Koester and Litwin shine in PSAC West win

Published by Tyler Howe, Date: September 29, 2021
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Walking onto Offutt Field, The Rock and Coach Shawn Lutz knew that this game was going to be a tough matchup. Through their first three games, both teams only allowed 35 total points. Early on it looked as if it was going to be a defensive battle, but Slippery Rock’s quick strike offense came out to play against Seton Hill University.

The game started with miscommunication for Slippery Rock, which forced a timeout before the first offensive snap of the game. The miscommunication carried over to the first play, when Andrew Koester tried to hit Cinque Sweeting over the middle. However, the play ended with an interception by The Griffin’s Damonte Pratt.

“The way we started off wasn’t good, I mean with the tipped pass by Cinque [that resulted in an interception],” Lutz said. “We can handle any type of adversity, we’re used to it and it’s the way we practice our approach, but I’m really proud of our guys because they came on the road and after that first series, we made some plays we needed to.”

Seton Hill gained 25-yards in only four plays to give them an early 7-0 lead. In the ensuing drive, Koester and Litwin connected four times to gain 73-yards. That drive ended in a one-handed grab by Litwin in the back of endzone with a defender on him.

The Griffins answered back with a 47-yard field goal after starting the drive at The Rock’s 47-yardline. In eight plays, Seton Hill drove 17-yards and then gained yardage on a facemask penalty against The Rock, which got them to the 25-yardline. Garrett de Bien had a tackle for loss that set up the long field goal. This was last time The Griffins held a lead in the game.

The Green and White got the ball back and Koester found Jermaine Wynn Jr. three times on the drive. A 30-yard reception by Litwin pushed The Rock onto Seton Hill’s side of the 50. Wynn took the pass from Koester for the touchdown, but a pass interference was called on the play. The interference was denied and allowed for Slippery Rock to put up six points.

The Griffins’ defenders did everything they could to stop The Rock’s receivers from catching the ball. They were called for defensive pass interference multiple times. Although they committed the infractions, The Rock receivers continued to catch the ball.

Both teams traded three and outs, before Selvin Haynes intercepted a pass from Chris Jones and brought the ball back to Seton Hill’s 25-yardline. It took six plays for The Rock to get down the field. Litwin caught a one-yard jump pass from Koester for his second score of the game.

Litwin found himself in the endzone for the third time in the half, minutes later, off another reception from Koester. The connection between Koester and Litwin lead to three touchdowns and 148-yards.

“How about that catch [Henry] had in the endzone, the one-handed kind of deal?” Lutz said. “Words describe how good he is when the ball is in the air, he always finds a way to come down with it, and they were manning him up and I don’t know how good of an idea that was.”

After 30 minutes, The Rock led 27-10 with Koester having four touchdown passes. The second half continued to be much of the same story. Seton Hill got the ball the start of the third quarter and had the ball for over six minutes of play, but the drive was stopped by a sack by Chad Kuhn. It was one of four sacks that Slippery Rock had in the game.

Seton Hill tried to stop the run game by stacking the box, but The Rock’s receiving core held strong. Wynn has his second score of the game, where he dashed across the field and turned a 29-yard reception into over 70-yards of running.

On the next drive, Wynn did the same thing on a 45-yard reception. As he made a lunge for the endzone, he lost the ball and it was recovered by The Griffins. The next play the ball was intercepted by The Rock and brought back by Peyton Remish for a touchdown.

The Rock was able to pull their starters in the fourth quarter after taking a demanding 41-10 lead. Noah Grover saw some action and led Slippery Rock down the field, but the drive ended with an interception by Jones. In the end, The Rock dominated their first PSAC West matchup of the year.

Tyler is a junior communication major with a concentration in converged journalism. He’s in his third year with Rocket and it’s his second semester as assistant sports editor. Through his first two years, he wrote nearly 70 articles. The majority of which have been for the sports section, but he has also written for campus life.

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