Football wins blowout on Homecoming

Published by adviser, Author: Ryan Barlow - Sports Editor, Date: October 15, 2015
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Slippery Rock senior quarterback Dante Nania was in total control Saturday afternoon as The Rock (5-1 overall, 2-1 PSAC) dominated California University (Pa.) (4-2 overall, 2-1 PSAC) 56-21 at home for a Homecoming victory.
Nania completed 18 passes, throwing for a total of 312 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. In addition to a solid day of passing, Nania was also able to rush for 59 yards and two touchdowns on 13 attempts.
“I thought our offensive line did a great job establishing the running game,” Rock head coach George Mihalik said. “When you’re running the football, it makes your passing game better. The pass blocking was very good and I think Dante had an exceptional game.”
Nania’s big day would not have been possible without SRU’s receiving corps, and senior wide out Jaimire Dutrieuille got things going early in the first quarter by busting out a 74-yard touchdown reception. Dutrieuille finished the game with 120 receiving yards.
Senior wide receiver Marcus Carter caught four passes for 88 yards and a touchdown for SRU, and redshirt-sophomore Cornelius Raye added three receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown.
Senior running back Julian Durden rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries. Redshirt-junior Shamar Greene added a rushing touchdown as well, gaining 92 yards on the ground for The Rock. Redshirt-sophomore Isiah Neely was also able to 39 yards on the ground.
“We have excellent depth at the running back position,” Mihalik said. “We have three guys that we have confidence in running the football. If the offensive line gives these guys just one small opening, they can make big things happen.”
As a team, Slippery Rock was able to compile 609 yards of total offense.
Sophomore Titus Howard recorded two interceptions for The Rock off of Vulcan quarterback James Harris. Junior Deonte Flemmings also recorded one pick for SRU and helped lead the team with nine tackles. Redshirt-junior John Conglose and junior Bob Vernick also recorded nine tackles for the Green and White.
Senior Teven Williams recorded eight tackles including a sack and two tackles for loss. Senior Avery Anderson also recorded one sack and forced a fumble. Redshirt-junior Alfon Cook forced one fumble as well and recovered it with a return for 41 yards.
“When you’re creating four turnovers, that eliminates four opportunities for the other team to score,” Mihalik said. “Our offense was able to take advantage those situations, leading us to put up big scoring numbers.”
The Rock looks ahead to a road game at Mercyhurst University this Saturday in a rematch of last year’s Big House Battle in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Lakers walked away 45-23 over SRU, and Mihalik knows his team must be prepared to play at a high level to get the win.
“Forget the record books on this one,” he said. “They always play us a good, hard and physical game. Our backs are to the wall and we have to win.”

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