College Football Highlights: Slippery Rock, Carnegie Mellon in NCAA Tournament; RMU finishes 0-11
Slippery Rock advances to the second round of the NCAA playoffs
When Slippery Rock traveled to Assumption (Mass.), it was expected to be a tough defensive battle, and that’s exactly how it unfolded as The Rock edged the Greyhounds, 17-14.
Both teams were in the top tier of Division II defenses as Slippery Rock was able to do enough to get past Assumption.
On the opening drive that lasted more than 10 minutes, Chris D’Or found the end zone for two yards for The Rock. A long drive would be a telling sign of how the game will develop.
Slippery Rock controlled Assumption’s passing game for most of the game, but Greyhounds quarterback Jake Cady got his team on the board with a five-yard touchdown run to Quinn Seager. Slippery Rock answered with another long drive when Noah Grover threw a four-yard touchdown to junior Cohen Russell.
After allowing a two-yard touchdown in the third quarter, Slippery Rock’s defense locked it down to hold on for the win as The Rock allowed just 23 yards in the fourth quarter.
With Slippery Rock advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs, the Rock will travel to Shepherd to take on the 11-1 Rams on Nov. 26.
Carnegie Mellon continues its flawless season of dominant fashion
Entering the first round of the Division III playoffs, Carnegie Mellon was tired against a threatening DePauw team, but the Tartans took care of business in a big way with a 45-14 victory.
After Carnegie Mellon’s fumbled kickoff and DePauw’s rushing touchdown, the Tartans shut out the Tigers. Quarterback Ben Mills led the Tartans in the first half with three touchdowns. Two of those touchdown passes tied with Ethan Reifer on similar receptions for 14 yards. Then a strong air attack was complemented by a run. Running back Tre Vassiliadis rushed for 167 yards and added two scores.
The defense polished it off with a 45-yard pick by sophomore quarterback Nolan Pitzenberger, who now has four defensive scores on the season. With the defense shutting the door, the Tartans held the Tigers to 255 yards of offense.
Carnegie Mellon continues its unblemished season as it travels to No. 1 seed North Central (Ill.), coming off a 50-0 record in its playoff opener.
Robert Morris ends the season without a win
Robert Morris had another opportunity to get its first win of the season on Saturday with former NEC foe Bryant (Rhode Island) in town, but the Bulldogs dashed that hope with a 35-6 victory.
A common theme was again on display for the Colanials as they fell to another big deficit, allowing 28 unanswered points through the first three quarters. Bryant quarterback Zevy Eckhaus paced RMU’s secondary with four touchdowns for 341 yards.
RMU’s lone score came early in the fourth quarter when Zach Tanner connected on a 40-yard pass with Demonte Martin.
The Colonials are coming off a painful 0-11 season to complete the program’s first winless season.
W&J Caps season with win over Hobart
With several key plays that ignited the offense in the second quarter, Washington and Jefferson finished the season with a 35-18 win over Hobart in the ECAC Asa S. Bushnell Bowl.
Back-to-back touchdown runs of more than 30 yards put the Presidents ahead in the second quarter. Quarterback Jacob Pugh (Thomas Jefferson) found John Peduzzi for a 38-yard gain, and moments later Zach Cernuto (Southmoreland) raced into the end zone for a 32-yard gain. Pugh and Peduzzi also connected on a touchdown pass to start the game en route to 221 passing yards and three touchdowns for Pugh.
The Presidents’ defense was also on top all game against the team, averaging around 28 points per game. Hobart failed to move the ball more than 100 yards on the ground while throwing an interception.
Washington and Jefferson are finishing the year with their first nine-win season since 2018.
Grove City defense stifles FDU-Florham in Bowl win
While Grove City’s offense went about its business, the defense stepped up in a big way in a 31-14 ECAC James Lynah Bowl victory over Farleigh Dickinson University-Florham.
FDU-Florham was held to negative yardage in the ground game, while the offense also allowed seven sacks and turned the ball over twice.
Grove City’s defensive game was represented by several individuals, including senior linebacker Ryan Fleming (South Fayette), who recorded a career-high 3.5 sacks. Fleming was awarded the game’s Most Valuable Player award. Freshman linebacker Ben Blaidle (Moon) also posted two sacks and collected a fumble recovery.
On the offensive end, the Wolverines found the end zone on the ground three times. Despite not scoring, sophomore Nico Flutti (Allegheny West) led the way with 155 yards rushing.
The Wolverines are coming off back-to-back 8-3 seasons.
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