Schroeder leads Cal U to 45-10 win
Last season, Cal U quarterback Cody Schroeder backed up one of the best quarterbacks in Cal U history, Peter Lalich.
This season, he's the man. And he showed it Saturday in a 45-10 Vulcans' win over visiting Kutztown.
Sunday, he was named as the PSAC West Offensive Player of the Week after finishing 20 of 28 for 267 yards and four touchdowns against the Golden Bears. All four touchdowns were to different receivers.
“Even though Cody had four starts last year, everyone knew he was filling in for Pete,” Cal U coach Mike Kellar said. “This past couple weeks was the first time he's played with him knowing that he is the man. He made some mistakes in last week's game but had a great second half.
“This week, he understood the game plan and made some throws and led us to where we need to be. He matured a lot between week one and week two, and he needs to continue to mature to be the player I know he wants to be and the player we need him to be.”
Schroeder and the Vulcans got off to a great start Saturday scoring on their first drive, which included 34-yard pass to senior receiver Mike Williams on the team's first play from scrimmage. He capped that drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Paul Butler. Just over four minutes later, Schroeder hooked up with Kowan Scott on a 36-yard touchdown.
“The way we started last week, we had to grow and learn from that,” Schroeder said. “We moved the ball well in the second half in the first game and I think that carried over to the first half of this game. We got the ball rolling early, so it was a little easier.”
After Cal U upped the lead to 17-0 with a Cody Nuzzo 34-yard field goal, Schroeder found Williams for a 41-yard touchdown. Williams finished with a team-high eight catches for 132 yards. Schroeder finished the first half 18 of 25 for 256 yards. He only attempted three passes in the second half, hitting on two of three and another touchdown to C.J. Goodwin.
“Naturally you feel a little more comfortable at home, but it's green turf everywhere,” Schroeder said of playing in the home opener.
He added that his job is easier when you're throwing to the targets he has.
“It's amazing to be able to throw to all these receivers. We have so many weapons that we can use. I know every one of them is going to go up and get it no matter what.”
The Cal U defense did its thing against the Golden Bears, holding them to only nine yards rushing on 22 attempts. They sacked Kutztown quarterback Alec Werner six times. Preseason All-American B.J. Stevens finished with 3 1⁄2 sacks. Jeff Parrish and Paul Everson each added one. The unit forced two fumbles and had two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown by defensive lineman, Noah Taylor.
“It was truly a defensive win,” Kellar said of the victory. “We rushed our four down linemen pretty much the whole game. They all rushed the passer hard. We played like eight or 10 linemen and they controlled the game.”
The Vulcans (2-0) begin PSAC West play Saturday when they host Edinboro at Adamson Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.
GAME NOTES - BVA grad Tyler Sellew got his first start for the Vulcans at left guard. He left late in the third quarter with an injured shoulder. ... Derrick Fiore, a Ringgold alum, finished with 24 yards rushing on eight carries. ... California Area's Skyler Dickinson finished with one tackle, seeing time at defensive end. ... Cal U finished with nine tackles for loss. ... KU's Werner finished 30 of 45 for 295 yards and the two INTs.
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2667.