The last two weeks for the Gannon University football team have been packed with insane action that included record-setting performances and two more W’s to add to the win column.
The fun started with a 47-25 Homecoming victory over Edinboro on Oct. 7, and the good times continued Saturday with a 76-31 thrashing of host Seton Hill at the Griffins’ Homecoming in Greensburg.
The twin wins boosted Gannon’s overall record to 3-4 and left the Knights 2-2 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play going into Saturday’s noon matchup with California University of Pennsylvania at McConnell Family Stadium.
In the win over Seton Hill, the Knights set a PSAC record for points in a game as well as a school record for rushing yardage in a game at 567.
Junior running back Marc Jones boosted his NCAA-leading rushing total to 1,540 yards with 247 yards on the ground and four touchdowns despite calling it a day after just five second-half plays. Jones now has 20 rushing touchdowns on the year.
The biggest highlight from the Knights’ Homecoming win over Edinboro came from Jones, who set a school record by recording six rushing touchdowns, and he also collected 261 rushing yards and 22 yards on two pass receptions.
Jones scored on runs of 38, 11, 1, 3, 57 and 15 yards, with the last one giving Gannon a 47-19 lead with 4 minutes, 19 seconds remaining in the game.
Also playing a big role in the Knights’ win was up-and-coming quarterback Jimmy Keefe, who showed that practices are definitely paying off with his 203 passing yards and a 61-yard scoring strike to Tyler Palka in beginning of the second quarter.
Keefe completed 12-of-22 passes while Palka also completed one pass for 13 yards. Palka was Keefe’s top target with four catches for 112 yards while Dontae Owens hauled in five passes for 43 yards.
Although it was a high-scoring affair, Gannon was able handle the lead throughout the game due to its shutdown defense led by Geremy Paige.
The redshirt junior had 10 total tackles for the day and caused plenty of trouble for Edinboro quarterbacks Jake Sisson and Andrew Tomko.
The defense played perfectly in its blitz package to cause two rushed passes to be picked off. Tyger Winston intercepted one of them and the other one went to Dorian Jones. It was the first interception of the year for each of them.
Foster Reznor led all defenders with five solo tackles and seven stops in all.
Gannon finished with 530 total yards to Edinboro’s 412.
Palka would prove to be a huge asset once again in the Knights’ blitz of Seton Hill, as he carried nine times for 175 yards and four touchdowns.
Palka got more handoffs due to the fact that Jones put in his work for the week earlier in the game. With 281 total yards and four touchdowns, Jones would solidify his place among the elite running backs in the NCAA today.
In addition to leading all of the NCAA in rushing, Jones is averaging 10.2 yards per carry and is in contention for PSAC and Division II player of the year.
If the numbers aren’t enough, a look at the video highlights from the Seton Hill game would help.
The biggest play came in second quarter as Jones took the handoff and went untouched through the defensive line and linebackers, then rather than running through a safety — which he has a done a lot of this year — he jumped over a Seton Hill defender and stayed on his feet to score a 52-yard touchdown.
Jones needs only 88 yards to catch Brock Jones for most rushing yards in a season as a Gannon Knight. He is the first Gannon player ever to open a season with seven consecutive 100-yard games and he has rushed for at least 150 yards in every game this year.