Sophomore leads Rock football to blowout

Published by adviser, Author: Brian Hepfinger - Sports Editor, Date: September 25, 2014
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The number 15 nationally ranked Slippery Rock University football team (3-0) defeated Millersville University (0-3) 46-17 to secure another blowout victory on Saturday afternoon.

SRU was once again led by its running backs. Sophomore Shamar Greene led the team with 238 yards and three touchdowns off of 23 carries. Greene is currently the leader in total rushing yards and rushing yards/game in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II standings. Greene has 619 total yards through the first three games of the season, and is averaging 206.3 yards/game. 

Greene is also currently fifth overall in total rushing yards in the NCAA Division I, II, and III standings this season.

“He has a great combination; power, speed, quickness, and he can catch the football,” SRU head coach George Mihalik said. “What’s most impressive about Shamar is his yards after contact. He gets additional yards after that first contact, which is a big asset of his.”

Mihalik said that while Greene has been impressive, the offensive line has really helped out.

“You have to give credit to the guys upfront,” Mihalik said. “They’re creating that hole and allowing him to get into that secondary level.”

Senior Teddy Blakeman rushed for 75 yards off of 16 carries, averaging 4.7 yards/carry, and scoredone touchdown.

SRU Sophomore quarterback Zack Newsock went 30-44 for 247 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. 

Through his first three games as a starting quarterback, Newsock has tallied 675 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions.

“I’m real pleased with the progress of our passing game,” Mihalik said. “Folks are probably going to focus and try and stop our running game, and make us beat them with our passing game.”

Mihalik said he is pleased with Newsock’s progress and performances thus far.

“I’m real pleased with Zack’s chemistry with our receivers, and I’m confident that when we have to, our passing game will be productive,” Mihalik said. Senior tight-end Julian Harrell caught Newsock’s first touchdown pass. He had four catches for 37 yards. 

Senior wide receiver Melvin German had the other touchdown catch for SRU, to go along with five catches for 86 yards.

SRU junior kicker Mike Wainauskis completed one 36 yard field-goal in the second quarter.

The Rock’s defense had another collective-effort game. Ten players had double-digit tackles. Sophomore linebacker Bob Vernick and sophomore defensive end Cody Conway had 13 and 12 tackles respectively. Senior linebackers Austin Miele and Levi Sager had six and five tackles respectively. Sophomore defensive backs, Kris Williams and Derrick Fulmore, senior defensive back Isaiah Coleman, and Freshman defensive back John Conglose and freshman defensive end Marcus Martin all had four tackles each.

“Our defensive line and linebackers are stopping the run,” Mihalik said. “Collectively, we’re getting good pass pressure, and the secondary is having great coverage and coming up with interceptions.”

While SRU’s running game flourished, Millersville’s couldn’t get on the board. They rushed for a total of 73 yards and scored no touchdowns. Millersville quarterback Matt Misley went 21-45 for 217 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

Through three games, the Rock is averaging 46.3 points/game. They’re also beating opponents by an average of 24 points.

The Green and White’s next game is at home against Seton Hill University (1-2) on Saturday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. at home.

Mihalik said he expects the game against Seton Hill to be challenging, and that with SRU climbing up in the national rankings, it gives teams the opportunity to beat a nationally ranked team.

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