Rock football (3-0) boasted 553 yards of total offense Saturday in its 75-0 win over Millersville (0-3), recording the teams first shutout since a 54-0 over Cheyney in 2011.
“Once again, I think it was just a matter of controlling the line of scrimmage,” Rock head coach George Mihalik said. “We only ran 67 plays, which is 30 below our average, but it didn’t matter because we were scoring pretty quickly. It was just a game that we controlled from start to finish.”
SRU was led on offense by its rushing attack, which combined for 366 rushing yards. Redshirt-junior Dominic Dingle led Slippery Rock on the ground, rushing for a career-high 164 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Julian Durden ran for 111 yards with three touchdowns, while redshirt-sophomore Isiah Neely added 88 yards and one touchdown. Durden also recorded a 28-yard reception.
“We always have to take what mother nature gives us,” Mihalik said. “Durden and Neely are excellent running backs, and we also saw an excellent performance out of Dingle. It’s just a matter of getting each of these guys carries. He (Dingle) has such great vision when he runs and great balance.”
Senior quarterback Dante Nania had 11 completions, throwing two touchdowns with 192 passing yards. Due to the poor weather, Coach Mihalik felt it was important for The Rock to rely on the running game. Although, when the weather isn’t affecting the game, Mihalik likes to find an offensive scheme based on what the other team’s defense shows.
“It really depends on what the defense is setting up for,” Mihalik said. “If the defense wants to take then run, we’ll be able to pass. If they want to take away the pass, we know we can run. At this point, we’ve shown that we have the ability to both pass and run.”
Redshirt-sophomore Cornelius Raye caught four passes for 65 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown reception. Senior Jaimire Dutrieuille also caught three passes for 59 yards with a 19-yard touchdown catch. The touchdown moved Dutrieuille to 10th all-time in SRU history for receiving touchdowns with 13.
Millersville offense was unable to move the ball, as The Rock’s defense only allowed 38 total yards and scored 16 points off of turnovers and one safety. The defense record 8.0 sacks with 16.0 tackles for loss. Slippery Rock also recovered two forced fumbles and one interception.
SRU’s 75 points were sixth most in team history, and its most points scored in a single game since the final home game of the 1973 season. At the time, Coach Mihalik was Slippery Rock’s starting quarterback, leading his team to 76-0 victory over Lock Haven.
The Rock’s season continues Saturday as it travels to Seton Hill University (1-2). Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. The Griffins are coming off of a 48-38 loss to West Chester.