3 things to watch in district football: Grove City shoots for 2-0 start
The anticipation of most teams’ openers has passed, but Week 2 of the district football season offers something different.
League play starts in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference, and there’s a full slate of crossover games in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
Here are three things to watch:
1. Grove City eyes rare 2-0 start
The Wolverines went 0-30 from 2014-16. They moved back toward respectability by going 4-6 last season. Now, Grove City has a chance to open with consecutive victories when it visits Bethany in the PAC Kickoff Classic at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Wolverines junior Wesley Schools ran for 220 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-23 win over Juniata last week. His career total of 2,389 rushing yards ranks fifth in program history, and he needs 15 yards to surpass Chuck Gaetano (1970-73) for fourth. Schools is on pace to move into No. 2 on the all-time list by the end of the season.
R.J. Bowers, who played from 1997-2000, is No. 1 with 7,353 yards, including two 2,000-yard seasons.
Bethany, which has beaten the Wolverines in five consecutive games, lost its opener 34-13 to Ursinus.
2. Duquesne back to even ground
After opening the season at FBS UMass (a 63-15 loss) and thumping Division II Lock Haven, 45-0, last week, Duquesne faces a fellow FCS program Saturday when it hosts Valparaiso (0-0) at noon.
The teams met last year and combined for 1,053 yards, with the Dukes prevailing 45-40. Receiver Nehari Crawford had nine catches for 138 yards, and he is coming off a three-touchdown performance against Lock Haven.
Duquesne hosts Dayton next week before traveling to Hawaii on Sept. 22.
3. Carnegie Mellon turns page
The Tartans offense will have a new look this season with the graduation of all-time leading rusher Sam Benger and all-time leading receiver John Prather.
CMU, the only PAC team not to play last week, opens the season with a nonconference game at noon Saturday against Rochester (0-1).
The Tartans still have senior quarterback Alex Cline, who threw for a single-season school-record 24 touchdowns along with 13 interceptions last season.
He ranks fifth in school history with 4,365 passing yards and needs 1,155 to become the all-time leader. He also is 16 touchdown passes away from the school record of 54.
Carnegie Mellon coach Rich Lackner, in his 33rd year, is tied for second among active NCAA Division III coaches with 210 career victories.
Rochester is coming off a 38-10 loss to No. 23 Case Western last week.
Jeff Vella is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at [email protected] or via Twitter @JeffVella_Trib.