Edinboro coming together in time for heavyweights
One down and two to go for the Edinboro Fighting Scots.
Edinboro’s rousing 31-20 home victory Saturday over No. 16 East Stroudsburg was the first conquest of an NCAA Division II nationally ranked team in what Scots coach Lou Tepper hopes will be a string of three such victories.
Next up is No. 14 Shippensburg, again at home, Saturday, followed by a trip to No. 4 Indiana (Pa.) on Oct. 11. Shippensburg (3-1) suffered its first loss, falling to West Chester, 33-20, while IUP improved to 4-0 with a 35-13 thumping of previously unbeaten Millersville.
“We said this was a three-game phase of the (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) heavyweights, and I think we’re the underdogs in all three of them,” Tepper told reporters. “To win the first one is big.”
The victory was the third in a row for Edinboro (3-1) since a season-opening loss to Division I-AA Youngstown State.
East Stroudsburg (3-1) was ranked third nationally in defense, allowing a total of 28 points in three games, and its offense was averaging 41.0 points and 446 yards per game.
“To beat what is very easily the best team in the PSAC East means a lot to us,” Tepper said.
Geneva enjoyed a similar scenario, beating No. 18 Trinity International, 24-21, in an NAIA game.
The victory boosted Geneva’s record to 2-1 and conjured up memories of the Golden Tornadoes’ nationally ranked days of several years ago.
“We played well against one of the better teams in the country and that’s very encouraging,” Geneva coach Geno DeMarco said.
Josh Mullen rushed for 126 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 15-yard run for homestanding Geneva.
A number of other district games involved nationally ranked teams, with IUP, Duquesne and Washington & Jefferson emerging as victors.
IUP rode Mike Jemison’s fourth consecutive 100-yard rushing performance and three touchdown passes by Kevin Weidl to an easy victory over visiting Millersville. Weidl’s 60-yard scoring toss to LeRon McCoy on the first play of the game set the tone.
Duquesne, ranked No. 5 in NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major, rebounded from a 41-point loss to Penn a week earlier by routing La Salle 62-14 in its Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opener at Rooney Field. Mike Hilliard rushed for a school record 323 yards and five touchdowns as the Dukes won their 25th consecutive league game.
“I wasn’t getting hit sometimes until I got to the safeties. There were some huge holes. The offensive line really got a great push off the ball. They did a tremendous job,” Hilliard said.
W&J, ranked No. 17 in NCAA Division III, built a 17-0 third-quarter lead, sparked by a 100-yard interception return by Frank Pilato, and held on to beat visiting Thiel in a Presidents’ Athletic Conference opener. W&J next plays on Saturday at Westminster (Pa.), a 3-0 overtime winner over Allegheny on freshman Jason Montgomery’s 31-yard field goal.
Carnegie Mellon dropped its first game in four starts as No. 23 Johns Hopkins, ranked in D-III for the first time, blanked the Tartans on their home field 21-0. CMU entered the game averaging 44 points per game.
Elsewhere Saturday, Youngstown State downed Liberty, 34-3, as freshman Nick Terracina kicked field goals of 56 and 47 yards, Robert Morris trounced St. Francis (Pa.), as Sam Dorsett tied Tim Hall as the career leader in rushing touchdowns for the Colonials, Bloomsburg beat Slippery Rock, 19-16, Californa (Pa.) topped Cheyney, 20-3, Gannon routed West Virginia State, 52-24, Kutztown edged Clarion, 20-19, Mansfield (4-0) remained unbeaten with a 27-23 victory over Lock Haven, Northwood belted Mercyhurst, 30-3, Grove City beat Bethany (W.Va.), 17-3, and Waynesburg outlasted Alfred, 17-7.