College watch: Jeannette's Batts producing for IUP
It's more than a team on a roll, it's a team on a mission.
The IUP football team — featuring Jeannette product Jordan Batts at defensive end — continued to show it's among the best teams in all of NCAA Division II with a 62-3 drubbing of Millersville on Saturday.
Batts, a redshirt sophomore, had a sack in the lopsided win. The Jeannette High School graduate now has 11 tackles, including 4 solo stops and 1.5 sacks, on the season.
With the win, IUP is 5-0 overall, 2-0 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and ranked seventh in the country by the American Football Coaches Association. The Crimson Hawks take on conference foe Slippery Rock at 2 p.m. this Saturday. Slippery Rock is 5-1 overall, 1-1 in the conference and coming off of a big 58-10 win over Kutztown. The game will be broadcast at iupathletics.com.
Craft sees action
Division II West Liberty “played up” when the Hilltoppers traveled to Pittsburgh to take on Duquesne of the Division I-FCS. Duquesne took the contest 27-14 in a game that was closer than many expected.
Jeannette grad Shavonta Craft, a freshman running back, had two carries for four yards for West Liberty. The Hilltoppers are now 2-3 overall and 2-1 in the Mountain East conference. They return to conference play this Saturday when they visit Fairmont State (2-3, 1-3). Kickoff is at 2 p.m. and the game will be broadcast at hilltopersports.com.
Hall out as OSU wins
In Division I action, Ohio State pulled out a 40-30 victory over then No. 16 Northwestern in game that was close late into the fourth quarter. With the win, the Buckeyes stay undefeated and built their winning streak to 18 games.
Jeannette grad Jordan Hall, a fifth-year senior running back with the Buckeyes, did not play, however, as he missed the game with knee injury.
In his post-game press conference, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said “Jordan Hall has got a little knee issue that we're dealing with right now, and I don't know how bad. I didn't think we'd not have him this weekend.”
Hall rushed for 422 yards and eight touchdowns during the Buckeyes' first four games of the season, twice setting career highs for rushing yards in a game.
However, Hall's playing time diminished in recent weeks with the return of running back Carlos Hyde from suspension, prompting Ohio State coaches to make statements about their desire to get Hall more involved with the offense.
It is not yet clear if he will play when the Ohio State returns to action on Oct. 19 against Iowa. The Buckeyes — now 6-0 and ranked No. 4 in the country according to the Associated Press — are off this coming weekend.
Win for Waynesburg, Paulone
In Division III action, Waynesburg and Jeannette native Thomas Paulone got back on the winning track last week with a 35-21 win over Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) rival Thiel on Saturday.
Waynesburg was up as 28-7 early in the fourth quarter before Thiel mounted a late comeback. Paulone a senior running back, had four carries for six yards. He had a 13-yard run, but a few carries for negative yardage made his total smaller.
For the season, Paulone is fourth on the team with 75 rushing yards on 14 carries, an impressive average of 5.4 yards-per-carry.
Waynesburg is now 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the PAC. The Yellow Jackets travel north to take on conference foe Grove City (3-2, 1-2) Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m., and the game will be broadcast at waynesburgsports.com.
Big day for Brown
Also in the PAC, the St. Vincent College football team continues to search for its first win, but local product Darius Brown continues to make big plays for the Bearcats.
St. Vincent fell to Carnegie Mellon 34-7 on Saturday to fall to 0-4 overall and 0-2 in the PAC. In the loss, Brown, a junior defensive back, had five tackles in the effort. He also returned two kickoffs for a total of 38 yards. Brown has 14 total tackles and four pass defenses overall this season.
St. Vincent has its best chance yet to grab a victory Saturday when the team travels to take on Thiel (0-5, 0-3). Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. and the game will be broadcast at athletics.stvincent.edu.
Mount Union, Mahoney win again
It was another huge win for Mount Union and Jeannette native Pat Mahoney as the Purple Raiders slaughtered Ohio Northern 58-7 Saturday. Mount Union is now 4-0 and ranked No. I in Division III.
Mahoney, a Greensburg Central Catholic grad, is the team's starting center. The winning streak will likely continue this Saturday when Mount Union hosts Wilmington, a team that won just one game last season and is still searching for its first win of 2013.
Still, Mahoney said the powerhouse Mount Union — which beat Wilmington 66-0 last season — is not taking the game lightly.
“We still treat it as a big game,” said Mahoney. “We never look past anyone.”
Kickoff will be at 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast at athletics.mountunion.edu.
Brian Knavish is a contributing writer.