Sophomore running back Chris Temple amassed a career high 234 yards rushing while setting a school record and tying a PSAC record with six rushing touchdowns as Indiana (Pa.) downed visiting Edinboro 42-21 on Saturday afternoon at George P. Miller Stadium.
Celebrating homecoming, the Crimson Hawks (3-1, 2-0 PSAC West) outrushed the Fighting Scots (0-5, 0-2) 383-78 on the ground and racked up 492 total yards of offense.
“It’s really disappointing,” head coach Scott Browning said after the game.
“Had you asked me before the game, ‘would you rather play IUP at home or would you rather play IUP at IUP,’ I really liked the idea of playing IUP at IUP. I felt that with a young football team it gave us a chance to get on the bus and really lock in and focus on what we had to get done. We just didn’t do it.”
Indiana (Pa.) opened up the game with a five-play, 75-yard drive that Temple finished with a 22-yard touchdown run. Following a fumble on Edinboro’s first offensive snap, Temple then found the end zone just three plays later on a 6-yard score. He would add another 6-yard touchdown on the Crimson Hawks’ third possession.
Temple, who got the start for head coach Curt Cignetti’s team in relief of injured sophomore tailback Luigi Lista–Brinza, added a fourth rushing touchdown three minutes into the second quarter as IUP would take a four score lead into the half.
“It’s hard,” Browning said. “Honestly, going in we thought we’d be able to shut them down. We thought we’d slow them down enough to keep things tight. Here again, I think the strides they’ve made offensively up front, they really showed today.”
Setting up shop at Edinboro’s 10-yard line to begin its initial offensive trip of the third quarter, IUP quarterback Lenny Williams was intercepted as freshman cornerback Mitch Thomas returned the pick 88 yards for a touchdown. The turnover marked Thomas’ first career interception.
“It changed the momentum,” Browning said. “It really did. Right before the half, had we been able to score and then with Mitch’s interception that could’ve possibly made it 28-14 and that changes the whole thing.”
Defensively, IUP bullrushed the Edinboro front five as the Crimson Hawks sacked sophomore quarterback Jake Sisson (15-of-26, 147 yards, one touchdown) five times, picked him off twice and recovered a fumble on Edinboro’s first offensive snap of the game. Redshirt-junior receiver Darren Massey was limited to three receptions for 41 yards.
“They did give us a couple blitzes that we had not seen before and I don’t think we did a good job up front of adjusting,” Browning said.
“You’ve got to pick things up, keep playing with your eyes. You’ve got to see everything that happens in front of you and we just struggled. I think it’s a credit to them that they’re really quick and they’re fast up front. It had a little bit to do with them also.”
Edinboro hosts Clarion for a 2 p.m. homecoming kickoff at Sox Harrison Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Eagles are undefeated coming into the contest.
Mike Fenner is a Staff Writer for The Spectator.