Despite not successfully defending the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West title, the Slippery Rock University football team finished with a winning record, finishing 6-5 overall and 5-2 in PSAC-West play.
The winning season marks the fourth-consecutive season the Rock has finished with a winning record and the 18th time in head coach George Mihalik’s 25 years as head coach.
The season was highlighted by the win over nationally ranked California University of Pennsylvania.
They defeated the Vulcans 28-26. The win could be considered the loss that knocked Cal-U out of the PSAC-West race.
The Rock also delivered a win on homecoming weekend by defeating Edinboro 38-31 in a thrilling overtime game in which the Rock secured the victory by scoring a touchdown on their first possession and the defense keeping Edinboro out of the endzone.
Offensively, the Rock was led by junior quarterback Nigel Barksdale. Barskdale began the season as the backup to redshirt sophomore Jared Buck, but when Buck went down due to injury, Barksdale flourished and did not relinquish the starting job.
Barksdale passed for 1,415 yards and 14 touchdowns in nine games played this season. He also finished second on the team in rushing, finishing with 507 yards and tied for the team lead in touchdowns with redshirt freshman running back Brett Crenshaw with seven.
Redshirt senior running back Akeem Satterfield led the team in rushing, gaining 823 yards on 142 attempts. He also rushed five touchdowns.
Satterfield has been selected to the “invite only” Third Annual National Bowl Game. He will play alongside 80 of the top senior players in college football.
He received second-team PSAC-West honors. This is the second time he has received this honor in his four-year career.
Alongside Satterfield, six other Rock players received second-team honors.
Redshirt senior defensive end Jeff Thompson, who also received the honor for the second time in his four-year career, junior linebacker Quindell Dean, freshman receiver Jaimire Dutrieulle, redshirt junior cornerback Anthony Saunders, junior wideout LaQuinn Stephens-Howling and redshirt junior defensive tackle Derek Walker.
Dean finished second on the team in tackles with 79.
Saunders led the PSAC in passes defended with 17. He also tied for the team lead in interceptions with three, with two being returned for touchdowns.
After spending his first two years at running back, Stephens-Howling moved to receiver this year and led the team in receptions with 37 and touchdowns with five.
He also recorded 464 receiving yards which was good for second on the team behind redshirt sophomore Ken Amos with 580 yards.
Senior offensive lineman Austin Fedell thinks that despite not making playoffs, the team had a good year and learned a lot.
“We fell short of our expectations. We really wanted to win the PSAC and make the playoffs,” Fedell said. “Despite our record we had a lot of good things happen on offense and defense. We were a young team and I think the team has a bright future ahead of them.”