The Slippery Rock University football team overcame their fair share of inconsistencies Saturday as they defeated Edinboro by a score of 41-30 to improve to 7-0 for the first time since 1939.
With the win, The Rock retains sole possession of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division. As for Edinboro, the loss keeps them in the cellar of the PSAC west, falling to a 1-6 overall record and 1-3 in conference play.
Coming off an emotional homecoming win against bitter rival Indiana (Pa.) just a week earlier, the Green and White were victims of a slow start in Saturday’s contest. Despite averaging 17.3 points in the first quarter this season, Slippery Rock’s only score of the quarter would come on a three-yard rushing touchdown, courtesy of senior quarterback, Roland Rivers III. After 15 minutes of play, The Rock found themselves trailing the Fighting Scots 10-7.
Slippery Rock was able to find a rhythm in the second quarter however, scoring a touchdown on each of their first three possessions. Leading his team on a 10 play, 84-yard drive Rivers and his offense chipped away at Edinboro’s defense until senior running back Charles Snorweah scored on a two-yard rushing touchdown, giving The Rock a 14-10 advantage.
After Edinboro responded with a quick touchdown, SRU answered on offense and took less than three minutes of regulation time to march down the field and strike once again. After Rivers and Snorweah connected on a 27-yard pass to put The Rock on Edinboro’s 10-yard line, junior running back DeSean Dinkins gashed the Fighting Scots defense once again for a 10-yard rushing touchdown.
On the following drive, Slippery Rock’s defense stood tall and forced Edinboro to punt, giving Rivers and the offense one more chance to score before halftime.
Starting at their own five-yard line, Slippery Rock’s offense put together one of their most impressive drives of the season. After the offense went from one end of the field to the other, Snorweah produced once again near the goal line, rushing for his second touchdown of the day. The touchdown would give The Rock a 27-17 lead going into halftime.
Although the second quarter served as a sigh of relief for The Rock, the third quarter was far from productive. The Green and White turned the ball over on the first series and went on to take a game’s worth of penalties in 15 minutes, accumulating six penalties for 70 yards. The Green and White were ultimately unable to get any sort of offensive production in the third quarter, which allowed for Edinboro to creep back into the game. Heading into the fourth quarter, Slippery Rock clung to a 27-23 lead.
With an undefeated season on the line, SRU rose to the occasion and were able to put the game away. The Rock used their first two drives of the quarter to pull away from Edinboro for good, scoring touchdowns on both occasions. With under seven minutes to play, the Green and White had extended their lead to 41-23. With the outcome of the game already virtually decided, Edinboro was able to tack on one last touchdown before receiving their sixth loss of the season.
Notable results from Saturday’s game include the impressive performance of the offense. SRU amassed 540 total yards, with 391 coming through the air and 149 coming on the ground.
Rivers continued his case as a Harlon Hill trophy contender, accounting for 415 yards of offense and two total touchdowns. It is the third time in seven games where Rivers has surpassed the 400-yard mark of total offense this season.
Redshirt junior receiver Henry Litwin had a career day as well, as he caught a career-high 13 passes for 131 and a touchdown.
As for the running game, Snorweah garnered 73 yards and two rushing touchdowns on just 12 carries before leaving the game early in the third quarter.
The Green and White returns home to Mihalik-Thompson stadium Saturday to take on Clarion at 1 p.m. At halftime, former and current responders alike, as well as veterans and active duty military members will be honored.