EDINBORO Fighting Scots give SRU the boot, 14-7
The outcome was quite different from last year's contest.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
EDINBORO, Pa. -- What a difference a year makes.
One year ago, the Slippery Rock college football team jumped all over Edinboro to score the first five times it touched the ball en route to a 42-7 victory over the Fighting Scots.
Saturday at Sox Harrison Stadium, it was a completely different story as The Rock could only muster seven points and fell 14-7 to the host Scots in the conference opener for both clubs.
"It wasn't real pretty, especially in the first half," SRU coach George Mihalik said. "We had some good opportunities in the first half to put some points on the board, but we didn't get it done and that is a credit to Edinboro's defense. Their defense took it to us today and outdid us."
The first half was a comedy of errors that saw the two teams flagged a combined 16 times for 127 yards.
Rock for six: Late in the first period, The Rock got on the board on a 5-yard run by Dorrian Glenn after a roughing the kicker on an errant field goal try gave SRU new life.
Late in the second period, the Scots tied the game when they moved 84 yards on just five plays.
Alonzo Roebuck went in from 5 yards out for the tying score after.
After SRU apparently had stopped Edinboro, The Rock was detected for a roughing the passer call on fourth down. Roebuck set up the scoring opportunity when he bolted up the middle and rambled for 52 yards on the first play of the possession.
"I thought our defense played pretty well in the first half with the exception of one play and that was the long run," Mihalik said.
Having better field position much of the game, the Scots took over on their own 41 following a Rock punt.
Using smash-mouth football, they moved the ball 59 yards on nine plays with tailback John Williams carrying the mail for the final 2 yards. Sean McNicholas made it 14-7 Edinboro with less than 12 minutes to go.
"Our defense played pretty well in the second half, too," Mihalik said. "But the one drive killed us and that is all you need in a tight ballgame like this one."
Following the Williams score, The Rock came back to move from their own 32 to the Scots' 10, but an interception by Chris Kane turned SRU away.
Stood tall: On Edinboro's next possession, The Rock defensive unit stood tall again by coming up with a fumble recovery, but again, it was an interception that drove the final nail in The Rock's coffin.
"We had the ball on their 4 or 5-yard line, and when you are down there, you have to be able to score," Mihalik said. "The story of the day was that whether it was in the first half or here in the second half, we just couldn't punch it in. But again, credit their defense because they rose up when they had to."
Now 2-1 overall and 0-1 in the PSAC-West, The Rock returns home for two weeks, hosting Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Shippensburg the next two weeks.