GREENSBURG, Pa. — On an afternoon that saw two teams forced to go to backup quarterbacks, it was senior signal caller Dan Pietrangelo who led the Seton Hill Griffins to a 44-23 home win on Senior Day over Edinboro (0-10, 0-7) at Offutt Field in Greensburg.
Edinboro has now lost 11 of its last 12 road games and failed to win a contest that counted towards the PSAC record for the first time since 1968.
Pietrangelo, who started the game in relief for the injured Christian Strong, notched 399 yards passing and three touchdowns on 35-48 passing as the Griffins (3-7, 2-5 PSAC West) amassed 653 total yards, the third highest total by an opponent in Edinboro’s history, on the day.
“You’ve got to be ready for everything in our league,” head coach Scott Browning said. “You get everything and from time to time there’s some things that you use in previous games that you have to be able to come back and use. We see it all.”
For Edinboro, freshman Jack Wallman registered his first career start. Wallman, a 6-foot-4-inch Pittsford, New York native, completed 31 of 50 passes for 283 yards with two touchdown passes and an interception.
”I feel like it was a dream come true,” Wallman said. “Coming out and being able to play college football, there’s really nothing better. The game, I thought we had a great game plan. We went out, executed plays, a couple mistakes on my part, but other than that I think we had a pretty quality day.”
Not having sophomore starter Jake Sisson medically cleared to play, according to Browning, is what provided Wallman the chance to lead the offense.
“It was a couple days in,” Wallman said of when he found out he would start. “It was like middle of the week and that’s when they said, ‘alright, time to step it up.’”
After trailing 17-16 at halftime, Edinboro would surrender four uninterrupted touchdowns to begin the second half. The Fighting Scots were limited to 132 total yards in the second half after compiling 244 yards through the first two quarters.
The Scots’ first offensive snap of the second half resulted in a fumble as Wallman’s speed option pitch got away from junior tailback Cory Bell. Bell was unable to recover the ball and Seton Hill turned the Edinboro miscue into points.
“I think that when they went up 23-16, when we fumbled the option pitch, it took a lot of the wind out of our sails,” Browning said. “I think it created a lot of question marks for our guys. I don’t know why, but that’s kind of been our story this year.”
“The turnover was my fault,” Wallman admitted. “I’ll take 100 percent blame for that one; sloppy play by me.”
Edinboro’s successful first half consisted of a balanced offensive attack. Bell (14 carries, 116 rush yds.) took a 54-yard run to the end zone. The second score of the opening act came through the air as Wallman logged his first career touchdown pass, hitting junior wide receiver Darren Massey in the endzone. Massey logged 10 catches in the first half and finished the contest with 11.
Both teams traded a pair of field goals to finish out the half as Austin Reese connected on a 21 yarder.
“All those guys really helped me coming in for my first start,” Wallman said. “They made the plays. They gave me the opportunities to do what I had to do and we all just did our job.”
Among Seton Hill’s second half scoring drives, three of them covered over 79 yards as the Griffins used the clock to grind out the win behind 88 snaps. Seton Hill finished with 254 yards on the ground and 10 Griffins caught a pass in the win.
The Scots added a late touchdown as Wallman found redshirt sophomore receiver Alex Caratelli (13 catches, 139 yards) on a 15- yard fade pattern to the left corner of the end zone.
“It’s tremendous,” Wallman said of the experience. “There’s nothing like game speed and going out there. It’s been unreal. I’m so happy at this point. Even though we didn’t get the W today, it’s just been a great experience for me. I know what I have to do now for the next game and next season. I know what I need to do to get this team going in the right direction.”
Boro visits Millersville on Saturday to wrap up its 2015 campaign and hopes to avoid the second winless season in program history. The game is slated for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
Mike Fenner is a Senior Staff Writer for The Spectator.