September 29th, 2022 4:00am
Week Five of PSAC Football, and more Divisional Games, is coming up! Heading into this Saturday, and the first week of games in October, we still have three unbeaten teams in the PSAC and two teams ranked in D2Football.com’s Top 25 Poll. #5 Shepherd from the PSAC East and #12 Slippery Rock from the PSAC West remain in their same spots as a week ago. IUP from the PSAC West, who did not have a game Week One, is sitting at 3-0 but is currently not ranked. Speaking of the Rock and IUP in the PSAC West, they will going into battle against each other this weekend in what will be the Game of the Week in the PSAC. Keep reading to find out more about the games coming up this weekend and my predictions for the outcomes of each contest. I was seven out of eight on my predictions for last week’s games.
Week 5 – Saturday 10/1/22
PSAC East Games:
#5 Shepherd (4-0, 1-0 PSAC East) at Shippensburg (2-2, 1-0 PSAC East) – 1:00 PM
#5 Shepherd: Last week, the Rams beat Kutztown 42-35. I was in attendance for this PSAC game of the Week. Two Shepherd playmakers were named PSAC Athletes of the Week for their standout performances at Kutztown. On offense, Quarterback Tyson Bagent, the top ranked passer in the PSAC, threw three touchdowns in the second half and also ran one in. He finished 30 of 41 for 456 yards. He is now 18 passing touchdowns and 2,283 yards away from breaking the all-time Division II records. The other PSAC Weekly honor, for Special Teams, went to Running back Ronnie Brown, second in rushing in the PSAC averaging 109.3 yards per game, who had a 100 yard kick off return for a touchdown. Brown’s return and a 28 yard pick six by defensive back Klayton Batten accounted for the Rams first half points. Wide receiver Marlon Cook, the top ranked receiver in the PSAC, had nine catches for 212 yards and a touchdown. Tight End Brian Walker was the hot target to start the second half. He had 11 catches for 89 yards. On defense, linebacker Dewayne Grantham, who leads the PSAC in interceptions, had 16 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. Defensive end Kyle Smith had 8 tackles, 2.0 sacks, and 3.5 tackles for loss. Smith is tied with teammate Malik Holloway at the top of PSAC sack leaders each with 4.5 on the season so far. Shepherd has the top ranked offense and third ranked defense in the PSAC and is now in the driver’s seat in the PSAC East after beating Kutztown.
Shippensburg: Last week, the Raiders beat Bloomsburg 31 -17. The Raiders LB Matt Feeney, who has the fifth most tackles in all the PSAC on the season and leads the league in tackles for loss, was named the PSAC East Defensive Athlete of the Week. He leads the Raiders in tackles with 40 and against Bloomsburg he had 10 tackles and set a Shippensburg single game school record with 6.5 tackles for loss. Quarterback Sam Johnson III was 29 of 43 for 344 yards and three touchdowns. Redd Douglas, a previous PSAC East Special Teams Athlete of the Week and D2Football.com National Special Teams Player of the Week, had eight catches for 124 yards. Ian Sheehan also had eight grabs for 81 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders other win so far this season was against still winless Seton Hill 36-17 in week two.
My Prediction: Shepherd – The Rams should run the table in the PSAC East on their way to the PSAC Championship Game.
Millersville (0-4, 0-1 PSAC East) at Lock Haven (1-3, 0-1 PSAC East) – 1:00 PM
Millersville: Last week, the Marauders lost to West Chester 26-14. Millersville was up 14-2 at the end of the first quarter and then didn’t score the rest of the game. Turnovers and miscues by the Ville were a major factor in how this one ended up. Quarterback Luke Thomas was the third different signal caller to start for Millersville this season. Linebacker Isaiah Onuschak led the defense with 12 tackles and he also recorded a sack. This Marauder defense plays with heart. The offense needs to find consistency and not turn the ball over for the Ville to get their first win of the season at Lock Haven.
Lock Haven: Last week, the Bald Eagles lost to East Stroudsburg 48-7. Lock Haven was down 17-0 at the half and didn’t score until the fourth quarter when quarterback Samuel Barber connected with wide receiver Kenneth Pettiford for a 79 yard touchdown. Defensive back Kasir Henry led the defense with nine tackles. Lock Haven’s defense is ranked last in the PSAC
My Prediction: Millersville – The Marauders get into the win column this week.
Kutztown (2-2, 0-1 PSAC East) at East Stroudsburg (2-2, 1-0 PSAC East) – 1:05 PM
Kutztown: Last week, the Golden Bears lost to Shepherd 42-35. I watched this team live, in-person, last week. Kutztown’s defense shutdown Shepherd’s high power-offense in the first half. The Rams two first half touchdowns were the result of a pick six and a 100 yard kick off return. Kutztown had a rushing touchdown from running back Darryl Davis-McNeil in the first quarter and wide receiver Jerome Kapp, who had 8 catches for 170 yards in the game, was on fire in the first half and caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Donny Blaine in the second quarter. The Golden Bears went into the half up 21-14. Shepherd made the necessary half time adjustments and came back to score 4 touchdowns offensively, the last one with 1:41 to play in the fourth quarter, in the second half. Amani Justice, Antaun Lloyd, and Tyler Whary all had 8 tackles for Kutztown on defense in the game. Kutztown’s offense has been putting up points since being shut out in Week One by Assumption (NE10).
East Stroudsburg: Last week, the Warriors beat Lock Haven 48-7. East Stroudsburg put up over 500 yards of offense in the win. Matt DeLaurentis got the start at quarterback, filling in for Jake Cirillo who was out with an injury. He was 18 of 29 for 185 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Tyriq Lewis had 109 yards rushing and a touchdown. Ezequiel Lopez and Beau Heyser each caught touchdowns for the Warriors. Safety Tyler Watson led the defense with seven tackles. Devon Banks, for the second week in a row, had a pick six. This week also marks a very special milestone for a member of the East Stroudsburg football family. It will be offensive coordinator Mike Terwilliger’s 500th game as a Warrior. He has held a role in every ESU game since 1974. He will address the crowd at Eiler-Martin stadium after the game.
My Prediction: Kutztown – This game could be close.
West Chester (3-1, 1-0 PSAC East) at Bloomsburg (1-3, 0-1 PSAC East) – 6:00 PM
West Chester: Last Week, the Golden Rams beat Millersville 26-14. The Golden Rams only had 127 yards of total offense and only had possession of the ball for 19:26. Kicker Sean Henry was 3 for 3 on field goals including two from over 40 yards and his career longest field goal of 44 yards. West Chester’s defense forced six turnovers in the game. Linebacker Oscar Uduma had a 24 yard pick six. Linebacker Jackson Taylor had a game high 14 tackles, he is seventh in tackles and second in tackles for loss in the PSAC.
Bloomsburg: Last week, the Huskies lost to Shippensburg 31-17. Kaleb Monaco had 148 all-purpose yards for Bloom in the loss. Quentin Gaskill led the defense with 12 tackles and a pass break up. Nate Capers had 10 tackles and 2.0 tackles for loss. Jake Davis had three tackles and three pass breaks ups.
My Prediction: West Chester – The Golden Rams defense will be the difference in this game.
PSAC West Games:
Seton Hill (0-4, 0-1 PSAC West) at Gannon (3-1, 1-0 PSAC West) – 12 Noon
Seton Hill: Last Week, the Griffins lost to Slippery Rock 30-2. Defensive lineman Jaheim Johnson’s sack in the end zone put Seton Hill on the board first and then Slippery Rock scored the next 30 points. Seton Hill only had 106 yards of total offense in the game and gave up 449 to the Rock. Seton Hill is averaging scoring 9 points per game while averaging giving up 28.25 points per game. Seton Hill’s offense is ranked last in the PSAC.
Gannon: Last Week, the Golden Knights beat Clarion 47-24. Gannon had two players named PSAC West Athletes of the Week for their performances in the win over Clarion. On offense, quarterback Kory Curtis, the third ranked passer in the PSAC, threw for 418 yards and three touchdowns. He has not thrown an interception in 124 passing attempts this season. On Special Teams, kicker Eric Scarpino won the weekly honor for kicking two field goals and five extra points in the game. Ke’John Batiste had 148 yards receiving and Sam East had 124. Melvin Blanks had another 100 yard rushing game by gaining 124 yards on the ground and had three rushing touchdowns, a career high. The Golden Knights piled up 629 total yards in the game. Keith Thompson led the defense with 7 tackles. Gannon’s 3-1 start is the best since 2016 and their only loss is to the PSAC East’s West Chester who is also 3-1 and suffered their only defeat of nationally ranked Slippery Rock from the PSAC West.
My Prediction: Gannon – The Golden Knights are firing on all cylinders on offense behind Curtis and have the ability to hurt you through the air or on the ground and should put up big numbers again this week for a homecoming victory against Seton Hill.
California (2-2, 1-0 PSAC West) at Clarion (1-3, 0-1 PSAC West) – 2:00 PM
California: Last week, the Vulcans beat Edinboro 49-7. Linebacker Noah Dillow was named the PSAC West Athlete of the Week. He had six tackles, a tackle for loss, and an interception return for a touchdown and teammate Matthew Tobey had nine tackles, a tackle for loss, and a sack in the win over Edinboro. On offense, running back Eric Mckan rushed for 117 yards and three touchdowns and quarterback Noah Mitchell was 14 of 23 for 143 yards with two touchdowns. This week, offensive tackle Noel Brouse III was named as a national semi-finalist for the 2022 William V. Campbell Trophy, the premiere scholar-athlete award in college football. Cal has the sixth ranked offense and second ranked defense in the PSAC. The Vulcans two losses were to Shepherd and Kutztown from the PSAC East.
Clarion: Last Week, the Golden Eagles lost to Gannon 47-24. Wide receiver Corahn Alleyne had 291 all-purpose yards for Calrion. He had 118 yards receiving, 93 yards rushing, and 80 kick return yards. Linebacker Griffin Buzzell led the defense with 10 tackles. Clarion’s defense is ranked 14 of the 16 teams in the PSAC.
My Prediction: California – The Vulcans have the upper hand on both sides of the ball in this one.
Edinboro (2-2, 0-1 PSAC West) at Mercyhurst (2-2, 0-1 PSAC West) – 2:00 PM
Edinboro: Last week, the Scots lost to California 49-7. Aaron Hopkins scored the lone touchdown for the Boro on a two yard pass from Keon Anderson. Malcom Johnson led the defense with 11 tackles. Micah Thomas and Clay Cunningham each had 10 tackles a piece.
Mercyhurst: Last Week, the Lakers lost to IUP 33-16. Quarterback Michael Lowery had two touchdown passes. Defensively, three players had tackles in double digits, Thomas Zacharyasz had 14, Jacob Holl had 13, and Zach Hill had 11. Mercyhurst is the least penalized team in the PSAC.
My Prediction: Mercyhurst – The Lakers keep making forward progress under first year head coach Ryan Riemedio.
#12 Slippery Rock (4-0, 1-0 PSAC West) at IUP (3-0, 1-0 PSAC West) – 2:00 PM
#12 Slippery Rock: Last week, the Rock beat Seton Hill 30-2. Quarterback Noah Grover, the second ranked passer in the PSAC, threw for 294 yards and one touchdown. He also ran one in for a rushing touchdown. This week, Grover was named as a national semi-finalist for the 2022 William V. Campbell Trophy, the premiere scholar-athlete award in college football. On defense, Jeff Marx had 3.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Brandon Tuck-Hayden had 10 tackles and 3.0 tackles for loss. Slippery Rock currently has the top ranked defense and third ranked offense in the PSAC.
IUP: Last week, the Crimson Hawks beat Mercyhurst 33-16. IUP ran for 383 yards in the game. Dayjure Stewart ran for 256 yards and one touchdown. JD Younger ran for 91 yards. Quarterback Mak Sexton was 11 of 15 for 88 yards with three touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions. Duane Brown was on the receiving end of all of Sexton’s touchdown passes. IUP has the second ranked offense and ninth ranked defense in the PSAC.
My Prediction: #12 Slippery Rock - This battle of unbeatens out west at George P. Miller stadium is no doubt the Game of the Week in the PSAC. IUP won this match up last season 48-21 but the Rock is on roll so far this season. Regardless, this one has the making of being tight game that comes down to the wire.