Injuries did not hold back offensive surge for The Rock in win over Millersville

Published by The Rocket, Author: Stephen Cukovich - Sports Editor, Date: September 17, 2018

With top personnel out and following a gut-wrenching loss last week, Slippery Rock University football got exactly what they needed as they scored 42 unanswered first-half points on their way to 57-10 victory at Millersville University (0-3) on Saturday.

The win lands The Rock in fourth place in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West standings with a 2-1 overall record. Edinboro University sits in first place with a perfect 3-0 record, followed by Indiana University (Pa.) with a 3-0 record as well.

Notable missing starters for The Rock included junior quarterback Andrew Koester, senior running back Wes Hills, senior defensive back Tavarus Sample, redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Wilford Clark, and redshirt senior offensive lineman Steve Gaviglia.

In total, the Green and White offense racked up 311 total yards, 128 through the air and 183 on the ground.  Millersville out threw The Rock with 200 yards of offense through the air but was completely shut down in the running game as they finished with a staggering -29 yards on the day.

A well balanced offensive attack was led by third-string quarterback, junior Roland Rivers, a transfer from Valdosta State who made his SRU debut on Saturday. Rivers finished the day completing 11 passes on 26 attempts for 126 yards and two touchdowns through the air, with two rushing touchdowns for 40 yards on six carries.

Redshirt sophomore Braden Fochtman got his first career nod in the backfield and made the most of it averaging 7.9 yards per carry with 79 yards on 10 total carries and two touchdowns. Redshirt junior running back Nassir Weaver added 65 rushing yards on six carries, while redshirt sophomore Chacar Berry capped off the committee approach with 20 yards.

Rivers’s primary passing target of the day was redshirt sophomore Henry Litwin who finished the day with 41 yards receiving and two touchdowns on the day.

The fireworks started early for The Rock off a 10-yard touchdown run from Rivers to open up the scoring just a minute and a half into the game. That would be followed up by a Rivers touchdown pass to Litwin just over a minute later to put the Green and White up 14-0.

In the second quarter, The Rock let loose with a Fochtman seven-yard touchdown run, followed by Rivers’s second touchdown run of the day from just one yard out to make the score 28-0.  Then with five minutes left in the half, Fochtman gathered his second score of the afternoon from 22 yards out. SRU wasn’t done just quite yet though when they finished the first half scoring spree with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Litwin for his second score of the game with just eight seconds remaining in the half to make the halftime score 42-0.

The Rock defense was a nightmare for Millersville quarterbacks as they racked up 10 sacks on the day, which tied the program record for most team sacks in a single game. Redshirt sophomore defensive end Chad Kuhn did his best Marcus Martin impression as he collected 4.5 sacks just himself and a forced fumble to boot, which was enough to tie Martin’s program record for most sacks in a single game set last season against Clarion University.

The win marks The Rock’s eighth straight win over Millersville, improving their all-time record to 18-4-1 against the Marauders. Up next for the Green and White comes a PSAC West showdown at home against Seton Hill University (0-3) on Saturday with kickoff set for 6:00 p.m. The game will serve as the annual White Out Night for The Rock.

Last season The Rock defeated Seton Hill in yet another dominating display of offense beating the Griffins 77-38. Seton Hill currently holds last place in the PSAC West.


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