First-place Vulcans hosting Slippery Rock
The Cal U football team returns home to Adamson Stadium to host Slippery Rock Saturday in sole possession of first place in the PSAC West.
The question remains, however, if the No. 11 Vulcans (7-1, 5-0) will get touchdown-slinging senior quarterback Peter Lalich back after missing the past two games with a knee injury.
If Lalich can't go, redshirt freshman Cody Schroeder will lead the Vulcans' offense, which has enjoyed a rebirth of its running game in Lalich's absence.
In the past two games, the Vulcans' rushing attack, led by senior running back Lamont Smith and sophomore Cody Cook, gained more than 200 yards on the ground.
The Vulcans defense has done its part, shutting out Gannon last week and oft-beaten Lock Haven the week before.
Against Gannon, the Vulcans allowed 164 yards of total offense and registered six sacks and four turnovers.
The Cal U defense is led by standout defensive ends B.J. Stevens (9 sacks) and Darnell Harding (4.5 sacks) and All-American safety Rontez Miles, who has four of the team's 11 interceptions.
When forced to go to the air, the Vulcans feature a trio of wide receivers and a tight end that most teams would envy. Mike Williams leads the Vulcans with 53 catches for 762 yards, while Trey Johnson (39 catches for 522 yards) and Nadir Brown (23 catches for 366 yards) provide speed and talent on the outside. The three have combined for 14 touchdowns. Tight end Blake Williamson (28 catches, 269 yards) is also a proven weapon.
Slippery Rock (4-4, 3-2) brings four local players back to the Mon Valley.
Redshirt freshman Brett Crenshaw, a former Monessen Greyhound, has scored four touchdowns this season from the running back position. Freshman defensive tackle Mike Kope (Charleroi) and junior linebacker Bobby Bracken and freshman corner Alfon Cook (both of Ringgold) make up the rest of the Mon Valley contingent.
The Rock is coming off a 38-31 overtime win over Edinboro. The team is led by running back Akeem Satterfield (107 carries for 587 yards) and quarterback Nigel Barksdale (66-of-118, 954 yards, 9 TDs.)
The Vulcans took over the top spot in the PSAC West when IUP beat Mercyhurst last weekend. The Vulcans maintain a one-game lead over both the Crimson Hawks and the Lakers in the standings. If the Vulcans win this week and next week at Mercyhurst, they will host the PSAC Championship Nov. 10.
PREGAME NOTES: Smith needs 83 yards to become only the fourth Vulcans back to reach 3,000 for his career ... Two players in Saturday's game have brothers with in the NFL experience. Cal U's Noah Taylor is the younger brother of former-All Pro lineman Jason Taylor, and Arizona Cardinals running back LaRod Stephens-Howlings' brother LaQuinn is a receiver for Slippery Rock ... Over the past eight seasons, the Vulcans have blocked eight kicks, two last week at Gannon ... Cal U is ranked fourth in the Super Region One rankings released Monday.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- For some, pathway to Thanksgiving often bumpy
- Century-old Christmas tradition catching on in Mon Valley
- Rostraver woman collecting blankets for homeless vets
- Accounting career adds up for Fallowfield native
- Christmas Cheer Club initiative benefits needy Mon Valley kids
- No need to eat alone on Thanksgiving in Mon Valley
- Monongahela Valley Hospital celebrates annual Light-Up Night
- Sanitation truck driver fired after Donora crash
- Spending dispute emerges in Monessen
- Charleroi man accused of firing pellet gun at 4 girls
- Fallowfield considers various options about local police protection