Behind 600 yards of total offense, Slippery Rock football (8-1 overall, 5-1 PSAC) stormed past Edinboro Fighting Scots (0-9, 0-6 PSAC) Saturday afternoon with a commanding 52-10 victory.
“We are very proud of our team,” Rock head coach George Mihalik said. “Our players could have easily overlooked Edinboro, but they didn’t. We can attribute that to our coaching staff and the maturity of our players. We had to win like always, and they went in and got the job done.”
The majority of The Rock’s offense came on the ground, mounting 369 total yards rushing. Leading the attack was redshirt-junior running back Shamar Greene and senior Julian Durden.
Greene rushed for 105 yards with two touchdowns on just 18 carries. Due to SRU’s big lead, Greene left the game early for rest, allowing Durden to rush for 113 yards on 11 carries including one touchdown.
Other rushers for The Green and White were redshirt-sophomore Isiah Neely who ran for 40 yards rushing and senior quarterback Dante Nania scrambled for 48 yards on eight attempts. Senior wide out Jaimire Dutrieuille also scored a touchdown on a two-yard sweep around carry.
Along with moving the ball on the ground, The Rock also found success by moving the ball through the air. Nania started the game and threw for 177 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.
Redshirt-junior Zack Newsock entered the game in the second half making three completions for 53 yards. Newsock appeared in 10 games for SRU last season, throwing for 1,791 passing yards and 15 touchdowns. He is ranked fifth in Slippery Rock single-season history for pass completions and attempts.
Dutrieuille led The Rock with four catches for 64 yards and one touchdown. Redshirt-sophomore Cornelius Raye received four passes for 57 yards and a touchdown while sophomore Marcus Johnson made his first career start with Slippery Rock, catching three passes for 38 yards including his first touchdown wearing green and white.
Slippery Rock now hosts Clarion (7-2 overall, 4-2 PSAC) in a must-win situation Saturday. With a win, The Rock will clinch the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western-Division and have a chance to defend its PSAC title.
“The players know that if we win, we are the western division champions for the third year in a row,” Mihalik said. “That alone is a tremendous accomplishment. When programs win that many championships consecutively or within a short time period, that is a credit to the players on those teams. We’ve been in big games before, and our players understand that the last five weeks needed to win just to get to this point. Clarion is a good football team with a good defense and conference leading quarterback. They might give us a run, but our motivation is that the western division is ours for the taking.”
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium.