Rock football team clobbers Kutztown, 58-10
KUTZTOWN, Pa. – Slippery Rock University accumulated 611 yards in total offense Saturday afternoon en route to an easy 58-10 win over hosting Kutztown University in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference “crossover” football action.
Senior quarterback Nigel Barksdale led the offensive effort with a 13-for-19, 307-yard, four-touchdown passing effort. Two of Barksdale’s TD tosses went to sophomore wide receiver Jaimire Dutrieuille, who finished the game with 171 pass receiving yards on five catches.
Behind their lead, The Rock, who won for the second consecutive week and fourth time in five games this fall, collected 423 yards passing and 188 yards passing, while the winless (0-5) Golden Bears had 257 passing yards and only five rushing yards on 24 carries.
Saturday afternoon’s point total marked the fourth time in five games this fall The Rock eclipsed the 50-point mark.
Barksdale and backup QB Zack Newsock (7-of-8, 116 yards, 1 TD) combined to complete passes to 10 different receivers as The Rock continued its season-long pattern of spreading the wealth.
Senior wide receiver John Schademan caught three passes for 89 yards and one TD to complement Dutrieuille’s receiving effort.
The Rock defense picked off Kutztown freshman quarterback Alec Werner three times, sacked him twice and held him to 181 passing yards.
SRU, which had only three INTs in the first four games this fall, also intercepted two pass attempts by the Golden Bears’ backup QB, Josh Luckenbaugh to finish the day with five picks.
Werner, who entered the game ranked ninth nationally in passing yards per game with at 344.5, completed 14 of 39 pass attempts before being pulled early in the third quarter of action. Luckenbaugh was 8-of-15 for 76 passing yards in a relief role.
Kutztown freshman wide receiver Alex Tonnies was held to only two catches for 19 yards Saturday after recording a nation-leading 47 catches for 321 yards and two TDs in the first four games this fall.
SRU will look to ride the momentum of Saturday’s effort into next Saturday’s showdown with nationally-ranked PSAC-Western Division rival Indiana (Pa.). Kickoff at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium is set for 2 p.m.
The Rock needed only two plays to move 55 yards on the opening drive of Saturday’s game at Kutztown. Barksdale climaxed the drive, which was set up by a 45-yard return of the opening kickoff by senior Jimmy Zubik, with an eight-yard TD toss to Dutrieuille.
The scoring drive marked the fifth time in as many games this fall The Rock scored a TD on their first possession and the fourth time the scoring drive involved two or less plays.
Two Rock possessions later, junior running back Teddy Blakeman capped a six-play, 62-yard Rock scoring drive with a seven-yard TD run that gave SRU a 14-0 lead with 9:32 left in the first quarter.
The Rock defense got the ball right back for the offense four plays later via an interception by redshirt sophomore free safety Derek Morgan, but the attack was unable to do anything with the opportunity.
Kutztown got on the scoreboard two possessions later thanks to a 21-yard field goal that capped a 13-play, 64-yard drive aided by Rock personal-foul penalties on back-to-back plays. Thanks to the penalties, the Golden Bears had the ball first-and-goal at The Rock 6-yardline before spinning their proverbial wheels and settling for the field goal.
The Rock responded with scoring drives on each of their next three offensive possessions to take a 31-3 lead with just over eight minutes left in the first half.
Dutrieuille took a screen pass from Barksdale and rambled 64 yards to the end zone scored the second of his three TDs on the second play from scrimmage after the Kutztown field goal to put icing on a 64-yard scoring drive.
Two Rock possessions later, after junior Mike Wainauskis had converted a five-play, 47-yard drive into points with a 35-yard field goal, Dutrieuille and Barksdale connected for a 75-yard screen-pass TD to cap a two-play, 74-yard drive.
Sandwiched between the first Barksdale-to-Dutrieuille TD pass and the Wainauskis field goal was The Rock defense’s second INT, a pick junior cornerback Admire Carter returned for an apparent TD that was negated by an illegal-block penalty against The Rock.
Four plays after the second Barksdale-to-Dutrieuille TD pass, junior starting free safety Austin Miele recorded The Rock’s third INT, which he successfully returned 22 yards for a TD that gave SRU a 38-3 lead with 7:56 left in the first half.
Senior middle linebacker and co-captain Gary Allen and redshirt backup weakside linebacker Mike Grata each recorded second-half INTs to complete the list of takeaways.
Senior Brian Shaw hooked a 40-yard field attempt wide left on the next Rock possession following the second Barksdale-to-Dutrieuille TD toss before Barksdale concluded the first-half scoring outburst with a four-yard run with just over two minutes left before the intermission.
Barksdale, who played only one series in the second half before giving way to Newsock, finished the first half with 12 completions in 17 pass attempts, 305 passing yards and three passing TDs, while Dutrieuille had all five of his catches in the opening two quarters.
As a team, The Rock enjoyed a 429-175 total offense advantage in the opening two quarters of action.
Barksdale threw his fourth TD pass, a two-yard toss to senior wide receiver LaQuinn Stephens-Howling, on The Rock’s initial second-half possession to extend the Green and White’s lead to 51-3 with 12:45 left in the third period. A bobbled snap from center negated the extra-point attempt following the six-play, 43-yard scoring drive.
Newsock threw his first TD pass of the season on The Rock’s second closing-half possession as he hit Schademan for a 33-yard score that pushed SRU’s lead to 58-3 with 10:24 left in the third period. The TD toss came on the fourth play of a 54-yard Rock drive.
Kutztown got its only touchdown of the game with five minutes left to play, two plays after Newsock lost a fumble at The Rock 1-yard line.
The Rock set a school record for points scored in the first five games of a season. This year’s squad has scored 252 points, which bettered the mark of 197 set one year ago … Barksdale ranks sixth on The Rock’s career TDs list with 32, seventh in career passing yards with 3,180, is tied for eighth in single-season TDs with 18, ranks 10th in both career completions (196) and attempts (344) and 12th in season passing yards (1,765) … Schademan moved into a tie for 10th place on the career TDs list, 11th place on the career pass receiving yards chart and 13th place on the career catches chart.
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Slippery Rock University
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Slippery Rock, Pa. 16057