Onto the next

Published by Tyler Howe, Date: September 30, 2022
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Not every win is going to be pretty or a blowout. Expectations have gotten to the point where every time The Rock steps onto the field they’re expected to blow the team out of the water. It’s something head coach Shawn Lutz is acutely aware of.

“It wasn’t a convincing win, but everyone thinks we’re supposed to blow everyone out, but it was 30-2 and that is blowing someone out,” Lutz said.

Seton Hill has been the team that Slippery Rock has opened their PSAC west schedule against for the past two years now, and the theme in both of the games was struggle from the start.

This time around, The Rock saw some struggles on offense in the first quarter of play. On their first drive, they went three and out, only gaining two yards. Their second drive ended with Noah Grover getting dragged down in the endzone, and just like that it was 2-0.

“Being down 2-0, I was a little worried there, because they’re a tough defense to play against,” Lutz said. “They had everyone up on the line of scrimmage like we thought they would.”

“I thought we had a really good day against their offense, but I didn’t think that it would be like this,” Lutz said. “I think it’s of the more dominating performances we’ve seen from our defense in a long time.”

The defense helped put them in good positions all night. 10 players were credited with a tackle for loss in the game. Every time Seton Hill would a have a good play, it was almost a guarantee that they’d be caught in the backfield on the next.

The Rock answered back on their next drive with a nine play, 62-yard drive. This featured passes to Jacob Odom, Cohen Russell and on the touchdown play it was Max Maciejewski who went up and grabbed the ball to give Slippery Rock a lead that they wouldn’t give up.

In the game, The Rock’s offense seemed to chip their way down the field, but turnovers plagued what could have been more scoring drives.

The Rock led two more scoring drives to open up the second quarter. They had an eight-play drive that took them 50 yards. Chris D’Or’s 34-yard run on the first play of the drive got them all the way down to the Seton Hill 34. The drive stalled at the 18-yard line, but it was ended by a field goal from DJ Opsatnik.

On their following drive, The Rock drove 86 yards with the biggest play coming from a pass from Noah Grover to Jawon Hall for 23 yards. It was ended with Grover punching the ball in from the one-yard line.

In the game, The Rock’s offense seemed to chip their way down the field, but turnovers plagued what could have been more scoring drives. At one point, Slippery Rock turned the ball over on three straight drives.

“The thing I’m the most disappointed with is that we can’t turn the ball over three times, but with that being said I thought that the difference was special teams,” Lutz said. “I think Kyle Butts put us in some good positions and I also thought it was good that DJ got us a field goal.”

The next score came on the first drive of the second half. The Rock took 10 plays to drive 74 yards. Isaiah Edwards scored from the one-yard line, but Kyle Butts extra point attempt was no good.

The final score came with only a few minutes left in the game. Chris Wells hit pay dirt from two yards and gave Slippery Rock a 30-2 lead.

Now as The Rock moves onto week five, they have one thing on their mind. Redemption. They finally have the chance to redeem themselves against Indiana (Pa.). They haven’t forgot.

“I’ll be honest with you, I’m already thinking about this next week, it’s a rivalry game, so who cares about the record,” Lutz said. “But we got embarrassed by them here last year, and I’m going to take this personal.”

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