SRU Rocks Lock Haven, 56-14
Written by: William Albright on Sunday, October 24th, 2010
By BILL ALBRIGHT
SLIPPERY ROCK — For the Lock Haven University football team, it was déjà vu all over again Saturday afternoon in their battle with Slippery Rock at N. Kerr Thompson Stadium.
In the Bald Eagles game with Gannon, they only surrendered seven points in the first half before losing 42-7. In the game with Mercyhurst, ditto as the Eagles only trailed 7-0 at halftime only to lose 41-0. And in the battle with Kutztown, the Eagles scored the first 13 points of the game before dropping a 38-13 contest.
Saturday afternoon, the Bald Eagles experienced much of the same as they scored first for a 7-0 lead and hung around for a while before getting blasted, 56-14, by The Rock in a PSAC-West matchup at N. Kerr Thompson Stadium.
Despite the lopsided loss, LHU head coach John Klacik saw some bright spots in the effort of his team.
“I don’t like the result, but I thought we got a little bit better today,” he said. “But the bottom line is that you can’t make mistakes like we did today against a good team like them and expect to have a chance to win the game.”
For the first seven minutes of the game, the Bald Eagles played tough, hard-nosed football. The offense marched down the field 74 yards on just seven plays for the game’s first touchdown on a 1-yard sneak by quarterback Jarrett Kratzer. On the drive, Kratzer completed three passes for 17 yards and ran for another fifty, 49 of those coming on the third play of the march. Noah Heimer split the uprights for the PAT to give the Bald Eagles their only lead in the game at 7-0.
“I have to give Lock Haven a lot of credit,” said SRU coach Dr. George Mihalik. “They came out and took it to us right away. With that in mind, I didn’t think our defense played the way they were capable of playing on the drive. Those guys (LHU) came to play today and for us, I think it was a wakeup call. I just told them that we had better refocus, settle in and play the way we are capable of playing.”
As for the long run, Kratzer said it was just the way the play developed.
“Actually it was a read play,” said Kratzer of his jaunt to the one-yard line. “I was reading the end and he came down, and when that happened, I pulled it (the ball) down there was nobody there. It doesn’t happen like all the time, but it was nice that it was wide open because it gave me a chance to run the ball.”
On the heels of the LHU touchdown, the Bald Eagle defense stood tall as it held The Rock offense short of the sticks and forced a SRU punt to the LHU 7.
But that is when the momentum of the game changed sides as SRU scored on the second play following the turnover, and the Rock took over control of game as they scored on three straight possessions to open up a 21-7 lead and they never looked back.
For the game, LHU turned the ball over four times, twice on interceptions and another two on lost fumbles.
“I think the turnover that really hurt us the most was after we got the interception,” said Klacik. “We turned it over down there (on the 7-yard line) and they tied it up. I thought the second interception was a bad one.”
With the LHU offense totally bottled up by the SRU defense after the opening drive, The Rock extended their lead to 35-7 at halftime highlighted by a punt return of 76 yards by Robert Doiley who took the kick to The House.
“We have struggled with our punt game all year,” Klacik said. “If you look at our games, that is where we lose a lot of yardage. When you are playing in a league like ours, those are hidden yardage plays and they come back to hurt you. I think at times, we played well today, both offensively and defensively. But again, you can’t constantly keep putting pressure on yourselves and then give up the ball on that side of the fifty.”
The Slippery Rock ground game was dominating as LaQuinn Stephens-Howling and Akeem Satterfield combined for 238 yards overland, Stephens-Howling with 115 and Satterfield with another 123.
Already leading by a 35-7 margin, the Rock didn’t waste any time extending their advantage to 42-7 as they took the second half kickoff and marched 50 yards on just three plays, Satterfield ripping off the right side of his offensive line for the final 31 yards.
Trailing by 35, the Bald Eagles scored their second touchdown of the afternoon with 4:23 left in the third period when Kratzer hooked up with Jesse Hoover for a 26-yard scoring play down the right sideline. Heimer’s kick made it 42-14 Rock.
On the play, Hoover was bumped out of bounds and returned to the field of play to complete the catch-and-run.
“When the receiver gets pushed or bumped out of bounds, he is allowed to return to the field play and establish himself,” explained Klacik of the play.
As for the slight variation of the pattern, Kratzer said that didn’t really cause him any problems.
“It was a deep post route, “ said Kratzer. “But they (SRU defenders) were in man (coverage) so I tried to lead him more to the outside. Actually, it didn’t hurt us that he got pushed out because he was trying to work himself outside anyway.”
Following the game, Klacik had a lot of good things to say about Kratzer’s contribution to the team.
“This is Jarrett’s first game starting at quarterback,” noted Klacik. “He was playing wideout for the last four weeks so he hasn’t even been practicing at quarterback. All things considered, I think he did an excellent job. We had some guys open that we didn’t hit, but I thought for not playing quarterback for a long time, he did a great job for us today.”
As for playing and practicing two and three positions through the first eight games, Kratzer admitted it hasn‘t really been too much of a problem for him to handle the situation of jumping from one position to another.
“It has been a little difficult at times, but wide receiver and quarterback kind of work together,” said Kratzer. “A lot of my routes are timing routes and while playing wide receiver I learned when the quarterback is going to get the ball to me. Actually, it is kind of nice because it (having played both positions) matches things up a little bit. The transition wasn’t all that bad for me because I played quarterback last year and that helped me to understand what is going on.”
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