September 8th, 2023 4:00am
Week Two of PSAC Football is coming up. The teams from the PSAC East will be visiting teams in the PSAC West for Crossover Week action this weekend. The PSAC went 8-7 last week in all non-league games to start the season. California (PA), from the PSAC West, was the lone team idle from the PSAC. As expected in Week One, some sloppy play and mistakes in all three phases of the game were commonplace in many of the contests but not all. I was in East Stroudsburg for opening night of the 2023 season and the Warriors (PSAC East) looked to be in mid-season form on offense, defense, and special teams. They will be heading to #12 IUP on Saturday which is my PSAC Game of the Week. On the national scene, three PSAC teams made the list for the D2Football.com Preseason Top 25 Poll. All of those teams won last week. Two of the three winners remained the same in this week’s D2Football.com Top 25 Poll, already mentioned, #12 IUP (PSAC West) and #16 Slippery Rock (PSAC West). Now #14 Shepherd fell one spot from last week with a shaky start in their season opener. Keep reading to find out more about all of the PSAC teams, 16 total, who will be in action in this coming weekend and also to find my predictions for each game. To start the season, I correctly picked the winner in 12 of the 15 non-league games played in Week One.
PSAC Week Two - Saturday, September 9, 2023 – East at West Crossover Week
Shippensburg (0-1, 0-0 PSAC East) at Seton Hill (0-1, 0-0 PSAC West) - 12 Noon
Shippensburg lost 14-10 to Newberry (SAC). Quarterback Joey McCraken was 10 of 24 for 69 yards with one interception. Standout wide receiver and return man, Redd Douglas, had four catches for 39 yards. Jake DeLuccia ran the ball seven times for 38 yards. Shippensburg only had 141 yards of total offense. The defense and special teams provided the points on the board for the Raiders in the season opener. Chisom Ifeanyi had a 51-yard pick six and a blocked punt that set up a field goal from Jaxson Montross. Linebacker Terrance Peterson, Jr. had a game high 11 tackles, a sack, and a blocked punt as Shippensburg held Newberry to 14 points. The defense gave up 301 total yards.
Seton Hill lost to Wheeling (MEC) 35-24. Quarterback Jake Cruz was 10 of 34 for 134 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Ky’Ron Craggette was the leading rusher for the Griffins. He ran the ball 14 times for 87 yards and a touchdown. Cody Rubrecht had two catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. Seton Hill had 303 yards of total offense in the game. On defense, linebacker Ritchie McCormack had eight tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss and linebacker Wyatt Schussler had seven tackles and two tackles for loss. The defense gave up 299 yards to Wheeling in the loss.
My Prediction: Shippensburg - The Raiders defense will be the difference in this game.
Millersville (1-0, 0-0 PSAC East) at Gannon (0-1, 0-0 PSAC West) – 12 Noon
Millersville downed Saint Anselm (NE10) 33-7 last Thursday night. Quarterback Robert Footman, Jr. was 12 of 26 for 154 yards with two touchdown passes. He also rushed for 64 yards with two touchdowns. Running back Jaquan Howard ran the ball 20 times for 111 yards. Wide Receiver had 5 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. Running back Trey Gretzinger had the other receiving touchdown for the Marauders. As a unit, they had 334 yards of total offense. On defense, the linebackers were impressive. Garret Cox had 13 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and a sack. His played earned him PSAC East Athlete of the Week honors. Ryan Aument had five tackles, two sacks, and two tackles for loss and Madden Locke had six tackles and two tackles for loss. Millersville gave up 207 total yards on defense.
Gannon lost to Charleston (MEC) 22-13 last Thursday night after being up 13-9 late in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Nate Mikell was 25 of 44 for 208 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He was also the Golden Knights leading rusher with 43 yards. Gannon only had 65 total yards of rushing in the game. Donell Mason had 72 yards receiving on six catches and KeJohn Batiste had five grabs for 47 yards and a receiving touchdown. The Golden Knights had 273 yards of total offense. Kicker Eric Scarpino hit two field goals, 27 and 35 yards, in the losing effort. Linebacker Zharell Walker led the defense with seven tackles and a tackle for loss. Linebacker Hayden McDonald had six tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a sack. Gannon gave up 243 total yards on defense.
My Prediction: Millersville - The Marauders came on strong the second half of last season and most of their team is back this season.
#14 Shepherd (1-0, 0-0 PSAC East) at Edinboro (0-1, 0-0 PSAC West) – 12 Noon
#14 Shepherd beat Southern Connecticut State (NE10) 27-26 last Saturday thanks to a touchdown pass from quarterback Seth Morgan to tight end Dustin Fisher with 23 clicks left on the clock. Morgan was 16 of 28 on the afternoon for 233 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Malakai Brown ran the ball 22 times for 94 yards and a touchdown. Jeremia Taylor had seven receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown in the season opening win. The Rams had 300 yards of total offense in the game. On defense, linebacker JT Kouame-Yao had 12 tackles and two tackles for loss. Defensive lineman Nathan Muhle had six stops, two tackles for loss, and a sack. The defense gave up 383 yards of offense to SCSU. On special teams, defensive back and return specialist Miles Greer had three punt returns for 134 yards. He also had an 86-yard return for a touchdown. His performance earned him PSAC East Special Teams Athlete of the Week.
Edinboro lost to Division I FCS Duquesne (NEC) 49-7 last Saturday. The Fighting Scots were down 35-0 at the half. Quarterback Matt Carlisle was 10 of 23 for 76 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Brian Trobel was Edinboro’s leading rusher with 31 yards on 9 carries. Tight End Aaron Hopkins had three catches for 37 yards and one touchdown. The offense had 170 total yards in the game. Safety Malcom Johnson recorded nine tackles in the loss. The defense gave up 390 yards to Duquesne.
My Prediction: #14 Shepherd - The Rams found a way to win last weekend with a lot of new faces on offense and should continue to get better as the season goes on. Shepherd’s athletic defense should prove favorable against Edinboro’s offense.
Kutztown (0-1, 0-0 PSAC East) at California (PA) (0-0, 0-0 PSAC West) – 12 Noon
Kutztown lost to Assumption (NE10) 31-20 last Saturday. The Golden Bears lost a heartbreaker, 3-0, to open the 2022 season and fell to them again to start this 2023 season. Veteran quarterback Donny Blaine was 17 of 31 for 282 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Running back Darryl Davis-McNeil had 73 yards on 15 carries and Mekhi Gibson had three runs for 15 yards and a touchdown. The biggest story of the game on offense for Kutztown was wide receiver Kurtis Ravenel, Jr. and his outstanding performance. He had seven receptions for 217 yards and two touchdowns. The Golden Bears had 362 yards of total offense. On the other side of the ball, defensive lineman Nigel Wilson had seven tackles, six of them solo, two tackles for loss, and a sack. Linebacker Tyler Whary had five tackles, all solo, and two tackles for loss. The Golden Bears gave up 285 total yards to Assumption.
California (PA) was idle in week one. The Vulcans were scheduled to play Alderson Broaddus (MEC). The Battlers season has been canceled. Wyatt Hirt looks to replace now departed long time starting quarterback Noah Mitchell. Eric McKan III returns at running back. He had 587 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Veteran linebacker Matt Tobey returns to lead the defense. Kicker Anthony Beitko, a two-time all-conference selection, also returns for the Vulcans on special teams.
My Prediction: Kutztown - The Golden Bears bounced back after their season opening loss last year to have a successful season. With a game under their belt, and the Vulcans idle last week, they should have the edge in this one.
Bloomsburg (0-1, 0-0 PSAC East) at Clarion (1-0, 0-0 PSAC West) – 1:00 PM
Bloomsburg lost to Fairmont State (MEC) 34-30 last Thursday night. The Huskies scored 20 points in the fourth quarter but came up short. Quarterback KJ Riley was 13 of 25 for 252 yards with one touchdown. He also had two rushing scores. Running back Kaleb Monaco rushed 19 times for 81 yards. The Huskies had 390 yards of total offense. Defensive back Quentin Gaskill had 7 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss on defense. Four different players had six stops apiece. Bloomsburg gave up 324 total yards on defense.
Clarion beat Lincoln (CIAA) 30-20 last Thursday night. Quarterback Will Alexander was 14 of 23 for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Khalil Owens had 29 yards rushing on 18 attempts and had 64 yards receiving on 7 catches. The Golden Eagles had 267 yards of total offense. On defense. linebacker Griffin Buzzell had 6 tackles. Shane Kemper and Dillon Tingle both had interceptions. Clarion gave up 385 total yards on defense. Punter Tyler Wilson dropped four punts inside the opponents 20-yard line, including a 60-yarder downed at the one-yard line, with no touchbacks. His performance earned him PSAC West Special Teams Athlete of the Week honors.
My Prediction: Clarion - The Golden Eagles keep the momentum going after winning their season opener.
GAME OF THE WEEK
East Stroudsburg (1-0, 0-0 PSAC East) at #12 IUP (1-0, 0-0 PSAC West) – 4:00 PM
East Stroudsburg beat Pace (NE10) 62-9 last Thursday night. The Warriors were in mid-season form in all three phases of the game. Quarterback Aaron Tobias was 22 of 27 for 230 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 62 yards rushing on the night. His leadership in leading the offense drive after drive and setting the tone in the first quarter was exceptional. Running back Tyriq Lewis had 121 yards on the ground on 15 carries with two touchdowns. He averaged 8.1 yards per carry. Wide receiver John Siggins had six catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. Four different Warrior caught touchdowns from Tobias. East Stroudsburg had 455 yards of total offense in the game. On defense, linebacker Matthew Davis had eight tackles, a tackle for loss, and forced a fumble. The Warriors only allowed 207 total yards on defense. On special teams, Andrew Krawczyk and Evan Roche both scored touchdowns on punting miscues by Pace.
#12 IUP beat then #14 Ashland (GMAC) 24-17 last Thursday night. The Crimson Hawks scored their go-ahead touchdown with 1:20 left on the clock in the fourth quarter. IUP handed Ashland their last loss of the 2022 season in the Super Region One Playoffs and also handed them their first loss of 2023. New quarterback Karst Hunter was 13 of 22 for 261 yards and three touchdowns. He did also have two interceptions. Wide receiver Quinn Zinobile had seven catches for 128 yards. He also had two touchdowns. His performance in the win earned him PSAC West Offensive Athlete of the Week honors. Running back JD Younger had 68 yards rushing on 14 carries. IUP had 405 total yards of offense on the night. On the other side of the ball, defensive lineman Terrell Williams had 6 tackles and two tackles for loss. The Crimson Hawks defense only gave up 190 total yards in the game.
My Prediction: #12 IUP The Crimson Hawks beat the Warriors 38-35 last season in week two by hitting a field goal with only three seconds left on the clock. It would not be a surprise if this one came down to the wire as well with the edge to #12 ranked IUP in this PSAC Game of the Week.
West Chester beat Bentley (NE10) 20-19 last Saturday. With 53 seconds left on the clock, Running back Jayden Williams ran it in from the seven to tie the game. Sean Henry then kicked the extra point to put the Golden Rams in the lead for the first time in the game. Henry also had two field goals in the game, one from 29 and the other from 23. 2022 PSAC East Rookie of the Year, QB Cooper Jordan was 19 of 27 for 292 yards and one touchdown. He was also WCU’s leading rusher with 84 yards on 16 attempts. He finished with 376 yards of total offense. These numbers, coupled with his engineering of the game winning fourth quarter game winning drive earned him PSAC East Offensive Athlete of the Week. Wide receiver D’Shaun Seals had four catches for 95 yards. Tight end Thatcher Miller had three catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. As a team, the Golden Rams had 404 yards of total offense on the day. Linebacker Connor Noble was the standout on defense with 14 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and half a sack. Defensive back Shane Mosely added 13 tackles and a tackle for loss. West Chester gave up 320 total yards on defense for the game.
#16 Slippery Rock beat Wayne State (GLIAC) 28-17 last Saturday. The game started out as a defensive battle until late in the second quarter when the Rock started putting points on the board and took a 14-0 lead into the half. Quarterback Brayden Long was 11 of 18 for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Khalid Dorsey had 76 yards on 9 attempts and Chris D’Or and Isaiah Edwards had rushing touchdowns. Wide receiver Logan Ramper had two catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. D2Football.com Elite 100 Watch List wide receiver Kyle Sheets was injured early in the game and did not return. The Rock had 347 yards of total offense in the win. On the other side of the ball, defensive back Selvin Haynes had 12 tackles and defensive tackle Munchie Johnson had 11 tackles and two tackles for loss. His performance anchoring the defensive line earned him PSAC West Defensive Athlete of the Week Honors. The Rock gave up 304 total yards on defense.
My Prediction: #16 Slippery Rock - The matchup of the Rock’s defense versus the Golden Rams offense gives the edge to Slippery Rock.
Lock Haven (1-0, 0-0 PSAC East) at Mercyhurst (0-1, 0-0 PSAC West) – 6:00 PM
Lock Haven beat Post (Independent) 58-7 last Saturday. The Bald Eagles got off to a fast start with two touchdowns by the defense in the first four minutes of the game. Penn State LB transfer started it all off with a 48-yard scoop and score on Post’s first drive of the game. Quarterback Danny Sanchez was 9 of 14 for 121 yards with three touchdown tosses and another rushing. Running back Chris collier had 78 yards on 12 attempts. Alabama transfer RB Mister Hogue had 38 yards on 8 carries. Chris Hicks led the receivers with three grabs for 52 yards and a touchdown. Lock Haven had 309 yards of total offense in the game. On defense, defensive back Victor Hunt had two interceptions including a pick six. Defensive lineman Michael Dixon had six tackles and a forced fumble. The Bald Eagle defense gave up 242 yards of total offense in the game.
Mercyhurst lost to the defending Division II National Champion, Ferris State (GLIAC), 54-12 last Thursday night. On offense, quarterback Adam Urena was 29 of 56 for 304 yards with one touchdown and one pick. The Lakers on had 57 yards rushing on the night. Trevon Tate had six catches for 92 yards and a touchdown and Cameron Barmore had 8 grabs for 77 yards. The Lakers put up 361 yards of total offense in the losing effort. Christian Taylor had eight tackles on defense while as a team, Mercyhurst gave up 646 total yards to last year’s champions.
My Prediction: Mercyhurst – These two teams couldn’t have had more opposite season opener opponents. The Lakers were on the road against in Michigan against the defending Division II National Champions and the Bald Eagles were at home against a Division II independent, going to the NE10 next season, just trying to get their feet under them.