Burgh, Minnie no strangers when it comes to Adamson
For at least two Slippery Rock football players, Saturday’s game at Adamson Stadium against California won’t be just another PSAC West contest.
The Rockets eyeing the Vulcans are senior guard Justin Burgh and junior defensive lineman Robert Minnie.
Burgh should feel at home at Adamson Stadium since he started three years at Cal before transferring to the Rock.
A 6-3, 295 pounder, Burgh thought his football playing days had ended after the 2002 season when he started three games at guard before moving to center when Bruce Wallace was injured.
“I played with a lot of pain in my back and couldn’t play to my full potential,” he said. “I had surgery after the season,” he said. “I planned on going back to Cal and decided to quit playing football. ”
Living in Zelienople, Burgh thought he’d be better off finishing his college days at Slippery Rock.
“I had a great time at California but Slippery Rock is closer to home only 25 minutes away,” he said.
After sitting out the 2003 football season, Burgh didn’t get the urge to play again until November.
“With the year off my back started feeling better,” he said. “Slippery Rock lost a lot of offensive linemen so I asked coach (George) Mihalik for a chance and he gave it to me.”
Burgh is starting at right guard on an offensive line which has the Rockets averaging 224 yards on the ground.
The Seneca Valley High graduate can’t wait to return to Adamson Stadium tomorrow night.
“I’m excited to play the game,” he added. “It might be the most exciting game I ever play in. It’s going to be a real battle.”
Minnie, a Ringgold High graduate, has the same kind of feeling.
“I feel like I’m going home playing in front of family and friends,” he claimed.
A 6-1, 275 pound defensive tackle, Minnie will be going against two of his former high school teammates, linebackers T.J. Carden ad Lloyd Price.
“I played two years with T.J. and three years with Lloyd,” he said. “Lloyd and I also played basketball together.”
Minnie, who has eight tackles including one quarterback sack, is impressed with the Vulcans.
“They have an amazing offense,” he said. “They’ll really be a good test for us.”
Minnie won’t be facing an easy assignment going against the Vulcans’ 6-3, 305 pound junior Akil Patterson, a transfer from the University of Maryland.
“He’s a real solid player and looks like they’re best offensive lineman,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
One area Rocket who will miss the game is senior linebacker Yough’s Justin Poorbaugh, the team’s leading tackler with 23.
Poorbaugh suffered a knee injury in the Rock’s 31-3 romp at Lock Haven.