Scouting the Teams
On Radio and TV
The Edinboro-Mercyhurst game can be heard live on WFSE FM?88.9, with Chris Rosato handling the play-by-play and Luke Boniger providing the color commentary. The WFSE stream can be heard at www.edinboronow.com.
In addition, the contest is the second of two games for Edinboro on the SPORTSfever Television Network. The game will be shown on a variety of outlets, including on ESPN 3 and locally on the CW.
The All-Time Series
Tied at 7-7
Edinboro snapped a three-game losing streak to the Lakers in 2016 and have now won back-to-back games. Mercyhurst had won the last four meetings at Sox Harrison Stadium before last year’s 28-25 win. For five straight years, the visiting team had prevailed before Mercyhurst held the home field advantage with a 19-6 win at Tullio Field in 2013.
Last Year’s Game
Edinboro 28, Mercyhurst 25
An opportunistic Edinboro team celebrated Homecoming with a 28-25 win over Mercyhurst behind backup quarterback Andrew Tomko. Three Mercyhurst fumbles led to short drives, and Tomko, a redshirt freshman quarterback guided the Fighting Scots on a 75-yard drive. Making his first career start, Tomko scored on a pair of three-yard runs in the first quarter. Mercyhurst would take a 17-14 lead into halftime, but the Fighting Scots took advantage of two Mercyhurst fumbles to score a pair of touchdowns in the period for a 28-17 lead. Walter Fletcher accounted for both of the scores on touchdown runs of 10 and one-yard runs. The Lakers would close the gap to 28-25 thanks to a three-yard pass from Doug Altavilla to Brad Novak with 2:32 remaining. Antavilla then combined with Zach Smith for the two-point conversion. Trey Staunch, an offensive tackle, recovered the ensuing onside kick and the Fighting Scots were able to run out the clock. Fletcher finished with 132 yards on 26 carries. Tomko would complete 7-of-16 passes for 52 yards, adding 33 yards rushing. James Clark caught six passes for 49 yards. Edinboro finished with a season-low 231 total yards, but the defense limited Mercyhurst to 285 yards. Grayson Taylor had 94 yards and 2 TDs on 20 carries to pace the Lakers. Altavilla completed 25-of-37 passes for 172 yards.
Edinboro 31, Gannon 24
Edinboro trailed the entire game before scoring the final two touchdowns to prevail over Gannon in front of over 4,600 Homecoming fans at Sox Harrison Stadium. James Clark made an outstanding diving catch of Andrew Tomko’s pass for a seven-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter to knot the score at 24-24. Tomko completed the comeback when he hooked up with a wide-open A.J. Turner for a 16-yard touchdown pass with 1:43 remaining. The Edinboro defense stopped Gannon on downs to clinch the win. Gannon would jump out to a 14-0 lead less than 12 minutes into the game. Edinboro answered late in the first quarter following a 79-yard kickoff return by Kyle Galyk. Tomko found Turner for a 19-yard touchdown, the first of Turner’s career. The two teams exchanged field goals in the second quarter, with Jake Monroe converting his first career 3-pointer from 32 yards out. Edinboro knotted the game at 17-17 at halftime when Walter Fletcher scored from a yard out. Gannon reclaimed the lead at 24-17 midway through the third quarter, setting up Edinboro’s rally. The Fighting Scots finished with 346 total yards while limiting Gannon to just 277 yards. Tomko completed 15-of-27 passes for 244 yards with 3 TDs and 3 INTs. Fletcher top 100 yards rushing and receiving, with 111 yards on the ground and 109 yards on 7 receptions.
Slippery Rock 41, Mercyhurst 21
The Lakers were unable to overcome a big second quarter by Slippery Rock. SRU led 7-0 after one quarter, then scored the next three more times in less than seven minutes to start the second quarter to jump out to a 28-0 lead. Mercyhurst stopped the run as Clay Waldron hauled in a 12-yard scoring pass from Doug Altavilla. The Rock would add a field goal before Garrett Jones broke loose for a 70-yard touchdown run late in the half to make the score 31-14. SRU would tack on ten more points in the third quarter to go up 41-14. Diondre Cooper scored on a four-yard run late in the game for the Lakers. Mercyhurst was held to 267 yards in total offense, while Slippery Rock totaled 436 yards. Altavilla completed 15-of-31 passes for 171 yards with an INT. Owens ran for 82 yards on 16 carries.
Wayne Bradford (Salisbury St. ’90) was named Edinboro’s 15th head coach on March 29, 2017 and led Edinboro to a 7-4 record in his first season. After serving as interim head coach in 2017, that tag was removed after less than a week after the conclusion of the season. With his tenth win as head coach coming last week against East Stroudsburg, Bradford is the fastest coach to reach 10 wins at Edinboro. Bradford has worked under four different head coaches and was an assistant at Edinboro for 18 years before taking over as the interim head coach. He has spent a majority of his time as the Fighting Scots’ defensive coordinator. Bradford has master-minded some brilliant defensive performances over the years in a day and age when offense has taken over. For instance, in 2011 the Fighting Scots ranked eighth in Division II in scoring defense (17.0 ppg.), 11th in pass efficiency defense, and 18th in total defense (292.6 ypg.). Edinboro gave up fewer than 20 points in seven of its 11 games. A year ago, his Edinboro defense finished first in the PSAC and fourth in Division II in tackles for losses, and second in the PSAC and sixth in the country in sacks. Edinboro finished the 2016 campaign with a 9-2 record, marking the fifth time an Edinboro team with Bradford on the staff tied the school record for victories (9). Three of Edinboro’s teams during his tenure have reached the NCAA playoffs, including the 2009 team, which finished at 9-4 and reached the Super Region One semifinals. All told, he has been a part of 118 wins.
Marty Schaetzle (Bucknell ’83) is the dean of coaches in the PSAC West. Schaetzle is in his 17th season at the helm of the Lakers, and has an 83-98 career record. He has surpassed Joe Kimball as the longest-tenured football coach at the Hurst, and his 83 wins represent a school record. In 2010, he guided Mercyhurst to the finest season in school history, winning the PSAC?Championship and reaching the Super Regional One Championship Game. The Lakers finished with a 10-3 record and he was recognized as the PSAC West?Coach of the Year and Don Hansen Football Gazette Co-Coach of the Year. In 2012, he led the Lakers to a 9-2 finish. Schaetzle took over the Mercyhurst program after working as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Bucknell, for five years.
The Game Stories
- IAfter rallying to beat local rival Gannon on Homecoming, Edinboro hits the highway once again, albeit it a short trip up I-79 to face another local rival, Mercyhurst. The Fighting Scots improved to 4-1 and 1-1 in the PSAC West with a come-from-behind 31-24 win over Gannon on Saturday. Mercyhurst suffered a 41-21 loss at Slippery Rock to fall to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in league play.
- The Edinboro-Mercyhurst game is the second of two Fighting Scot football games on the SPORTSfever Television Network this season. The game will be shown on a variety of outlets, including on ESPN 3 and locally on the CW. ESPN 3 carried the Gannon game, as well.
- The Fighting Scots opened the season with a dominating 69-0 win at Lake Erie, followed by a hard-fought 21-16 triumph at Bloomsburg. Edinboro claimed its home opener with an impressive 49-24 win over East Stroudsburg, before heading back on the road to begin PSAC West action. Edinboro would rally to take the lead before California(Pa.) scored late for a 40-35 win.
- Edinboro plays just two of its first seven games at Sox Harrison Stadium, and begin a stretch of back-to-back road games. After the Mercyhurst game, Edinboro plays at Slippery Rock before returning home on October 20 against Seton Hill. Edinboro ends the year with three home games in the final four weeks.
- The Edinboro defense has lived off turnovers this year. The Fighting Scots have forced a total of 24 turnovers, with six in three different games. They ranks second in Division II in turnover margin (+2.00), and first in turnovers gained (24), and interceptions (16). Edinboro is fifth in fumbles recovered (8). In addition, the Fighting Scots are 34th in the country in rushing defense (112.6 ypg.).
- Mercyhurst comes in with a highly-deceiving 1-4 record. The Lakers five opponents have a combined record of 19-6. The victory margin in their first three games was five points or less. The Lakers have faced two of the favorites in the PSAC?West on their road in their last two games, falling at then 3rd-ranked Indiana(Pa.), 34-7, and suffering a 41-21 loss at Slippery Rock last week.
- The Fighting Scots were picked to finish fourth in the Western Division in the PSAC?Coaches’ Preseason Poll for the second straight year. Edinboro finished fourth in the Western Division last year. Mercyhurst posted a 5-6 record in 2017 and was picked sixth in the preseason poll.
- Edinboro has four of the top active career performers in Division II. Running back Walter Fletcher ranks among the active leaders in scoring and rushing, wide receiver James Clark is in the career receptions leaders, while fellow wideout Ta’Nauz Gregory is in the all-purpose and kickoff return leaders. Finally, cornerback Zuril Hendrickis the career leader in interceptions.
- Edinboro was ranked in a pair of preseason publications. The Fighting Scots were 18th in Lindy’s Sports College Football National 2018 Preview. and 24th in the Street & Smith’s College Football Magazine Preseason Top 25. Edinboro was among “others receiving votes” in the AFCA Division II Top 25 until this week.
- A trio of Edinboro players earned All-American honors a year ago. Walter Fletcher was a consensus All-American, including second team Associated Press Division II All-America honors, after ranking second in Division II in rushing. Zuril Hendrick and James Clark were named to the Don Hansen All-America Team, with Hendrick named to the first team after leading Division II in interceptions, and Clark a third team choice after ranking third in Division II in receptions per game.
- Edinboro had six players earn All-PSAC West honors last year, and all six return. Walter Fletcher (RB), James Clark (WR), and Brandon Anderson (SS) were accorded first team honors, while Derek Dorr (DT), Ta’Nauz Gregory (RS) and Zuril Hendrick (CB) were named to the second team.
- The Fighting Scots will play back-to-back games against their Erie County rivals. After hosting Gannon on Saturday, Edinboro makes the short trip up I-79 to play at Mercyhurst on Saturday, October 6.
Next for the Fighting Scots
Saturday, October 13 at Slippery Rock — 2:00 p.m.
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