The IUP Crimson Hawks football team have closed out its season in stunning fashion with one of their most dominant offensive performances of the year. 

The Hawks went off against the Shippensburg Raiders taking the game 54–24.

IUP put up 580 total yards against Shippensburg and a staggering four touchdowns. The Hawks could do no wrong and got it done through the air and on the ground.

The Crimson Hawks ran for an impressive 316 yards and saw an impressive performance from running back Samir Bullock (senior, criminology). Bullock rushed for 120 yards and put up two touchdowns. Justice Evans (junior, business management) and Adam Houser (freshman, finance) got in on the action as well, combining for 157 yards and two touchdowns.

“We really did a good job rushing the ball,” head coach Paul Tortorella said on Monday’s Coach’s show. “I thought our offensive coaches had a great game plan and took advantage of some things we saw on film.”

Leading this prolific offensive performance was none other than quarterback Quinton Maxwell (senior, business). Maxwell threw for 264 yards and an impressive four touchdowns.  

Maxwell connected with multiple wide receivers Saturday, most notably, JoJo Gause (senior, communications media). Gause led the way for this receiving core putting up 130 yards and reeling in two touchdowns. 

Dom McNeil (senior, exercise science) and Evans were on the receiving end of two touchdown catches from Maxwell. 

“Three guys scored touchdowns. . . It was a good all-around effort,” Tortorella said.

While the Crimson Hawks’ defense didn’t make any headlines, they did play a solid game against a tough opponent. The Raiders have been hot offensively and have averaged 512 yards in the past two games.

IUP limited Shippensburg to 364 yards and kept the offense from making it a close game.

This win propelled the Hawks to 10 wins on the season and guaranteed IUP a first-round playoff berth.

The Crimson Hawks held their No. 4 seed they had received in the Super Region One rankings and will host the No. 5 seed Shepherd at Miller Stadium on Saturday at noon.

Five of the seven playoff teams in the region came from the PSAC. The Crimson Hawks and Rams were joined by No. 1 Slippery Rock, No. 2 Kutztown and No. 7 West Chester in the postseason. 

The Rock has a first-round bye and will host the winner of the IUP-Shepherd matchup. The Golden Bears host Tiffin in the opening round, while the Golden Rams travel to Notre Dame (Ohio) in round one. 

IUP and Shephard have played four times before, all coming in the postseason during the Rams’ time in the Mountain East Conference. The Hawks won only one of those contests, a 27–17 victory in 2012.

And as if the prospect of a national title wasn’t motivation enough, the Crimson Hawks could have the chance to face The Rock and take revenge against their rival.

You won’t want to miss a moment of the action.

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