October 27th, 2022 9:00am
Week Nine of PSAC Football is here! Seven of the eight Divisional Games this week kickoff at 12 Noon. #6 Shepherd (8-0) remains the highest ranked PSAC Team in the D2Football.com Top 25 Poll this week. #12 IUP (7-0) moved up one spot from last week and #13 Slippery Rock (6-1) moved up two spots. The initial Super Region One Top 10 was also released this week listing the teams in alphabetical order. Ranking the teams will happen with next week’s release by the NCAA. The three Top 25 teams mentioned above and Kutztown (6-2) make up the four teams from the PSAC included on this week’s Super Region One list. This week’s PSAC Game of the Week will once again take place in the West. The game features #12 IUP (7-0, 5-0 PSAC West) at Gannon (6-2, 4-1 PSAC West). Keep reading to see who I predict to win in this Game of the Week showdown as well as my predicted winners in the rest of the PSAC Divisional Games being played on Saturday. I was six of eight on my predictions last week and I am 53 out of 71 on the season (74.6%).
Week 9 – Saturday 10/29/22
PSAC East Games:
Lock Haven (1-7, 0-5 PSAC East) at West Chester (4-4, 2-3 PSAC East) – 12 Noon
Lock Haven: Last week, the Bald Eagles lost 35-7 to Kutztown. Wide receiver Marquon Williams had four catches for 74 yards. On defense, Linebacker Austin Barber and defensive back Darryl Pollard both finished with 10 tackles. Lock Haven is ranked number 15 of the 16 teams in the PSAC on offense with a scoring average of 11.4 points per game. The Bald Eagles are ranked last in the PSAC on defense giving up an average of 42.6 points per game.
West Chester: Last week, the Golden Rams lost 47-14 to Shepherd. Quarterback Cooper Jordan rushed for 73 yards and had 84 yards passing with one touchdown. D’Shaun Seals had 6 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. Defensive back Sterlen Barr had 14 tackles and linebacker Jackson Taylor had 13 tackles and a sack. Taylor is second in the PSAC with tackles for loss on the season with a 2.06 per game average. Taylor also leads the PSAC in fumbles recovered with four. Defensive end Zach Liggitt is currently fourth in the PSAC in sacks with six.
My Prediction: West Chester - The Golden Rams win their last home game of the season.
Kutztown (6-2, 4-1 PSAC East) at Millersville (3-5, 3-2 PSAC East) – 12 Noon
Kutztown: Last week, the Golden Bears beat Lock Haven 35-7. Kutztown rushed for a season high 289 yards led by running back Darryl Davis-McNeil who ran the ball 15 times for 147 yards and three touchdowns. He is currently the second ranked running back in the PSAC with an average of 109 yards per game. Quarterback Donny Blaine was 8 of 15 for 90 yards and he had a rushing touchdown. Wide receiver Jerome Kapp had four catches for 65 yards. Defensive end Tom Griese led the defense with five tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks. Kutztown is the number four ranked defense in the PSAC only giving up an average of 16.5 points per game. Kutztown was one of four PSAC teams, out of the 10 teams listed, to make the initial NCAA Super Region One regional rankings released this week.
Millersville: Last week, the Marauders beat Shippensburg 17-14. Quarterback Robert Footman Jr. went to 3-1 as the signal caller for the Marauders. He rushed for 127 yards including a 75 yard touchdown run. He was also 11 of 19 passing for 192 yards. Wide receiver Makhi Alexander caught six passes for 124 yards. Millersville had 361 yards of offense on the afternoon. Linebacker Rafael Lozada led the defense with nine tackles, one tackle for loss, and a half sack. Defensive lineman Conner Snyder had seven tackles and two tackles for loss.
My Prediction: Kutztown - The Golden Bears have their sights set on making their way into the Super Region One playoff bracket.
Bloomsburg (3-5, 2-3 PSAC East) at #6 Shepherd (8-0, 5-0 PSAC East) – 12 Noon
Bloomsburg: Last week, the Huskies lost 27-21 to East Stroudsburg. Quarterback KJ Riley was 13 of 21 for 181 yards and he had both a passing and rushing touchdown. Linebacker Ryan D’Ambra led the defense with eight tackles. Quentin Gaskill leads the PSAC in passes defended with 13. Gaskill also has two interceptions on the season.
#6 Shepherd: Last week, the Rams beat West Chester 47-14. The Rams had 514 yards of total offense on the afternoon. Quarterback Tyson Bagent was named the PSAC East Offensive Athlete of the Week. He was 29 of 34, threw for 296 yards, and had three touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown. He leads the PSAC in passing with an average of 320.4 yards per game. Bagent’s 23 touchdowns also leads the PSAC. Running back Ronnie Brown carried the ball 16 times for 98 yards, had three catches for 54 yards, and had both a rushing and receiving touchdown. He is currently ranked as number one in the PSAC and number two in the nation in rushing with an average of 116.5 yards per game. Running back Black Hartman had four carries for 43 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Wide Receiver Marlon Cook had eight catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. He is the number three ranked receiver in the PSAC with a 103.6 yards per game average. Cook also leads the PSAC in scoring with 78 total points and a 9.8 points per game average. Tight end Brian Walker also had an 18 yard touchdown reception. Shepherd is the number one ranked offense in the PSAC scoring an average of 45.1 points per game. On defense, linebacker Dewayne Grantham had eight tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and he also had two sacks. For his performance on the afternoon Grantham was named the PSAC East Defensive Athlete of the Week. Safety Keyshawn Hailey had seven tackles, five of which were solo for the Rams. Kyle Smith is currently second in the PSAC for sacks with 7. Grantham Dew is tied for first in the PSAC in interceptions with four. Shpeherd has the number two ranked defense in the PSAC only giving up an average of 15.4 points per game. Shepherd was one of four PSAC teams, out the 10 teams listed, to make the initial NCAA Super Region One regional rankings released this week. Shepherd is on the road next week at East Stroudsburg before their probable visit out west for the PSAC Championship Game on November 12th.
My Prediction: #6 Shepherd - The Rams are in prime position to represent the East in the PSAC Championship Game and to be sitting at the top end of the Super Region One playoff bracket.
East Stroudsburg (3-5, 2-3 PSAC East) at Shippensburg (3-5, 2-3 PSAC East) – 1 PM
East Stroudsburg: Last week, the Warriors beat Bloomsburg 27-21. On offense, Tahir Mills had 116 yards rushing and a touchdown. Quarterback Jake Cirillo threw for 142 yards and had a rushing touchdown. The defense came up huge with a game-winning goal line stand. Sergei Felizor had 13 tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a pass break up to lead the defense. He is sixth in the PSAC in tackles with a 9.6 tackles per game average and has 77 total tackles on the season. Defensive End Deshawn McCarthy had four tackles and a sack. Kicker Devin Bartholomew was named the PSAC East Special Teams Athlete of the Week. He was 3 for 3 on Extra Points and was also 2 for 2 on field goals, from 49 and 40 yards. His five kickoffs totaled 308 yards, with a 61.6 average, and two touchbacks. Bartholomew is currently ranked second in the nation in field goals made per game. Also on special teams, Justin Cook had a 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Shippensburg: Last week, the Raiders lost 17-14 to Millersville. Freshman quarterback Evan Falco threw for 122 yards and a touchdown. Wide Receiver Redd Douglass had 55 receiving yards and four yard touchdown catch. On special teams, Douglas leads the PSAC in kickoff return average with 36.2 yards per return. On defense, linebacker Matt Feeney had 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. It was his sixth double digit tackle game of the eight played so far this season. Feeney is fifth in the PSAC in tackles with an average of 10.1 stops per game. He leads the PSAC in tackles for loss with an average of 2.13 a game and 17 total on the season.
My Prediction: East Stroudsburg – The Warriors will muster more offense than the Raiders to come out on top.
PSAC West Games:
#12 IUP (7-0, 5-0 PSAC West) at Gannon (6-2, 4-1 PSAC West) - 12 Noon
#12 IUP: Last week, the Crimson Hawks beat Seton Hill 44-7. Quarterback Mak Sexton threw four touchdown passes and 238 yards in the game. He is second in the PSAC in passing with an average of 272.6 yards per game. His 19 touchdown passes ranks third in the PSAC. Wide receiver Duane Brown caught three of those touchdowns and he leads the PSAC with an average of 113.3 yards receiving per game. He is also tied for first in touchdowns with 11. Receiver Hilton Ridley had 112 receiving yards and he is ranked fourth in the PSAC with an 85 yards per game average. Running back Dayjur Stewart is currently the third ranked running back in the PSAC, at the top in the PSAC West, with 105.5 yards per game. IUP is tied for second in the PSAC on offense scoring an average of 34.6 points per game. On defense, Connor Kelly had nine tackles. Jaheim Howard and Zayaan Cobb both had interceptions for the Crimson Hawks. IUP is the number three ranked defense in the PSAC only giving up an average of 16.0 points per game. On special teams, punter Alden Spitler was named the PSAC West Special teams Athlete of the Week. In his debut as IUP’s punter he placed four of his five punts inside the 20 yard line and also hit two that went over 50 yards. His first punt was a 69 yarder that was downed at the one yard line. IUP was one of four PSAC teams, out the 10 teams listed, to make the initial NCAA Super Region One regional rankings released this week. IUP has Clarion next week before their probable hosting of the PSAC Championship Game on November 12th.
Gannon: Last week, the Golden Knights beat Mercyhurst 49-14. With the win, the Golden Knights brought the Niagara Cup back to Gannon. Gannon put up 432 yards of offense on the afternoon. Running back Melvin Blanks had 173 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the game. On the season, the Golden Knights have the number four and five top ranked running backs in the PSAC. Melvin Blanks is averaging 91.5 yards per game rushing and Antonio Wright is averaging 75.3 yards per game on the ground. With the run game being dominant, Quarterback Kory Curtis only threw 16 times in the game. He completed 12 for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Curtis went over 4,000 career yards passing in the win and he is the fifth ranked passer in the PSAC with an average of 235.6 yards per game. He is tied for fourth in touchdown passes with 17. Donell Mason had six catches for 82 yards. KeJohn Batiste had three catches for 51 yards and a touchdown. Batiste is the number five ranked receiver in the PSAC with an average of 84.1 yards per game. Gannon held their opponent to under 100 total yards of offense, had 2 interceptions, a fumble returned for a touchdown, and two sacks. Chris Farnsworth and Matt Wiitanen each had seven tackles and Wiitanen had his team leading third interception of the season. He also leads the team in tackles with 69. Defensive Lineman Nick White was named the PSAC West Defensive Athlete of the Week. He had four tackles, three tackles for loss, and the two sacks for his team. Gannon has the number five ranked defense in the PSAC only giving up an average of 19.6 points per game.
My Prediction: #12 IUP – The Crimson Hawks are looking to go undefeated and represent the PSAC West in the PSAC Championship game on November 12th and then move on to Super Region One playoffs.
Seton Hill (0-8, 0-5 PSAC West) at Edinboro (4-4, 2-3 PSAC West) – 12 Noon
Seton Hill: Last week, the Griffins lost 44-7 to IUP. Seton Hill was down 23-0 at halftime. Quarterback Tyler Bradley passed for 151 yards and one touchdown pass to Hezikiah Hawkins. Mark Balis had five catches for 60 yards and Taiyon Battle had three catches for 50 yards. Seton Hill is ranked last in the PSAC on offense with an average of 10.1 points scored per game. Narrio Walks led the defense with 12 tackles and three tackles for loss. Jaylen McDuffie is fourth in the PSAC with a 10.3 tackles per game average, with 82 total tackles on the season. Seton Hill’s defense is ranked 14 of 16 in the PSAC averaging giving up 29.9 points per game.
Edinboro: Last week, the Scots beat Clarion 47-17. Quarterback Isaac Bernard threw for 235 yards and had three touchdown passes and ran for another. Thaddeus Stanfield had 138 yards receiving and two touchdowns. On defense, linebacker Clay Cunningham had 11 tackles, eight of which were solo, and he leads the PSAC in tackles with 97 for a 12.1 tackles per game average. Allen Stritzinger had an interception which has him tied for first in the PSAC in interceptions with four, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
My Prediction: Edinboro - The Scots get the win at home.
California (PA) (4-4, 3-2 PSAC West) at Mercyhurst (2-6, 0-5 PSAC West) – 12 Noon
California (PA): Last week, the Vulcans lost 42-24 to Slippery Rock.
Quarterback Noah Mitchell had a season high 302 yards passing, going 30 of 44, with two touchdowns. He also had two interceptions. Mitchell is the fourth ranked passer in the PSAC with an average of 240 yards per game. He is also fourth in touchdown passes with 17. Wide receiver Jaque Jackson had seven catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns. It was his fourth multiple touchdown game of the season. Jackson is second in the PSAC in receiving yards with an average of 109 per game. He is tied for first in touchdown receptions with 11. On defense, the Vulcans held Slippery Rock to a season low 42 yards rushing. Linebacker Noah Dillow and defensive back Kavon Morman both had seven tackles in the game. Linebacker Gabe Miller had six stops and two tackles for loss. Defensive back Noah Hamlin had four solo tackles and he also broke up two passes.
Mercyhurst: Last week, the Lakers lost 49-14 to Gannon. Joe Kerbacher had two touchdown receptions for the Lakers. On defense, Jacob Holl had 10 tackles in the game, his fifth week straight with 10 or more, and he is second in the PSAC in tackles on the year with 87 for an average of 10.9 per game. Thomas had Zacharyasz 11 tackles in the game and he is third in the PSAC with an average of 10.9 tackles per game, with 76 on the season in 7 games played.
My Prediction: California (PA) - The Vulcans will win this one on the road.
#13 Slippery Rock (7-1, 4-1 PSAC West) at Clarion (3-5, 2-3 PSAC West) – 12 Noon
#13 Slippery Rock: Last week, The Rock beat California (PA) 42-24. The Rock led 21-3 at the half and tacked on another 21 points in the second half while putting up 347 yards on just 57 offensive snaps. Quarterback Noah Grover, the PSAC West Offensive Athlete of the Week, was 17 of 27 for 297 yards and four touchdowns. Grover spread the ball around to seven different receivers. Grover is the third ranked passer in the PSAC with an average of 256 yards per game and his 20 touchdown passes is second most in the PSAC. Kyle Sheets had four catches for 115 yards and a touchdown. Slippery Rock is tied for second in the PSAC on offense scoring an average of 34.6 points per game. On defense, lineman Jeff Marx was dominant up front with eight tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. Michael Henwood also had eight tackles on the afternoon. D.J. Adediwura is currently the sack leader in the PSAC with 9, averaging 1.13 per game. Marx is third in sacks in the PSAC with 6.5 on the season. Slippery Rock is the number one ranked defense in the PSAC only giving up an average of 14.4 points per game. Slippery Rock was one of four PSAC teams, out the 10 teams listed, to make the initial NCAA Super Region One regional rankings released this week.
Clarion: Last week, the Golden Eagles lost 47-17 to Edinboro. Quarterback Zach Benedek and running back Khalil Owens both had rushing touchdowns for the Golden Eagles. On defense, Kareem Hamdan led the team with nine tackles. As a team, they had nine tackles for loss in the game. Robert Lachmann is currently fifth in the PSAC in sacks with 5.5.
My Prediction: #13 Slippery Rock - Super Region One playoffs are on the horizon for the Rock.