October 5th, 2023 8:00pm
Week Six in the PSAC is coming up and two teams from the PSAC remain ranked in the D2Football.com Top 25 poll. #10 Slippery Rock (5-0, 2-0 PSAC West) won last week, beating IUP, and moved up two spots. #22 Shepherd (4-1, 1-1 PSAC East) moved up one spot after winning last week. IUP (3-2, 1-1 PSAC West) lost to Slippery Rock and dropped out of the Top 25. My PSAC Game of Week for Week Six is the Coal Bowl, California (PA) (3-1, 2-0 PSAC West) is at IUP. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 noon. As of now, #10 Slippery Rock and Kutztown (3-2, 2-0 PSAC East) control their own destinies in the quest to represent their Division in the PSAC Championship Game to be played on November 11, 2023. Here is my PSAC Power Ranking heading into Week Six:
Last week I was correct in predicting the five of the eight winners in the eight Divisional Games played. For the season, I have predicted the winners in 35 out of 47 (74%) of the games played. Below is my preview for each game this week and my prediction for who will win each contest.
#22 Shepherd (4-1, 1-1 PSAC East) at Lock Haven (3-2, 1-1 PSAC East) – 1 pm
#22 Shepherd beat Shippensburg 30-23 last week. Quarterback Seth Morgan was 22 of 32 for 254 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. He is currently fourth in the PSAC averaging throwing for 264.2 yards per game with a 154.9 efficiency rating. He has 10 touchdown passes so far on the season. Malakai Brown rushed the ball 16 times for 87 yards and a touchdown. He is fourth in the PSAC averaging 80.4 yards rushing per game and he has three touchdowns on the year. Russell Nazhir also had a rushing touchdown. Barry Hill had six catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. Cameron Dorner also had a receiving touchdown and had four catches for 46 yards in the game. Dorner is third in the PSAC averaging 97.5 yards receiving per game on 6.3 catches. He has four touchdowns on the year. On defense, Donte Harrison led the team with eight tackles. Jack Baxter had five tackles, two tackles for loss, and two sacks.
Lock Haven beat Millersville 38-31 last week. Quarterback Danny Sanchez was 18 of 26 for 203 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception. Running back Chris Collier rushed for 82 yards on 30 carries with three touchdowns. Collier is currently second in all of the PSAC averaging 96.2 yards rushing per game and he has seven touchdowns on the season. DeAaron Lawrence had 6 catches for 96 yards and a touchdown and Chandler Baker also had a touchdown catch for the Bald Eagles. Lock Haven has the third highest scoring offense in the PSAC averaging 33.4 points per game. On defense, defensive back Darryl Pollard had seven tackles and two tackles for loss. Linebacker Jaderian Johnson had five tackles, two tackles for loss, and two sacks. Johnson is tied for second in the PSAC with four sacks on the season.
My Prediction: #22 Shepherd – Lock Haven is on the rise and this will be a ballgame. Shepherd will need help, meaning Kutztown would have to lose two games in divisional play, to have a chance at representing the East in the PSAC Championship game even if they win out. Winning out though would put the Rams in the position to have a spot towards the top in the Super Region One playoff bracket at the end of the season.
West Chester (3-2, 1-1 PSAC East) at Shippensburg (1-4, 1-1 PSAC East) – 1 pm
West Chester beat Bloomsburg 24-21 in overtime last week. Quarterback Cooper Jordan was 9 of 17 for 100 yards in the game and Ethan Kohler was 5 of 5 for 55 yards. Jayden Williams ran the ball 15 times for 81 yards. Cooper Jordan and Brody McAndrew both had rushing touchdowns. D’Shaun Seals had six catches for 61 yards. Once again, Connor Noble led the defense with 11 tackles, a tackle for loss, and a sack. He leads the PSAC averaging 12 tackles a game with a total of 60 on the season. Sean Henry, who handles the kicking and punting duties for the Golden Rams, missed two field goals in the fourth quarter including one at the end of regulation but he did hit a 34 yarder in overtime to win the game.
Shippensburg lost to Shepherd 30-23 last week. Quarterback Sam Stoner was 19 of 35 for 272 yards. He had two touchdowns rushing. Tanner Hess ran the ball 16 times for 43 yards. Jaimen Bryant had five catches for 92 yards and Redd Douglas had six catches for 90 yards. Shippensburg has the last ranked scoring offense in the PSAC averaging scoring 15.4 points per game. On defense, Dechau Jackson led the way with nine tackles and as a unit they had four sacks in the game. Kicker Jaxson Montross hit three 40 yard plus field goals against Shepherd. Montross was good from 45, 43, and 40 yards in the game. He also averaged 55.7 yards with one touchback on six kickoffs and also had three punts for 98 yards dropping one inside the 20. His performance in the game earned him PSAC East Special Teams Athlete of the Week honors.
My Prediction: West Chester – The Golden Rams keep Shippensburg’s offense in check and score enough to get the win on the road.
Kutztown (3-2, 2-0 PSAC East) at Bloomsburg (1-3, 0-1 PSAC East) – 2 pm
Kutztown beat East Stroudsburg 34-27 last week. Quarterback Judd Novak was 18 of 29 for 285 yards with four touchdowns. His performance earned him PSAC East Offensive Athlete of the Week honors. Novak is fifth in the PSAC averaging 235 passing yards per game with a 157.9 efficiency rating and nine touchdown passes on the season. Running back Jordan Davis rushed for 47 yards on 14 carries and had a touchdown. Mekhi Gibson had 107 yards receiving on three catches. Gibson, Kayden Hastie, Jordan Davis, and Kurtis Ravenel Jr. all had receiving touchdowns for the Golden Bears. Linebacker Tyler Whary had nine tackles, a sack, and a quarterback hurry. His solid play all game long earned him PSAC East Defensive Athlete of the Week honors. As a unit, the defense had five sacks in the game.
Bloomsburg lost to West Chester 24-21 in Overtime last week. Quarterback KJ Riley was 16 of 25 for 207 yards and a touchdown. Running back Kaleb Monaco rushed for 105 yards on 21 carries and had a touchdown. Monaco is currently the number one running back in the PSAC averaging 97.6 yards per game. He has three touchdowns on the season. Jerry Griffen-Batchler also had a rushing touchdown and tight end Nas Jones had one receiving. The Huskies average scoring 17 points per game. On defense, linebacker Brady Thompson had 10 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and half a sack. He is fifth in the PSAC in tackles on the season averaging 8.3 stops per game. Defensive back Quentin Gaskill had 9 tackles. He and teammate Tom Goetz are tied for third in the PSAC with two interceptions a piece this season. Currently, the Huskies defense is ranked number one in the entire PSAC only giving up an average of 19 points a game.
My Prediction: Kutztown – The Golden Bears get another win in divisional play and remain in the driver’s seat in the PSAC East.
Millersville (3-2, 1-1 PSAC East) at East Stroudsburg (4-1, 1-1 PSAC East) – 6:05 pm
Millersville lost to Lock Haven 38-31 last week. Quarterback Robert Footman, Jr. was 22 of 38 for 329 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. He was also the leading rusher for the Marauders with 34 yards on the ground. Hakim Melvin had 99 yards receiving on five receptions and a touchdown. On the other side of the ball, defensive back Alex Pelegrin had 11 tackles and half a tackle for loss. Linebacker Garrett Cox had 10 tackles and two tackles for loss. Cox is second in the PSAC averaging 10.2 stops per game, first in the PSAC with an average of 2.3 tackles for loss per game, and he also has 3.5 sacks. Defensive end Randy Okungu, who is tied for second in the PSAC with four sacks, had 6 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks in the game.
East Stroudsburg lost to Kutztown 34-27 last week. Sean McTaggart, the third quarterback of the season for the Warriors, was 18 of 31 for 227 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Running back Tyriq Lewis, who is fifth in the PSAC in rushing averaging 79.4 yards per game with five touchdowns on the season, had 24 yards rushing on seven carries and a touchdown in the game. DJ Thomson led the receivers with 89 yards on four catches and he also had a touchdown. The Warriors have the number two scoring offense in the PSAC averaging 38.4 points per game. They are third in the PSAC in yards per game averaging 390.6. On the other side of the ball, defensive back Noah Hambrick led the team in tackles with eight. He also had one tackle for loss. The Warriors are tied for the number two defense in the PSAC in points allowed averaging only giving up 19.4 points per game. They are third in the PSAC in yards allowed per game with an average of 286.2.
My Prediction: East Stroudsburg – The Warriors get back in the win column at home under the lights.
Edinboro (2-3, 1-1 PSAC West) at Gannon (2-3, 2-0 PSAC West) – 12 Noon
Edinboro beat Mercyhurst 40-24 last week. Quarterback Matt Carlisle was 10 of 17 for 116 yards and a touchdown. He also had 125 yards rushing on 19 carries and a touchdown. Running back Brian Trobel ran the ball 25 times for 140 yards and had three touchdowns. Wide receiver Mike Watkins had two receptions for 24 yards and a touchdown. On defense, safety Toby Cline was named the PSAC West Defensive Athlete of the Week. He had two interceptions, broke up a pass in the endzone, and had five tackles in the win over Mercyhurst. Linebacker CJ Waldier had eight tackles and a tackle for loss in the game.
Gannon beat Seton Hill 23-6 last week. Quarterback Nate Mikell was 12 of 31 for 198 yards and an interception. He also rushed for 28 yards and a touchdown. Donny Marcus ran the ball 20 times for 186 yards and a touchdown. Ke’John Batiste led the Gannon receivers with four receptions for 75 yards. On the other side of the ball, defensive back Chris Farnsworth led the team with six tackles. Defensive lineman Charles Calhoun had four tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks. On special teams, kicker Eric Scarpino was named the PSAC West Special Teams Athlete of the Week. He was three of three on field goals hitting from 37, 41, and 30 yards. He was also two for two on PAT attempts. He is perfect on the year making all eight field goal attempts and all 13 PAT attempts so far this season.
My Prediction: Gannon – This will be a ball game but the Golden Knights get the win at home.
#10 Slippery Rock (5-0, 2-0 PSAC West) at Mercyhurst (1-4, 0-2 PSAC West) – 2 pm
#10 Slippery Rock beat IUP 42-21 last week. Quarterback Brayden Long was 18 of 23 for 277 yards and a rushing touchdown. He is averaging 266 yards per game passing which is currently third in the PSAC. His efficiency rating is the highest in the PSAC at 178.3 and he also has the most touchdown passes in the PSAC with 14. Running back Khalid Dorsey ran for 123 yards on 15 carries and had three touchdowns. For his performance he was named the PSAC West Offensive Athlete of the Week. Wide receiver Kyle Sheets had 131 yards receiving on five receptions. He is second in the PSAC averaging 109.8 yards per game and has six touchdowns. Wide receiver Cohen Russell also had five catches for 86 yards. The Rock has the number scoring offense in the PSAC averaging 39.2 points scored per game and they are also first in average yards per game with 438.4 each week. On the other side of the ball, defensive back Jalen Dangerfield had 12 tackles, a half a tackle for loss, and half a sack. Linebacker Kyle Kudla had 10 tackles and is third in the PSAC averaging 8.6 stops per game with 43 total on the season. Defensive back Josh Stokes had six tackles, half a tackle for loss, and an interception. He is second in the PSAC in picks so far this season averaging .8 interceptions a game with four total on the season. Slippery Rock is the third ranked defense in the PSAC averaging only giving up 19.4 points per game.
Mercyhurst lost to Edinboro last week 40-24. Quarterback Adam Urena was 25 of 41 for 322 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Jaylen Butera rushed for 37 yards on 12 carries and had a touchdown. Mercyhurst ended up with -4 yards rushing in the game. Butera, Joe Kerbacher, and Rylan Davison all had five receptions. Davison and Austin Urena had receiving touchdowns. On defense, linebacker Tyler Buterbaugh had 13 tackles, a tackle for loss, and a sack. Mercyhurst has the last ranked scoring defense in the PSAC averaging giving up 40 points per game.
My Prediction: #10 Slippery Rock – The Rock has the number one offense in the PSAC averaging scoring 39.2 points per game. Mercyhurst has the last ranked scoring defense in the PSAC averaging giving up 40 points a game.
*PSAC GAME OF THE WEEK – THE COAL BOWL*
California (PA) (3-1, 2-0 PSAC West) at IUP (3-2, 1-1 PSAC West) – 2 pm
California (PA) beat Clarion 37-7 last week. Quarterback Davis Black was 23 of 32 for 287 yards and three touchdowns. Black is the number one quarterback in the PSAC averaging 278.5 yards per game and his efficiency rating is second at 169.2. He has 10 touchdown passes in the four games the Vulcans have played so far this season. Running back Eric McKan III ran the ball 14 times for 65 yards and a touchdown. He averages 65.7 yards per game on the ground and has five touchdowns on the season. Davonte Williams also had a rushing touchdown for the Vulcans. Wide receiver Eric Willis III led the receivers with eight receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. He is the receiving leader in the PSAC averaging 6.5 receptions per game for average of 129.5 yards per game. He also has five touchdown catches on the season which is second in the PSAC. Demonte Martin and D’Avay Johnson also had touchdown catches in the win over Clarion. The Vulcans offense is fourth in the PSAC in points scored per game averaging 33.3 and second in the PSAC in yards per game averaging 435 yards weekly. On the other side of the ball, defensive back Dominic Solomon, Jr. had seven tackles and a tackle for loss. Linebacker John Hutchinson had three tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack. Linebacker Ibrahim Sanogo had two tackles, a tackle for loss, and a sack. Sanogo is second in the PSAC averaging 1.63 tackles for loss per game. Defensive lineman Gaige Hill had a tackle, a tackle for loss, and a sack. The defensive unit is fifth in the PSAC in points allowed per game with a 20.3 weekly average. They are fourth in yards surrendered allowing an average of 289.5 yards per game.
IUP lost to Slippery Rock 42-21 last week. Quarterback Karst Hunter was 11 of 23 for 131 yards with three interceptions. He also had 88 yards rushing on 14 attempts. Running back Dayjure Stewart ran the ball 16 times for 89 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Quinn Zinobile, who is fifth in the PSAC averaging five catches per game for 80.6 yards, had four catches for 64 yards. He has four touchdowns on the season. On defense, Darius Bruce had eight tackles and a tackle for loss. Drew Dinunzio-Biss had eight stops in the game. IUP has the fourth ranked defense in the PSAC averaging only giving up 19.8 points per game.
My Prediction: California (PA) – It is homecoming at IUP and this game should be a fight to the finish. The Vulcans are looking to remain undefeated in the PSAC West heading towards what could be the deciding game for the PSAC West Championship when they head to Slippery Rock on 10/21/23. IUP, with yearly high expectations, in all reality can’t afford another loss in the PSAC West Divisional games this season if they have any hopes of making the Super Region One playoff field in November.
Seton Hill (1-4, 0-2 PSAC West) at Clarion (1-4, 0-2 PSAC West) – 2 PM
Seton Hill lost to Gannon 23-6 last week. Quarterback Teska Hayden was 15 of 38 for 148 yards with three interceptions. Running back Ky’Ron Craggette had 22 yards rushing on 14 carries. Jayden Llanos had three receptions and Mark Bails, Jr. had five. Musa Tama led the defense with ten tackles and a tackle for loss. Ben Weaver is second in the PSAC is sacks with 4 and third in the PSAC averaging 1.6 tackles for loss per game with eight total.
Clarion lost to California (PA) 37-7 last week. Quarterbacks Zach Benedek and Anthony Guercio combined for 80 total yards of passing in the game. Benedek was also the leading rusher for the Golden Eagles with 71 yards on 11 carries. Andy Martin caught four passes for 30 yards. On the other side of the ball, defensive back Legend Davis had 13 tackles.
My Prediction: Clarion – The Golden Eagles get the win at home.