Friday, October 30, 2009

College pregame notes

Washington & Jefferson

Ah, isn't it nice to go into a weekend when the outcome of a W&J football game is not in question. Face it, the PAC is weak this year, well, nearly every year. But the two best teams in the conference meet Saturday at Cameron Stadium. There should be more weekends like this for the Presidents. It's a testament to the talented players on this team that their average margin of victory hovers around three touchdowns . . . for the decade.

Thomas More is tough, physical, quick and athletic. W&J shares those qualities. These games tend to bring out the best in players. Last season, quarterback Bobby Swallow nearly single-handedly rallied W&J to a victory. But the 35-29 loss to the Saints made W&J forfeit possession of the PAC title.

The winner of this game will no doubt make the playoffs. The loser should also get in, but it's better not to leave that to someone else to decide. This game probably comes down to how well the Jacob Bloomhuff-led defense of W&J does in stopping the Cordario Collier-led offense of Thomas More.

This is one game you don't want to miss.

Opponent: Thomas More
When: 1:30 p.m., Saturday
Where: Cameron Stadium
Records: W&J is 7-0, 3-0 in the PAC. Thomas More is 7-0, 5-0 in the PAC.
On the air: WJPA-AM 1450
Television: None
Games remaining: at Bethany, Waynesburg


How things have turned for California Unviversity's football team. Many left the Vulcans for dead after a Week 2 loss to Bloomsburg. Just eight weeks later, Cal can make it to the State Game for the second straight season against an unexpected opponent in Shippensburg.

Much of it has to do with the development of quarterback Josh Portis, who has been sensational over the last seven games, all victories. He has thrown 21 touchdowns, tops in the conference, and has been intercepted just once in the last 27 quarters. Windell Brown's return to health has sparked the running game.

Even the defense is better, allowing just five touchdowns in the past three games. Trinity graduate Ben Jennings will try to dent that defense as a starting running back for the Lakers.

A win in this game and Cal will sew up the PSAC West Division title for the fifth straight season. The Vulcans will travel to Shippensburg for the State Game and most probably will enter the NCAA Division II playoffs after that.

Opponent: Mercyhurst
When: 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Where: Adamson Stadium in California
Records: Cal is 7-2, 6-0 in the PSAC. Mercyhurst is 4-5, 3-3 in the PSAC.
On the air: WCAL-FM 91.9
Television: FSN
Games remaining: at State Game


With the two most prolific quarterbacks in the conference getting together Saturday, the only thing that might stop these offenses is the end zone. Look for a shootout. Waynesburg is allowing an average of 32 points per game, Grove City 30.

Andrew DiDonato, a graduate of South Fayette, holds every oassing record worth having at Grove City. He leads the conference with an average of 280 total yards per game.

Brad Dawson is tops in passing yardage per game (275), touchdowns (19) and total passing yards (1,925).

Take the over.

Opponent: Grove City
When: 1:30 p.m., Saturday
Where: Thorn Field in Grove City
Records: Waynesburg is 4-3, 1-2 in the PAC. Grove City is 2-5, 1-2 in the PAC.
On the air: WCYJ-FM 88.7
Television: None
Games remaining: Thiel, at W&J

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