Luckhardt knows all about Edinboro star
CALIFORNIA - No one has to tell California University football coach John Luckhardt about Edinboro's star running back Alonzo Roebuck , who the Vulcans will be facing Saturday at 1 p.m. at Adamson Stadium.
"He was at Northgate and I tried to recruit him at Washington and Jefferson College," recalled Luckhardt. "He ended up going to Pitt."
There's more to the story, however.
Roebuck's guardian is Fred Cooper, a good friend of Luckhardt and a former football teammate at Chartiers Valley High.
Cooper went on to play quarterback at the University of Maryland and had a tryout with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Roebuck, meanwhile, has run for over 1,700 yards in his three seasons with the Scots after transferring from Pitt.
A 5-11, 205 pound senior tailback, Roebuck ranks third in the PSAC with 896 rushing yards and has 10 touchdowns.
"He's a very good running back and a real good kid," said Luckhardt.
Roebuck ran for 170 yards and three touchdowns in Edinboro's 54-35 loss to Indiana and has gone over 100 yards in five of the Scots' last six games.
He's 10th on the school's all-time rushing list with 1,749 yards and needs 97 to move up to ninth.
At Northgate, Roebuck set career records with 3,630 yards and 44 touchdowns.
With six straight defeats, Edinboro (3-6, 0-4) is riding its longest losing skid since 1954.
The Scots' record is deceiving since their last two losses were by four points to Kutztown (14-10) and Slippery Rock (7-3). Edinboro also lost by six points to Clarion (24-1*) and East Stroudsburg (30-24).
"They're a very physical team," claimed Luckhardt. "They're a veteran team and it will be a challenge."
Edinboro opened the season with victories over Gannon (17-7), Ashland (29-26) and Tiffin (35-21) and was 34th in the Football Gazette Division II rankings before suffering its first defeat at East Stroudsburg.
Edinboro's other setback was at Shippensburg (41-7).
Justin Bouch, a 6-3, 201 pound redshirt freshman, is expected to make his fifth start at quarterback. Bouch threw for 353 yards against East Stroudsburg, the second best in the school's history.
Edinboro's defense is led by 6-1, 302 pound junior nose guard Eugene Grooms and 6-3, 250 pound senior outside linebacker Dave Smith.
A native of Ontario, Grooms has 40 tackles including eight for losses.
Smith is a three-time PSAC West first teamer and holds the school's career tackle for losses record with 55.
Edinboro features one of the conference's premier punters in 6-5, 239 pound senior Sean McNicholas, who's averaging almost 45 yards and has had four over 60 yards.
The Vulcans (6-3, 1-3), meanwhile, are coming off a 31-6 loss at Clarion.
"We got thumped," said Luckhardt. "Our offensive line had a bad day."
California may have some changes in the lineup.
"The flu has been running through the team," he said. "We don't know who will be healthy at game time. I can't remember a football season with so much bad weather."
CAL CLIPS: Cal's Wes Clemons is fifth in the PSAC in rushing with 723 yards for a 90.4 yard average...The Vulcans' Garvin Graves leads the conference with 64 receptions for 816 yards. Slippery Rock's Ryan McKavish is second with 53 catches for 888 yards.... The Vulcans' Jon Arnold has a conference-high eight interceptions, one more than Shippensburg's Brent Grimes. ..The Vulcans' R.J. Abercrombie is the leading kick returners with a 30 yard average... Kevan Scott is Cal's leading tackler with 78 including 10 for losses and four sacks...The Vulcans lead the conference in rushing defense(94) and total defense (242)...California has lost 17 of 27 fumbles.