Week one in the PSAC sets up for wild season

It was a wild week of PSAC football, especially in the West Division.

Saturday marked the start of conference play around the league, with some teams gaining major momentum and others receiving wake-up calls.

If last week’s games are any indication of what to expect the rest of the season, it will be an interesting year in the wild, wild West Division.

Top three teams that made the most noise on Saturday:

  1. Seton Hill: The Griffins (2-2 overall, 1-0 PSAC) had the biggest upset of year so far after taking down then-No. 14 Slippery Rock at home. Seton Hill escaped with a 41-38 win, after The Rock (3-1, 0-1) missed a 22-yard field goal with one minute left to play. Ardell Brown had six catches for 134 yards and one TD, while Jarvis McCalm added six receptions and a score for the Griffins.
  2. Clarion: The Golden Eagles were picked to finish last in the PSAC West this year after a 2-9 season in 2014, but the rankings must have lit a spark under first-year coach Chris Weibel’s squad. When the dust settled Saturday there was only one undefeated left in the PSAC and that was Clarion.

In a battle of unbeaten programs, the Golden Eagles (4-0, 1-0) marched into McConnell Family Stadium to steal a 47-31 road win over PSAC preseason favorite Gannon (3-1, 0-1). Matt Lehman finished with 151 yards on nine receptions and four TDs for Clarion. Lehman was named the PSAC Western Division player of the week Monday.

  1. East Stroudsburg: After starting the season 0-2, the Warriors responded with back-to-back victories to improve to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the PSAC East. QB Matt Soltes led a game-winning TD drive in the final four minutes Saturday to give the Warriors a 37-34 win over Lock Haven (0-4, 0-1).

Top three teams that received wake-up calls:

  1. Gannon: The Golden Knights walked away with a disappointing 16-point loss to Clarion at home Saturday. It was the Knights’ first loss to Clarion since 2012. One loss won’t hurt Gannon’s chances for a PSAC title; however, the Knights must refocus before Slippery Rock comes to town Saturday to avoid getting themselves in a deep hole.
  2. Mercyhurst: Just like their crosstown rival Gannon, the Lakers entered Saturday’s game 3-0 only to leave with a blemish on their record. Mercyhurst QB Brendan Boylans was intercepted four times, as the Lakers (3-1, 0-1) saw IUP dance all over their Homecoming festivities in a 35-14 loss.
  3. California: The Vulcans beat Edinboro Saturday, but their win was far from pretty. California built a 21-point lead midway through the third quarter, but allowed a struggling Fighting Scots squad to rally within seven late in the game. The Vulcans were flagged 15 times for 135 yards, both season highs.

 

DOMINIC SANSONE

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