The Mercyhurst Lakers host the Edinboro Fighting Scots in a PSAC matchup on STN’s College Game of the Week.
After a 31-24 victory over Gannon University on Homecoming, Edinboro will hit the road, sitting at 4-1 on the season. A 17-17 game at halftime, Edinboro used a 16-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Tomko to A.J. Turner with 1:43 remaining to come away victorious on Saturday afternoon. Tomko found James Clark for a 7-yard score in the 3rd quarter to tie the game at 24. The Fighting Scots won the yardage battle 346-277 in the win. Tomko threw for 244 yards and three scores, while Walter Fltecher racked up 11 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Mercyhurst fell to 1-4 after a 41-21 defeat at the hands of Slippery Rock. At the 8:40 mark of the 2nd quarter, Slippery Rock had already taken a 28-0 lead that would not be overcome. The Lakers totaled just 267 yards in the loss while allowing 436 to Slippery Rock. Doug Altavilla threw for 171 yards and a score while Garrett Owens picked up a score of his own on the ground to go with 82 rushing yards.
The Fighting Scots’ offense continues to roll, averaging 41 points per game and racking up nearly 400 yards of total offense per contest. Tomko has been turnover prone, throwing 11 picks to go with ten scores and 1,071 passing yards, but the offense has continued to roll. Led by Fletcher with 107.2 per game, Edinboro is rushing for nearly 163 yards per contest. Fletcher has found the end zone nine times this season. Kyle Galyk has produced when given work in the backfield, averaging 7.2 yards per carry and adding three touchdowns of his own. Ta’Nauz Gregory has been stellar, catching 21 balls for 414 yards and five scores.
Defensively, Edinboro is allowing just under 21 points per contest, propped up by the 40 points allowed in the loss to California (Pa.). The Fighting Scots allow 311.6 yards per game in 2018. Strong safety Brandon Anderson leads the team with 45 tackles, and has added an interception and two fumble recoveries. Trey Hall has been a stud for Edinboro as well, making 43 stops, five tackles for loss and racking up three interceptions. Derek Dorr leads the defensive line with four sacks while Zuril Hendrick has blanketed receivers, picking off five passes and breaking up six. An opportunistic bunch, Edinboro has forced 24 turnovers through five games.
Marty Schaetzle’s bunch has had a tough go in his 17th campaign as Head Coach. The offense for the Lakers has averaged just 14.2 points per game this season with 278.2 yards of total offense per game. Under center, Altavilla has thrown for 836 yards and four scores this season. Owens, the lead back, has 426 yards and a pair of scores, averaging over 85 yards rushing per game. Owens has been a main target in the passing game adding 122 yards and another score on 18 receptions. Austin Hence is the leading Laker receiver with 282 yards and two touchdowns. Oddly, the Lakers have yet to score a point in the 3rd quarter this season.
The defense has been solid at times for Mercyhurst, allowing 24.6 points per game, a number boosted by the 41 scored by Slippery Rock. The unit allows 366.2 yards per game, as well. Jake Tarasovitch leads the bunch with 41 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. Rocky Owens leads the Lakers with 4.5 tackles for loss and is tied for the team lead with two sacks. Not quite a ball-hawking team, the Lakers have forced just two turnovers this year, having yet to intercept a pass.
After a 7-4 finish a year ago, Edinboro is primed to at the very least match that number and potentially force their way into the DII playoffs. After going 5-6 last year, another loss this weekend would make it very difficult for Mercyhurst to even match their win total from a year ago.
Edinboro has won the last two matchups in the series, defeating Mercyhurst 28-25 a year ago on Homecoming.
TIME: Saturday, October 6th, 12 p.m.
WATCH LIVE: WSEE CW 35.2, WPNT 22 The Point, WJAC 6.2 MeTV
ANNOUNCERS: Dan Watson (play-by-play), Varun Raghupathi (analyst), Jordan Conigliaro (sidelines)