Hawks welcome Clarion in pivotal PSAC battle
Published: Friday, October 26, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 14:10
The news isn’t good for the Crimson Hawks.
IUP enters this week’s pivotal matchup against Clarion with the news that they’re seventh in the first regional rankings of the year. Seventh isn’t the place that any team wants to be this time of the year.
There are four regions in division two and each of those regions receive six bids into the playoffs. That news doesn’t bode well for the Hawks, who have a lot of work ahead of them. The Hawks have three games remaining: the Hawks face Clarion this weekend before traveling to Gannon and finishing the season with a home game against a team out of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East.
The first game against Clarion will be a challenge for the Hawks, who come up against one of the best quarterbacks in the conference with Ben Fiscus.
“He’s similar to Cody Harris,” Head Coach Curt Cignetti said. “He’s not a one-man team, but certainly the offense goes around him.”
Fiscus is seventh in the conference in passing with 238 yards passing per game and he’s also one of the best running threats in the conference. He averages 70 yards a game on the ground. He has 570 yards on the season and has four touchdowns. He isn’t the only one that the Hawks defense will have to deal with on the ground.
Clarion running back Bobby Thomas is sixth in the PSAC in rushing yards per game with 89 yards on the ground. Thomas might be the best back for Clarion, but his numbers don’t compare to the best running back in the nation in Harvie Tuck.
Tuck now leads the PSAC in rushing yards with 1,404 yards and 14 touchdowns. He leads in the National Colelgiate Athletic Association in both categories.
With Tuck and De’Antwan Williams rushing the ball, the Crimson Hawks are one of the best teams in the country in controlling the clock, limiting the amount of time the other team can have the ball.
The lack of offensive threat by other teams gives the Crimson Hawks defense some of the best defensive team statistics in the country.
The Hawks rank first in the country in points allowed with 9.8 points per game and they also rank first in the country in total yards gained per game at 224 yards per game.
If the Hawks defense can keep Fiscus and the other players of the Clarion offense under control, they should be able to head to Gannon next Saturday on the road with another chance to improve their playoff chances.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at George P. Miller Stadium. It will be the team’s Blackout game.