Preview: Edinboro opens up home slate against West Chester

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 at 10:06 PM

The Edinboro Fighting Scots look to bring their winning ways home this Saturday as they face the West Chester University Golden Rams. Here are some things you want to know before kickoff.

Edinboro Fighting Scots

Offense: Led by Jake Sisson, this offense is up-tempo, no huddle and can strike paydirt from multiple angles. Whether that be on the ground, with freshman sensations Walter Fletcher and Brandon Rios, or through the air with receivers like James Clark and Alex Caratelli.

Walter Fletcher has over 200 yards rushing in two games; he is a shifty, patient kind of running back with excellent burst speed once in the secondary.

Brandon Rios is more of a bruiser. Rios only appeared in one game so far, but has a rushing average of 6.3 yards per carry.

To complete the running game, Sisson is also known to take it himself and gain yards on the ground.

Through the air, Sisson can get it done as well. He's shown growth and poise since last season. Last week, he hooked up with Clark on a record tying 99-yard reception for a touchdown. Sisson has proven he can be accurate and on time when delivering the ball through the air.

The offensive line anchored by senior center Zack Hartin has provided Sisson with time to throw, as well as opening holes Fletcher and Rios could drive trucks through.

Defense: The defense features the PSAC West Defensive player of the week in Victor Hudson. He also happens to be leading NCAA Division II in both sacks (6) and tackles for losses (11) after the first two weeks. He also leads Edinboro with 21 total tackles.

But it is not all about Hudson, as he is very quick to point out. This front seven gets an excellent push. They are flushing the quarterback Hudson’s way and he then makes a play. This defense is very disruptive to opposing quarterbacks. They get the quarterback off his mark and disrupt the passing lanes.

West Chester

The West Chester Golden Rams come into Saturday’s contest with a 1-1 record.  West Chester, who is picked to be the top team in east, won their season opener against Bentley by a score of 31-24. In that game the Golden Rams scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

In their next outing, the Golden Rams faced Slippery Rock, losing 36-28. Slippery Rock jumped out early and never really looked back. Although West Chester was threatening in the fourth where they scored 14 points, the gap was too far to overcome.

West Chest relies heavily on the arm of junior quarterback Andrew Derr. Derr has 43 completions on 84 attempts with 4 interceptions so far this year. Derr, much like Sisson, is known to call his own number and carry the ball himself. He has 94 yards rushing so far this year. Overall Derr has accounted for 594 yards of total offense this season.

One of Derr's favorite targets is Shannon Mayer. Mayer has 16 receptions for 209 yards and has 3 touchdowns to his credit this season.

Overall

For the Fighting Scots and their young squad, they will have to be patient and remember the phrase Semper Gumby, aka always flexible. The offense needs to take what the West Chester defense gives them. The Scots need to come out disciplined and focus so they do not make it easy for the defense with avoidable penalties. The defense needs to make Derr as uncomfortable as possible and take away his favorite target in Mayer.

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

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