The Crimson Hawks have done it again, ladies, gentlemen and others. IUP has come out victorious for the third-straight game.
The Hawks took on the Seton Hill Griffins on Saturday and took the game 50–23. IUP was simply on fire during the game and could not be stopped.
IUP had its second-best rushing performance of the season with 290 yards against the Griffins. Junior running back Justice Evans (business management) played a huge role in this dominant rushing performance with a career-high 175 rushing yards.
Evans averaged 15.9 yards per carry on 11 carries in this matchup and notched two rushing touchdowns as well.
IUP came out of the gates on a mission. Senior transfer Quinton Maxwell (business) connected with wideout Dom McNeil (redshirt senior, exercise science) on a 75-yard touchdown pass on the third play of the game.
Receiver Duane Brown (redshirt sophomore, sport administration) continued his streak of good games with his ninth consecutive game with a touchdown. Brown punched the ball in the end zone off a 2-yard wildcat play.
The offense was simply unstoppable and received production from just about every position. IUP dominated the first half 23–3 and continued its elite production into the second half.
Along with IUP’s prolific offensive performance, its defense showed its proclivity toward stopping the run. The Hawks limited SHU to a measly 13 yards this season, which was the second-lowest next to their -22 yards allowed against Lock Haven.
Dondrea Tillman (senior, sport administration) got involved early and tackled Seton Hill’s running back Nick Valentino in the end-zone for a safety. Along with this safety, Tillman put in major contributions defensively and had three tackles-for-a-loss and two sacks on the day.
Seton Hill put up 366 yards through the air, which was the most by any opponent facing the Hawks this year. Many of these yards came in the second half when IUP already had control of the game.
Even though the Griffins did put up respectable passing numbers, they only inflated the routing that they endured at the hands of IUP.
After IUP had a sizeable lead on this squad, Jalen Reese’s (senior, business) services were utilized for the Hawks. Reese got in on the action and threw a 26-yard dime to Qashah Carter (sophomore, pre-athletic training) for a touchdown.
IUP progressed to 8–1 on the season and 5–1 in the PSAC. Playoffs are coming ever closer for this team, and the Hawks are trying to do everything in their power to climb the rankings.
As the conference standings sit currently, IUP would not be in the PSAC championship as Kutztown and Slippery Rock sit undefeated. Kutztown would represent the East and Slippery Rock the West.
The Hawks really needed The Rock to drop their matchup against California (Pa.) on Saturday. Sadly for IUP, the Rock edged out the Vulcans 31–28 with a game-winning field goal.
With only one game remaining before the PSAC championship, IUP will not win the PSAC West. Slippery Rock’s last regular season game is against a struggling Gannon squad, and The Rock would still hold the tiebreaker over IUP even with a loss, so the Hawks will not get a chance at the conference title.
IUP will push its focus toward its aspirations for a national title. The Hawks currently sit at 19th in the national standings and remain fourth in the Super Region One rankings, still on track to host a postseason game.
With their next game against a gritty Edinboro squad, they’ll be getting ready to take on the Fighting Scots. Every game matters, and this one is no different.