Zach Simpson

PSAC Week 9

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Week 9 in the PSAC

As we prepare for week 9 in the PSAC we have two matchups that will for all intensive purposes decide the races in both the East and West. We also are now starting to see the senior day events for all of our schools across the commonwealth. In the East the Matchup is a Top 25 clash as #13 West Chester will visit #15 Kutztown. The winner will play in the PSAC Title Game on November 10th. In the west we see Slippery Rock travelling to California, if the Rock wins on Saturday they will host the PSAC title game; if California wins they will need to win next week at Seton Hill before winning the west.

Also this week we received the first regional rankings from the NCAA, these will be released each Monday until the playoff field is released on Sunday November 11th. The PSAC is part of Super Region 1; the other leagues in SR1 are the Mountain East, Northeast-10, and the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. The top 7 teams in the rankings will make the playoffs with the #1 seed earning a bye in the first round.

NCAA Regional Rankings
October 22, 2018
SR1 Rank School In-Region Division II
1. Notre Dame 8-0 8-0
2. Kutztown 7-0 7-0
3. New Haven 6-0 6-0
4. Tiffin 8-0 8-0
5. LIU Post 7-0 7-0
6. West Chester 7-0 7-0
7. Hillsdale 7-1 7-1
8. Ohio Dominican 6-2 6-2
9. Slippery Rock 6-1 7-1
10. Assumption 5-2 5-2

Week 9 Matchups:

Mercyhurst (2-6, 1-4) @ Gannon (2-6, 2-3)
Shippensburg (3-5, 1-3) @ Lock Haven (1-7,1-3)
Seton Hill (1-7, 1-4) @ #22 IUP (6-2,3-2)
Edinboro (5-3, 2-3) @ Clarion (4-4, 2-3)
Ohion Dominican (6-2) @ East Stroudsburg (1-7)
Millersville (2-6, 2-2) @ Bloomsburg (4-4, 3-2)

Games of the Week !

Slippery Rock (7-1, 5-0) @ California (5-3,4-1)
#12/13 West Chester (7-0, 4-0) @ #15/15 Kutztown (7-0,4-0)

Game Previews:

Mercyhurst (2-6, 1-4) @ Gannon (2-6, 2-3)
“The Battle for the Niagara Cup”
• In what is one of the best rivalries in the PSAC, the Lakers and Golden Knights will face off in “The Battle of the Niagara Cup”. Both of these programs had to deal with multiple weather delays this past weekend. The Golden Knights played IUP and fell 43-34 in a game that ended around 7:30PM on Saturday (scheduled kick was noon). The Lakers finished around 2pm on Sunday after playing most of the first half on Saturday before a postponement until noon on Sunday. They fell 23-0 to California which ended up being a 26 hour PSAC West battle. Both of these programs have had disappointing seasons, and this is a chance to gain bragging rights inside the city of Erie. Gannon has played well of late and seem to be able to score much better than the Lakers. Marcus Jones has been playing very well, last week he led Gannon with 142 yards on 27 carries. Mercyhurst has a tough defense but allowed over 200 yards to the Vulcans last weekend. The Pick Gannon 27 Mercyhurst 21

Shippensburg (3-5, 1-3) @ Lock Haven (1-7,1-3)
• There is no doubt that “disappointing” is a word used to describe the first eight weeks of the Shippensburg Red Raider Season. The Bald Eagles have experienced growing pains this season and have struggled to score points on offense. Shippensburg has hope of a winning season and will use the next two games to set up a huge matchup with IUP week 11. Shippensburg Redshirt Freshman Quarterback Brycen Mussina has been the bright spot for the Red Raiders the first year starter leads the PSAC in both passing yards and touchdown passes. The future for the Red Raiders is very bright. The Pick Shippensburg 44 Lock Haven 14

Seton Hill (1-7, 1-4) @ #22 IUP (6-2, 3-2)
• The Griffins of Seton Hill will make the short trip to Miller Stadium to visit nationally ranked IUP. The Griffins struggled last weekend falling 56-12 at Edinboro, they will look to keep up with the Crimson Hawks and Quarterback Lenny Williams, The Senior totaled over 350 all purpose yards last weekend at Gannon. IUP was not ranked in the open Regional Rankings. If IUP is able to win out they will be in the conversation for the playoffs. The Pick IUP 40 Seton Hill 17

Edinboro (5-3, 2-3) @ Clarion (4-4, 2-3)
• This is a classic PSAC matchup, Running back Walter Fletcher is pacing the Fighting Scot offense as he is second in the league in rushing. Clarion has dropped three in a row after a quick 4-1 start. The Golden Eagle offense has struggled the last two weeks and will struggle to score with the Jarod Kellar led Scots. The Pick Edinboro 35 Clarion 13

Ohio Dominican (6-2) @ East Stroudsburg (1-7)
• The Panthers of the GMAC are #8 in the initial Regional Rankings. The Warriors will be celebrating senior day Saturday. The question throughout the stadium will revolve around coaching legend Denny Douds, could this be his final season ? The Pick ODU 40 ESU 24

Millersville (2-6, 2-2) @ Bloomsburg (4-4, 2-3)
• Bloomsburg will also honor their seniors this weekend, The Huskies will continue to battle to continue the league’s longest streak of winning seasons. The Huskies with a win will also finish in third in the PSAC East. Millersville on the other hand is looking to rebound after dropping the last two games last week by only four to Malone of the GMAC. The Pick Bloomsburg 24 Millersville 14

Games of the Week!

Slippery Rock ( 7-1, 5-0) @ California ( 5-3, 4-1)
• In a game that could determine the Champion of the PSAC West, the Vulcans will play host to the Rock. Slippery Rock won a tough game with Clarion last weekend, while the Vulcans spent 24 hours more than expected in Erie. After the upset with Gannon, California has had their back against the wall. California responded well with all of the turmoil last weekend at Gannon and had their best defensive performance of the season. Slippery Rock is one of the most explosive and powerful in the PSAC and slowing them down will be the biggest challenge of the year for the California defense. Last season this matchup was a shootout ending 47-44 in overtime in favor of the Rock. Slippery Rock will look to continue to roll with Roland Rivers III at quarterback; the Rock has not dropped a game with him as the starter. If the Rock wins they will host the PSAC Championship game November 10th. California rallied last week and with injured players possibly returning the Vulcan offense needs to regain and explosive nature they had the first two months of the season. A vertical passing game has been nonexistent the last two weeks and if they can stretch the Rock defense they will be able to control the ball and keep the Powerful SRU offensive unit off the field. The Pick California 40 SRU 37

#13 West Chester (7-0, 4-0) @ #15 Kutztown (7-0, 4-0)
• In a matchup that will determine the east division champion the Golden Rams visit the Golden Bears for a senior day celebration in Kutztown. This is a matchup of the leagues #2 and #3 scoring offenses. The Golden Rams have not played a team with a winning record and have not been tested the way Kutztown has been. The Golden Bears opened the season with two impressive wins and have worked to 7-0. The question in this one will be which defense will win the day. I expect the emotion of senior day to help the Golden Bears but the league #1 scoring defense of the Rams will be a major challenge. Keep an eye on the PSAC’s top punter from WCU, Brendan Paulison leads the league with an average of 43.6 yards per kick. In a back and forth game field position will be pivotal and Paulison will be a major player in this one. If Kutztown QB Collin Digalbo can continue with his league best 70.3 completion percentage the Bear will control the ball and possibly the game. The Pick Kutztown 35 WCU 31

This is the type of weekend we wait for in the summer, when its 90 degrees in August this is the cool autumn weekend that the players, coaches and fans dream of, the opportunity to play for a Championship. For four programs they have that chance this weekend, for the other programs they get to play with friends and in front of family once again. For the schools celebrating senior day we wish the players best of luck moving forward. We must also say thank you to the students who have put in the countless hours in the band and as members of the cheerleading squads. Safe travels - as we travel the commonwealth and enjoy this great weekend of PSAC football.

Follow along @zimpson_d2 for links to stories throughout the week and updates on game day.

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  1. WarriorVoice's Avatar
    Denny Douds surprised EVERYONE in Eiler-Martin Stadium Saturday afternoon...He gathered his team around him and told them he was stepping down. He then walked over to Ohio Dominican Head Coach Kelly Cummings and congratulated him on the win, and then he walked out of the stadium. We were stunned in Press Row, and in the stands, his family was in tears. As I got home Saturday night, I chuckled and shook my head, and said to my wife, "Coach Douds did it his way".