stadium.
Hanging onto the football was the biggest obstacle for the Eagles as the Rock parlayed seven turnovers into scores en route to their lopsided win.
“That is all you have to look at is the turnovers,” said LHU coach John Klacik. “They came at some unfortunate times and you can’t do that against a team and expect to win, especially when you are playing on the road.”
The turnover handwriting on the wall appeared early in the game as SRU took advantage of the first two LHU mistakes for a first-quarter touchdown and field goal for a 10-0 lead.
“They were huge,” said SRU coach Dr. George Mihalik about the turnovers. “Our first touchdown was from the 3-yard line off an interception and then another one was from about 30 yards. The only good drive we had in the first half was when we got a field goal.”
One of the big problems for the Bald Eagles all year long has been consistently (or lack of) at the quarterback position. That continuing problem was evident throughout the game as Klacik rotated three players under center.
“We need to find one,” Klacik said. “All I want is a quarterback who is going to show poise and can handle everything that is going to be thrown at him. We have to find that because that is the key to quarterback play. He has to be able to handle pressure situations and that is the one guy on the field who can’t get away from being a leader. He is a leader on every snap and that is why it is so important.”
Despite giving up the pair of scores, the Haven came right back as they took over on their own 45.
Five plays later, Reggie Mencer took the handoff from quarterback Jarryd Burkett and outraced the Rock secondary 45 yards to the house.
Brendon Pickel added the PAT, and four minutes into the second period, the Haven had cut the Rock lead to 10-7.
“We were in a two-tight end set and we had just made a first down,” recalled Klacik. “They were in an overload with seven guys up on the line of scrimmage and he was able to pop through there and outran them to the end zone.”
After a stop by the LHU defense, the Bald Eagles marched into SRU territory, but again the turnover bug bit the Crimson & White when a lateral was mishandled by the Bald Eagles and The Rock took over at midfield.
Taking advantage of yet another LHU mistake, The Rock marched down the field until quarterback Ryan Lehmeier found wideout Terry Grossetti open in the left corner of the end zone for an 11-yard TD toss. C. J. Bahr’s PAT gave SRU a 17-7 lead at halftime.
“We talked to the team at halftime and asked them if the defense could come up with a big play to give us some breathing room,” said Mihalik. “They were able to do that and then the offense got some confidence in themselves.”
With LHU unable to sustain any type of consistency on offense, SRU put together one of two sustained drives of the game for a score early in the fourth quarter that was capped by a 3-yard run by Cory Manfull.
Already trailing 31-7, if it was possible, things got even worse for the Bald Eagles in the fourth quarter as two more turnovers resulted in another pair of Rock scores as the SRU margin ballooned to the final of 45-7.
“We got some big plays and our special teams created one that really helped us,” said Mihalik. “Then Brad (backup quarterback Galvan) went in there and he definitely gave our offense a spark.”
Now 0-9, the Eagles will have one more opportunity to get that elusive first win of the campaign when they host C.W. Post Saturday at Jack Stadium, while SRU hosts East Stroudsburg the same day.
Kickoff for both season finales is set for 1 p.m.
Familiar Name: Although Slippery Rock place-kicker C. J. Bahr was only 1-for-3 in field goal attempts, he was a perfect 6-for-6 in PATs. Bahr, a sophomore at SRU, is the son of Chris Bahr and nephew of Matt Bahr, both former place-kickers at Penn State who enjoyed very successful careers in the National Football League.
Secretaries of Defense: Luke Ellison and Ryan Faddish led the Bald Eagles in tackle with a half dozen apiece, while Shawn Crebs, Dean Tortorice and Wes Plummer each contributed five stops to the LHU defensive unit’s effort. Eillison was credited with a quarterback and a pair of tackles for loss, while Crebs and Tortorice each had a tackle for loss. For The Rock, Anthony Wells, Ryan Webb and A. J. Saunders recorded interceptions, while Nate Sipes, Tyler Boudreau, Pat Marsillo and J. Cromerdie each came up with a fumble recovery.
Offensive Leaders: Mencer led the Bald Eagles overland with 39 yards on 14 tries, while he also made the most of his one pass reception good for 45 yards and the Eagles’ only score of the game. Freshman quarterback Jarryd Burkett completed 8 of 14 attempts for 97 yards and the one score, while Nick Keefer hauled in half dozen passes good for another 44 yards. Keefer also finished with 152 all-purpose yard on 5 rushing and 44 receiving yards to go along with 103 kick return yards.
Pinch-Hitting: Redshirt freshman SayQuan Scott-Mitchell came off the Rock bench to rush for 98 yards on 13 carries while scoring a pair of touchdowns in a back-up role to lead the Rock’s 250-yard rushing effort.
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