Not many things make a team and its fans happier than beating the school’s two biggest rivals in the same season.
Unless, of course, those wins come less than one week apart.
Just five days after a thrilling 16-13 win over crosstown rival Mercyhurst, Gannon responded with a 49-42 victory against Edinboro in a rare Thursday night showdown at McConnell Family Stadium.
The win improves Gannon’s record to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in PSAC West play and keeps its slim hopes of a PSAC title alive for another week.
The victory marks the first time Gannon beat both Mercyhurst and Edinboro in the same season.
“It’s a rivalry game,” Gannon coach Brad Rzyczycki said. “We just got off an emotional win last week, so I’m proud of the guys because we haven’t put this one away in the past. They did a good job today.”
Edinboro, which is still searching for its first win of the year, hung around, scoring 22 of the game’s final 29 points.
The Fighting Scots (0-7, 0-4) cut the Gannon lead to seven with 1:51 left in regulation on a Jake Sisson 22-yard TD pass to Alex Caratelli. However, Gannon senior running back Brock Jones jumped on the ensuing onside kick to seal the victory in another rain-drenched affair.
Jones ran for 134 yards on his way to a school-record five touchdowns. He accounted for Gannon’s first five scores, jumping the Knights out to a 35-14 lead.
“Everyone was playing together and everyone knew their assignments,” Jones said about the Gannon offense, which finished with 507 yards. “It’s a team sport and every week someone has to step up.”
Senior QB Liam Nadler led the Gannon offense with 321 passing yards, including three TD passes.
Nadler connected with Jones for the first score of the game, before Jones found the end zone via the run on his next four scores.
Brandon Mansell was Nadler’s favorite receiver, reeling in seven receptions and finishing with 113 yards, including a 6-yard TD pass from Nadler in the third quarter to give Gannon its biggest lead of the night, 42-20.
Rzyczycki said Edinboro’s passing game is what concerned him the most.
And rightly so, as sophomore quarterback Sisson powered Edinboro with a career-high 364 yards on 20-for-40 passing. Edinboro finished with 519 total yards.
Three of Sisson’s five passing TDs went to Caratelli, including a 75-yard play to give Caratelli his second of three TDs.