SRU rocks Edinboro, Fighting Scots fall 29-7

Contributed Photo: Sports Information
Sophomore receiver Darren Massey (pictured above right during a recent game) has caught 68 passes this season, setting a new single-season record for receptions for Edinboro.
Fighting Scots fall 29-7

By Tyler Trumbauer
Sports Editor/Spectator

SLIPPERY ROCK – The Fighting Scots offense relies heavily on sixth-year senior quarterback Cody Harris as he accounted for every Edinboro touchdown through the first five games of the season and has been a part of 19 of the Scots’ 24 offensive trips to the end zone this season.

That production was sorely missed on Saturday.

With Harris sidelined due to an injury, Edinboro’s offense sputtered as the Fighting Scots fell to Slippery Rock (7-2, 6-2 PSAC) on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium, 29-7, dropping Boro to 1-8 overall and 1-7 in the PSAC.

This is the first time an Edinboro football squad is 1-8 since 1955 when that year’s team posted a final ledger of 1-8.

True freshman Jake Sisson started under center for Edinboro in Harris’s absence. According to the head coach Scott Browning, the change didn’t make a difference to the team.

“It is no different. You just have to prepare with who you have and you go and play. Our guys believe in Jake Sisson. They believe in him and he played a great football game.”

The Jamestown, New York native did have a solid showing in the first start of his collegiate career as the 6-foot, 205-pound passer was 14-32 in the air with 190 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

The defense, which was on the field for 93 plays, held SRU close early on in the contest, limiting Slippery Rock to only a 24-yard field goal after a lengthy drive by The Rock midway through the first quarter.

SRU found the end zone for the first time in the contest a few minutes later as Jared Buck (14-22, 121yds., 2 TDs) connected on a 18-yard touchdown pass to Nick Davis.

Edinboro found itself down 17-0 at halftime after Buck found Jaimire Dutrieuille in the middle of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown pass with a little over five minutes remaining until intermission.

Despite the 438 total yards the Boro defense surrendered, without big stops in different periods of the game the score could have been much worse.

“Yeah, [the defense was a positive]. I think a lot of guys made plays today. I think a lot of younger guys got some experience today and it was good to see.”

Sisson and redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Darren Massey made the lone scoring play of the game for the Scots as Sisson found Massey streaking down the field for a 76-yard catch and run for a touchdown.

Massey, who finished the game with six catches, 161 yards and one touchdown, surpassed Ryan Valasek’s record for most receptions in a season of 65 as the McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, native now has 68 catches on the season.

Edinboro’s defense created some fits for SRU’s offense early in the second half as the Scots forced The Rock to punt on its first two possessions, recovered a fumble on the next and two series later DeVon Groves intercepted a pass deep in Boro territory.

Unfortunately the other two phases of the game couldn’t capitalize as SRU scored its only points of the third quarter after Boro punter Spencer Howell fumbled the snap on the goal line and SRU’s Julian Durden recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown.

The one individual Boro’s defense couldn’t stop was running back Shamar Greene who amassed 160 yards on 32 carries, but failed to find the end zone. However, scoring from him was not needed as three Edinboro interceptions, two of which came in the second half, prohibited any comeback from the Scots.

“When we step back and look at this, I think the players are going to be disappointed because we made too many mistakes,” Browning admitted.

The Fighting Scots will try to clean it up this week as they return home for the final two games of the 2014 season. This Saturday they welcome Seton Hill (2-6, 2-7 PSAC) to Sox Harrison Stadium. That game is slated to begin at noon.

Tyler Trumbauer is sports editor for The Spectator. He can be reached by sports.sepctator@gmail.com