College Watch: Focus on the future for Nedley, Westminster
College Football Videos
It was a rough season for Westminster College football.
The traditionally strong Titans went 4-6 overall and 3-5 in the Presidents Athletic Conference (PAC).
But Jeannette High School graduate Zach Nedley knows that taking some lumps this season could help the team in the future.
Nedley is a 5-foot-8, 158-pound sophomore defensive back. He played extensively on special teams this season while serving as a reserve strong safety. He didn't view his job as merely a backup, though. In fact, embraced his roles on the team.
“Special teams is a huge part of the game. It's one-third of the game,” he said. “Our approach when we get on special teams is ‘be aggressive.'”
In addition to his role on special teams, Nedley will likely also see more playing time on defense next year as the team's top two strong safeties will graduate. Westminster coach Jeff Hand raved about Nedley's special teams abilities, but added that the local product also has what it takes to contribute on defense.
“Zach is a very savvy football player” he said. “He's just one of those guys who is a little bit undersized for his position, but, pound-for-pound, he's tough. And he always seems to be in the right spot. He has good football position, and he enjoys playing the game.”
Beyond Nedley's abilities is that intangible “Jeannette factor,” said the coach. Hand added that getting players like Nedley and fellow former Jayhawk Damon Bodnar, a sophomore running back at Westminster, is a priority for his program.
“Getting guys from a program like Jeannette is something we value highly,” he said. “With the success they've had and the hunger they have, they want to compete for more success.”
Paulone, Waynesburg fall
The season came to an end for Thomas Paulone and the Waynesburg football team in a tough 19-12 loss to The College at Brockport in the East Coast Athletic Conference North West Bowl on Saturday.
Paulone, a senior running back for Waynesburg, said big plays were the difference.
Brockport scored a touchdown on an 82-yard run on the second play of the game and returned a punt 40 yards for a score late in the game.
The game held in Brockport, N.Y., was played in “white out” conditions due to snow in the area.
“It was like we were playing on a beach, there was so much snow,” said Paulone. “Footing wasn't the best. It was a backyard football game.”
Paulone had one carry for four yards in the game. Waynesburg finishes the season 7-4.
Mount Union downs W&J
The Mount Union football team took an important step in its efforts to repeat as national champions Saturday by downing local foe Washington & Jefferson College, 34-20, in the first round of the Division III playoffs.
On their home field and amid frigid conditions, the Purple Raiders — featuring Jeannette native Pat Mahoney on the offensive line — jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead, and the Presidents could never make up the difference.
Mahoney, a junior Greensburg Central Catholic grad, is a starting guard for Mount Union.
The Purple Raiders are now 11-0 this season. They host Wittenburg (10-1) this Saturday in the second round. The Tigers — who were the North Coast Athletic Conference Champions this season — trounced Lebanon Valley 59-17 in the first round.
Kickoff is set for noon and the game will be broadcast at athletics.mountunion.edu.
Ohio State wins in Hall's return
As Jeannette grad Jordan Hall returned to the lineup, Ohio State stayed undefeated — and won its school-record 23rd consecutive game — by downing Indiana, 42-14, on Saturday.
Hall, a senior running back, had two catches for 16 yards and returned one punt for 10 yards in the Buckeyes' win; he had missed the previous three games with a knee injury.
Ohio State is now 11-0 this season, including a 7-0 mark in the Big Ten Conference, and is ranked No. 3 in both the Bowl Championship Series and Associated Press polls.
Next up is a showdown with bitter foe Michigan (7-4, 3-4) in perhaps the biggest rivalry game in all of sports.
Kickoff is set for noon and the game will be broadcast on ABC.
In most seasons, the Ohio-State Michigan game would be the Buckeyes' biggest late season battle. However, with Saturday's win, they've locked up the Big Ten's Leaders Division crown and a spot in the Big Ten Championship game, which will be held in Indianapolis on Dec. 7.
Their opponent that day will be Michigan State …
Spartans defeat Northwestern
Michigan State, featuring Jeannette grad Demetrious Cox, clinched the Big Ten Legends Division and a the spot in the Big Ten Championship Game by downing Northwestern, 30-6, on Saturday.
Cox, a redshirt freshman safety and special teams player, had one tackle in the win.
Michigan State is now 10-1 overall, 7-0 in the Big Ten, and ranked No. 11 in both the Associated Press and Bowl Championship Series polls.
While the Big Ten title game is the focus, the next order of business is the regular season finale this Saturday against Minnesota (8-3, 4-3).
The game will be held at noon and be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
Brian Knavish is a contributing writer.
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.
- Locke pitches 8 scoreless innings as Pirates edge Indians
- Pennsylvania’s ‘Grand Canyon’ offers something for everyone
- Court attire can have impact, Allegheny, Westmoreland public defenders say
- Pope’s South American homecoming to spotlight poor, environment
- Pirates trust eye test when voting for all-stars
- Police again looking for missing 75-year-old man
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Indians, July 5, 2015
- Egypt foiled extremist ‘state’ in Sinai, president says
- Tunisia imposes state of emergency after terrorist attacks
- No boat races, so regatta-goers find something else to do
- Ex-teammates say Kessel unfairly criticized