Cal U finds finds offensive balance in win over Clarion
College Football Videos
Anytime his team wins, Cal U coach Mike Kellar can usually be found with a smile on his face.
When the Vulcans win the way they did Saturday, the smile lased a little longer than usual.
The Vulcans, to many, were considered decent sized favorites to beat Clarion. Yes, the final score was 35-7. But it was the stat sheet that caught Kellar's attention.
“We want to be a more balanced team,” Kellar said after the win. “We've been striving to do that for years and the fact is that we haven't been.
“Today, it was nice to see we were able to have the type of success running the ball that we've been wanting to have. It's something we're going to look to continue this week.”
Cal U (4-2, 2-1) gained 230 yards on the ground Saturday and finished with 244 yards through the air.
The Vulcans' stable of running backs showed that together, they could shoulder the load. Three running backs carried the ball on Saturday, led by Jeff Knox Jr., who finished with 89 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns. Receiver Trey Johnson also finished with two rushing attempts.
“Sometimes we know that one guy can do one thing better than the others, or someone is better suited for the situation we're in,” Kellar said. “They all do a great job.”
Freshman Nick Grissom finished behind Knox with 63 yards on 12 carries and a score, while former Ringgold Ram, Derrick Fiore, carried the ball 10 times for 42 yards.
Johnson raced 61 yards on a reverse early in the game and finished with 49 yards total after taking a loss on a fumble.
“Clarion is a much improved team and they have a unique offense,” Kellar said of the Vulcans' homecoming opponents. “Part of what we wanted to do was control the ball.”
The Vulcans, led by quarterback James Harris, a transfer from Wake Forest making only his second start, got on the board with 3:44 left in the first quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Knox. The score capped off an eight-play, 87 yard drive that was highlighted by Johnson's long run on the reverse.
Cal U made it 14-0 just two minutes into the second quarter with a 52-yard touchdown pass from Harris to senior Mike Williams.
“There's been a little bit of a difference between James and Cody (Schroeder),” Williams said. “But I think it was just a matter of James getting comfortable in the offense.
“I think we opened it up a little bit more for him today and I think that's something we'll continue to do.”
The game remained 14-0 until the Vulcans exploded for 21 points in the fourth quarter.
Knox scored his second touchdown, followed by Grissom's 7-yard scoring run halfway through the frame.
Up 28-0, Schroeder came into the game and completed both of his passes, the second a 23-yard strike to Garry Brown.
“I give Cody a lot of credit,” Kellar said of the team's opening day starter. “He's handled the quarterback situation like a pro, and I really admire him as a player.”
Clarion (3-3, 1-2) got on the board to avoid the shutout when redshirt-freshman quarterback Darelle Carson plunged in from the 1-yard line with 2:49 left in the game.
“Our defense played a great game, as great as our offense was, our defense was just as good,” Kellar said. “We were coming off losses to two good offenses in IUP and West Chester, it was nice to see them have the game they did.”
Cal U returns to action Saturday when they travel to Greensburg to visit PSAC West newcomer and winless, Seton Hill.
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-684-2667.
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.
- Kiski Area graduate Kuhn set to help YSU take on Pitt on Saturday
- Va. State will test Cal U’s defense
- District college game of the week: No. 8 John Carroll at St. Vincent
- District college roundup: Clairon clobbers Lock Haven
- Expectations high for young Penn State New Kensington soccer team
- Jeannette an ‘important school’ to St. Vincent football coach Dolciato
- Gateway grad Parrish ready to do his part for Panthers
- Freeport grad Turner hard to miss for Washington & Jefferson
- Kellar feels Vulcans can be playoff threat
- Burrell grad Bush not playing this season at St. Francis
- Cal (Pa.) women’s volleyball seeks strong follow-up to last year’s PSAC title season