Boro buries The Rock thanks to Fletcher

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 at 5:09 PM
Boro buries The Rock thanks to Fletcher by Mike Lantinen
Photo: Mike Lantinen

In what turned out to be Edinboro football’s best all-around performance of the year, the Fighting Scots overcame #17 Slippery Rock in a 49-39 victory at Sox Harrison Stadium. After getting off to a hot start, scoring twice in the first five minutes, the Scots didn’t look back.

“This game means a lot,” said offensive coordinator Chris Limbach.

“It’s a credit to them and what they have done as a program over the years. We’ve been playing Slippery Rock for a long time and it’s really the true rivalry, the game that the guys get the most emotion out of. So we just try to keep it on their minds, especially throughout that whole week with the guys having the rock in their pocket, so it was a big game. It was a big win.” 

 Walter Fletcher had another big week, running for 241 yards and four touchdowns. His performance gives him 1,199 yards on the season, good enough for second in rushing yards in NCAA Division II. 

“I want to give credit to my offensive lineman and my coaches. They believed in me since the start,” said Fletcher.

He would further point out one teammate in particular. “R.J. Hughes. He’s a senior. He’s stepped up. He’s been a leader in this offense, for the lineman, and for myself. He helps me keep my head in the game. He’s always preparing me mentally to do what I do and giving me the confidence to do what I do on the field, from reading blocks to continuing to work hard and never be complacent.”

Leading for the majority of the game, Edinboro’s offense was the key, capitalizing on the young defense of Slippery Rock for 538 yards. Although The Rock matched them, Edinboro’s balanced attack helped control possession throughout the game.

“I think it was a complete game, a team win,” said Limbach. “I think speaking specifically for the offense, because I obviously watch that the closest, you could see examples of the guys working for each other.” 

He continued: “Ta’Nauz didn’t field a punt, so we got backed up, [and] then Fletcher bailed him out the 98-yard run. Then on a play where we fumbled the ball, Ta’Nauz sacrificed his body and dove on top of it. So really I think that’s a small example of what we did as an entire team where guys had each other’s backs, played the next play and played hard for 60 minutes.”

 Quarterback Jake Sisson returned after being sidelined to help orchestrate the offense. His three touchdowns helped Gregory early on as the second year receiver caught two touchdowns on the day, one of which was the opening score. 

On the defensive side, Edinboro had trouble slowing down their opponent through the air, allowing 488 yards to Tanner Garry, who went 41 for 61. After allowing 47 to Gannon and 25 to Mercyhurst, the defensive unit feels a little better about their performance considering the high octane offense of The Rock. 

“The last two games, the defense didn’t really play to our expectations. Preparation was definitely different. I give full credit to the coaches for getting us prepared for it, and I was ready to play. It was big competition, a big matchup so we came out to play,” Maurice Sims said.

Michael Lantinen can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: football

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