Clarion U. Football Falls at Edinboro; Pitt Beats Georgia Tech, Grove City Rolls Past St. Vincent
EDINBORO, Pa. – The Golden Eagle football team put on a late rally to try and come back from a halftime deficit, but Clarion was unable to make up the entirety of the lost ground in falling 27-20 to Edinboro at Sox Harrison Stadium on Saturday.
(Photo courtesy of Clarion University Athletics)
Clarion (3-6, 1-5 PSAC West) will play their final home game of the season next week when they host Mercyhurst in the PSAC West finale at Memorial Stadium.
Mylique McGriff made his return to the field after missing three weeks due to injury, and the junior running back had an immediate impact on the Clarion offense with 80 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He and James Metzgar provided all of the scoring for the Golden Eagles on Saturday, with the latter going 2-of-2 on field-goal attempts and making both of his extra-point tries. Metzgar improved to 7-of-11 on the season and needs just three more makes to crack the top-five in school history, while McGriff passed Robert Walker and Delrece Williams for seventh on the all-time rushing list at Clarion.
McGriff now has 2,201 career rushing yards and could clip a few more former Golden Eagles by season’s end. Over the last two games of the year, he needs 85 rushing yards to pass Ron DeJidas (2,286), 150 to catch Alfonso Hoggard (2,350) and 171 to pass Eddie Emmanuel. That would put him in fourth place all-time at Clarion.
The Clarion defense forced three turnovers against the Fighting Scots, with Corey Wells intercepting his team-leading third pass of the season, and Dante Paul and Sam Fareri each recovering fumbles. Fareri’s recovery came on a great special teams play, pulling in a loose ball that was not fielded cleanly on a punt return, while Paul’s recovery came when Kareem Hamdan punched the ball loose from CJ Reyes-Diggs in the fourth quarter. The latter set up a field goal make from Metzgar and cut the Edinboro lead to 27-20 with more than 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
Edinboro scored the first 10 points of the game, starting with a fade route to Ta’Nauz Gregory in the end zone to cap off an 81-yard drive. The teams traded field goals for the next two scores, with Vicente Arriagada and Metzgar each putting balls through the uprights to make it 10-3. Gregory scored his second of three touchdowns in the game with 51 seconds left in the first half, making it 17-3 heading into the locker room.
After another Arriagada field goal put Edinboro ahead 20-3, McGriff put the Golden Eagles in the end zone for the first time with a five-yard run at the 2:13 mark of the third quarter. The momentum was short-lived as Gregory closed a two-play drive with a 53-yard touchdown reception, but McGriff scored his second touchdown of the game with 13:27 left in the fourth quarter to pull the Golden Eagles to within 10 points.
Clarion got a big stop late in the fourth quarter and took possession of the football at their own 31-yard line with 1:56 remaining. Michael Proios completed a huge fourth-down pass to Regan Schleicher to move the chains, and Proios took off for a first down run to the Clarion 43 on the next play. The Golden Eagles were unable to keep the momentum moving, though, with Proios’ final pass to Quinn Zinobile falling incomplete to essentially end the game.
PITT BOWL ELIGIBLE
ATLANTA – Pitt became bowl eligible with a 20-10 win at Georgia Tech.
It was the third consecutive ACC road win for the Panthers, who at 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the ACC became bowl eligible for the 16th time since 2000.
The Panthers were once again boosted by a strong defensive effort, allowing just 194 yards in the game.
It was the fifth time under a Pat Narduzzi—and the second time vs. an ACC foe—that Pitt held a team under 200 yards. The only better defensive effort in league play under Narduzzi came at Virginia Tech (100 yards) on Oct. 3, 2015.
Kenny Pickett, meanwhile, led the offense throwing for 204 yards and a score, while Vincent Davis added a 61-yard touchdown run before halftime to help the Panthers to a 17-7 halftime lead despite turning the ball over three times in the half.
Georgia Tech, which had two interceptions and a fumble recovery in the opening 30 minutes, was only able to take advantage of one of those turnovers, and the Yellow Jackets also managed just three points off a blocked point that set them up inside the Pitt 15-yard line in the second half.
The Yellow Jackets also had a chance to tie the game at 17 late in the third quarter, but Kylan Johnson forced a fumble by quarterback Lucas Johnson near the goal line, and Cam Bright recovered and ran 79 yards the other way for Pitt setting of Alex Kessman’s second field goal of the game, a 49-yard boot, that set the final score on the opening play of the fourth quarter.
Pickett’s touchdown pass was a 21-yard strike to Shocky Jacques-Louis in the second quarter.
Maurice Ffrench led Pitt with 11 catches for 71 yards.
GROVE CITY ROLLS PAST SVC, 35-20
LATROBE, Pa. – The Grove City College football team used an efficient, balanced offense and an opportunistic defense Saturday afternoon to earn a 35-20 victory at Saint Vincent in Presidents’ Athletic Conference action at Chuck Noll Field.
Senior running back Wesley Schools (Port Jervis, N.Y./Port Jervis) ran for 179 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries. Meanwhile, sophomore quarterback Josh Ehst (Douglassville, Pa./Daniel Boone) completed 9 of 11 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns.
Junior wide receiver Cody Gustafson (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg) hauled in five passes for 133 yards and junior Cameron Drake (Monaca, Pa./Central Valley) added four catches for 53 yards.
Defensively, freshman linebacker Curtis Freyermuth (Meadville, Pa./Cochranton) snuffed out a Saint Vincent drive with a second quarter interception while senior safety Jackson McFall (Oil City, Pa./Oil City) sealed the win with an interception in the final minute.
Junior defensive end R.J. Debo (New Brighton, Pa./New Brighton) added a sack for the Wolverines, who have won four straight.
Sophomore offensive tackle Jared Krout (Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain) blocked a field goal attempt in the third quarter, his second block of the season.
Schools gave Grove City an early 7-0 lead when he scored on a five-yard touchdown run with 13:03 left in the first quarter.
Schools scored the second of his three touchdowns at 9:15 of the second quarter when he scored from three yards out, pushing the lead to 14-3.
Gustafson hauled in a 45-yard touchdown pass from Ehst with 3:39 left in the half, boosting the lead to 21-3. Grove City led 21-6 at halftime after Saint Vincent’s Nick Srnka drilled a 36-yard field goal.
Saint Vincent pulled to within 21-13 on Mike Stasko’s three-yard run with 50 seconds left in the third quarter. Grove City quickly answered though as Ehst fired a 26-yard touchdown pass to Gustafson with 13:06 left in the fourth.
Schools sealed the win with a 34-yard touchdown run with 70 seconds remaining.
Sophomore linebacker Parker Kilgore (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler) and junior safety Patrick Mark (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Wellington) both had nine tackles for the Wolverines while Debo and senior linebacker Luke Salerno (Cowansville, Pa./Karns City) both had eight stops.
Grove City will close its home schedule next Saturday at 1 p.m. against Geneva at Robert E. Thorn Field.
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