Revenge is a sweet thing. It’s even sweeter on your home turf, especially after a two-year layoff due to a global pandemic. Kutztown University of Pennsylvania got that revenge 24 months after falling 37-35 in the PSAC championship game. This year, The Golden Bears are the ones calling themselves PSAC champions.
The biggest key to the winning the PSAC championship according to Coach Shawn Lutz was stopping the run game. SRU was able to do that early and force Kutztown quarterback Eric Nickel to throw the ball.
While up 3-0, The Rock had a slip up that changed the trajectory of the game. The play was a simple pass that Jerome Kapp took 84-yards to the house and gave The Golden Bears the lead. After that, injuries seemed to catch up to Slippery Rock.
The Rock came into the game down multiple starters, and they lost another one early in the game. That loss was Jermaine Wynn Jr., who went down with an apparent leg injury that will sideline him for the rest of the season. That injury had an effect on the whole game.
At the end of the first quarter, The Rock carried a 10-7 lead, but they saw the lead evaporate very quickly due to more big plays. On a quarterback draw meant to gain some yards back, Nickel was able to break free for a 50-yard touchdown scamper. The Golden Bears first two touchdowns gained 134 of 154-yards for them.
After a quick three-and-out for The Rock, Kutztown took the ball back and it took all of three plays for them to find the endzone again. The Golden Bears went up 21-10, and The Rock responded with a touchdown pass from Noah Grover to Max Meciejewski.
The Golden Bears broke down The Rock by running the ball. Lutz made the point that if they were to win, they had to stop the run. They were unable to do that, and Kutztown had their way to the tune of 389 rushing yards. The large majority of that came from Jeremiah Nelson, who recorded 223-yards on the ground and scored two touchdowns. He scored what was the final nail in the coffin for a Rock team that didn’t stop fighting.
The Rock put up two more touchdowns in the final 3:39 of gameplay. The damage was already done, however.
For The Rock, the season still isn’t over, as they made the NCAA Division II playoffs, where they will face Notre Dame College for the third straight season. This time in the first round. Should things go The Rock’s way, the possibility is there for a rematch with Kutztown, who earned the No. 1 spot in the region.