LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – In recognition of its 42-16 win last Saturday over previously unbeaten and No. 7-ranked Indiana (Pa.), Slippery Rock University scored a sweep of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-Western Division football Athlete of the Week honors awarded Sunday by the conference office.
Senior quarterback Nigel Barksdale earned the Offensive Athlete of the Week honor for the second consecutive week and third time in the first six weeks of the 2013 season by engineering a 676-yard total offense effort against the nation’s top defensive unit.
The entire Rock defensive unit, meanwhile, earned this week’s Defensive Athlete of the Week honor by holding IUP, which entered the game averaging 204 rushing yards a game, to only 59 yards on 28 carries.
Barksdale completed 27 of 38 pass attempts for 425 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for 68 yards and one TD on 17 carries and also caught a 24-yard flea-flicker pass to finish the day with 517 all-around yards.
Behind Barksdale’s leadership, The Rock recorded the highest total offense and passing yardage totals ever allowed by an IUP defense. Prior to last Saturday, when The Rock had 449 passing yards, the top marks against the Crimson Hawks’ tradition-rich defense were 659 total yards by Texas A&M-Kingsville in a 1994 national semifinal game and 438 passing yards by California, Pa. in 2012.
Three players shared team-high tackle totals for The Rock defense. Senior linebacker Gary Allen made seven tackles and recovered a fumble, redshirt junior strong safety Isaiah Coleman had seven tackles and forced a fumble and redshirted senior nose guard Tony Papley made seven stops, including 1.5 tackles for loss.
Junior defensive end Matt Peacock recorded a quarterback sack, redshirt senior cornerback Brandon Burley picked off an IUP pass, junior free safety Austin Miele forced a fumble and redshirt senior cornerback Anthony Saunders broke up four passes to account for other highlights in The Rock’s defensive effort.
As a unit, The Rock defense recorded six tackles for loss, forced two fumbles and broke up 12 passes.
The Rock look to ride the momentum of last Saturday’s emotional win over their arch-nemesis into Saturday’s SRU Homecoming game against Clarion. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium.
Sports Information Director
Slippery Rock University
1 Morrow Way - Room 201 Old Main
Slippery Rock, Pa. 16057
A ROCK SOLID Education