Every senior player on the Slippery Rock University football team hopes to end their career on a winning note.
However, the Rock was on the wrong end of a shootout at the end of the day against No.12 Bloomsburg University as they fell 49-41 on Senior Day last Saturday at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium.
With the loss, the Rock finishes the season at 6-5 overall and 5-2 in PSAC-West play, while Bloomsburg advances to the Division II National Playoffs at 10-1 overall.
The Rock started off slow as they headed into halftime down 42-13. Mistakes plagued SRU as the offense had two red zone turnovers and allowed Bloomsburg to block a punt, which got returned for a touchdown.
However, the second half proved to be a much different story, as the Rock offense exploded for 28 second half points while holding Bloomsburg to just seven.
“There wasn’t any screaming,” Rock head coach George Mihalik said about talking to his team at halftime. “I said ‘Look, we are giving them this game and you’re not going to tell me they’re a better team than us. I’m challenging you to win the game.’ We clawed back and I thought we had our chance. You can’t give a good team like Bloomsburg that many chances in the first half.”
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jared Buck got the start and passed for a season high 341 yards and one touchdown and also ran for two touchdowns as he filled in for junior Nigel Barksdale who was out with a knee injury.
Buck scored both Rock touchdowns in the first half and completed passes to eight different receivers on the day. Freshman receiver Jaimire Dutrieuille led the team in receiving with seven catches for 74 yards.
“I just wanted to go out and keep our tempo up and do what we can,” Buck said about the second half. “We knew we were going to have to throw the ball. I just wanted to make the right reads. The deep ball was open, I had some bad throws. They have a great defense, but I thought we could’ve taken advantage of it better in the first half.”
Redshirt senior running back Akeem Satterfield had his best game of the season as he rushed for 181 yards and one touchdown on 29 carries. Satterfield became just the third running back to record 100 yards against Bloomsburg.
Satterfield scored from 12 yards out in the fourth quarter, which made the score 42-34 Bloomsburg.
“You can always play better and give more effort,” Satterfield said. “I just tried to do what I could do and go out with a win in the last game of my career at SRU.”
Bloomsburg would answer the Satterfield touchdown to make the score 49-34. Buck would then find Bridgeforth for a 20-yard touchdown to make the final score 49-41.