The Gannon University football team was greeted by a crowd of maroon and gold fans during the team’s first home game, which led to West Chester University of Pennsylvania handing the Knights their first loss of the season Saturday, 56-41.
The Knights found themselves trailing West Chester 21-0 following the first quarter. Head Coach Brad Rzyczycki said the team has been talking in meetings about needing a sense of urgency and applying it on the field.
Rondell White, West Chester senior tailback, burned the Knights defense while rushing for 245 yards and catching seven receptions for 87 yards. Rzyczycki said every running back in the PSAC is a challenge to handle.
“Schematically, we took care of White two years ago,” Rzyczycki said, “This year we didn’t do a great job and you have to give him credit— he found some holes that weren’t there.”
The Gannon defense, with eight true freshmen starting, experienced some growing pains while being faced with tough Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference competition. Rzyczycki said the defense is going to get better every week as they get more comfortable with assignments and the speed of the game.
Rzyczycki said he was pleased with the offense scoring 35 points in the game Saturday. He continued to mention that the offense was made up of all juniors and seniors, and acts as the work horse for the team.
“We need them to get out there and score points and preform until this defense catches up,” Rzyczycki said.
Ty Watson, senior back-up quarter back, said the wide receivers have been working hard in practice to make each other better, and it was making the team better as a whole.
“We have a lot of versatility between guys who can stretch the field and are quick in space,” Watson said in regards to the wide receiving core.
The Knights aim to please the home crowd against Slippery Rock University at noon Saturday at Gannon University Field. Slippery Rock is currently 2-0 this season, and Gannon’s head coach is getting his team ready to face Shamar Greene, Slippery Rock redshirt freshman tailback.
“This week Greene for Slippery Rock is really good and we have our work cut out for us,” Rzyczycki said. “He ran all over the team that won the PSAC in Shippensburg last week.”