Preview: Edinboro hosts Gannon for homecoming tilt

Category:  Sports
Friday, October 7th, 2016 at 12:47 PM
Preview: Edinboro hosts Gannon for homecoming tilt by George Schmidt

Distractions can be extremely dangerous for young football teams. Fifty of the 83 players on the opening day roster for the Fighting Scots are sophomores or freshmen. And to top it off, it's homecoming for Edinboro. Edinboro draws the Gannon Golden Knights for an opponent.

The Gannon Golden Knights have three wins, but are coming off two losses, most recently to Mercyhurst in overtime, 38-35. It was a back and forth battle. Mercyhurst led early, but Gannon battled back in the second half and outplayed Mercyhurst to tie it up. Mercyhust was able to pull out the win.

Gannon head coach Brad Rzyczycki said on his weekly show (shown below), “You know we had a really good week of practice, which we didn’t have last week. Now we just have to finish it."

Gannon will look a lot like Edinboro on offense, with a steady mix of run and pass. That should play into Edinboro’s defensive hands. The benefit of having a high paced offense like Edinboro’s is that every day in practice it conditions the defense.

The good news is the Fighting Scots have Jake Sisson playing quarterback. Sisson, in the first four games, has 21 touchdowns, 19 of them passing, while only giving up six interceptions. Sisson averages 1,647 in passing yards, which averages out to 329.4 yards per game.

He's got plenty of options in terms of pass catchers. Freshman wideout T’Nauz Gregory has 21 receptions for 283 yards and three touchdowns. Redshirt junior Alex Caratelli has 23 receptions for 268 yards and five touchdowns, including the double overtime game winner against West Chester. Sophomore James Clark has 33 receptions for 506 yards and six touchdowns. Redshirt senior Jordan Williams has 22 receptions for 315 yards and three touchdowns.

The Fighting Scots are dangerous through the air, but can also get the job done on the ground with freshman sensation Walter Fletcher. Fletcher absolutely has the ability to take a game over like he did in Indiana in the season opener against St. Joseph's. Fletcher is a threat to break open a long run or catch a pass coming out of the backfield when acting as a relief valve for Sisson. As a change of pace running back Brenden Rios has been pounding the ball up inside for chain-moving gains when called upon.

On the defensive side of the ball, they are led by the big fellas up front; they set the tone. When the D-linemen get pressure and get the opponent's quarterback off his mark it creates opportunities for the secondary.

The game kicks off at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

George Schmidt is a sports writer for EdinboroNow. He can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

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