The California University of Pennsylvania Vulcans defeated the Edinboro Fighting Scots 24-14 in a Saturday night PSAC matchup. Cal U came into the game with a 2-0 record.
Those two victories came from two hard-fought games against nationally ranked Hillsdale (Mich.) and Kutztown. Edinboro was looking for their first win of the season after dropping last week’s game to Bloomsburg 30-14.
Starting off on the right foot, Cal U would take an early lead thanks to sophomore kicker Cody Nuzzo's 22-yard field goal. This would be the only score of the first quarter. Edinboro would finally answer with a one-yard touchdown run by John Washington.
Edinboro would hold the lead for the majority of the second quarter until Vulcan quarterback Peter Lalich connected with Mike Williams for a 32-yard touchdown pass to put the Vulcans up 10-7 at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Cal U would strike again. Peter Lalich would complete his second touchdown pass of the night to Nadir Brown. The Vulcans held a 17-7 lead over the Fighting Scots.
Living up to their name, the Fighting Scots would not give up. Edinboro would score quickly with quarterback Cody Harris connecting with Duane McKelivin for his only touchdown pass of the night. With 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Vulcans needed to close out this game. My favorite play of the game helped the Vulcans do just that.
Peter Lalich completed a standard slant route to R.J. Thomas for what seemingly would be a small gain. Thomas would withstand a big hit and break the attempted tackle before taking the ball for a 54-yard gain. The ball would be spotted at the 1-yard line, and Cal U would eventually score on a Lamont Smith rushing touchdown.
Now up 24-14 with nine minutes left in the game, Mike Conway's Vulcan defense would step up and shut down the Scots offense. Vulcan defensive linemen B.J. Stevens and Paul Everson would sack Edinboro Harris three times in a row.
The next Cal U drive was about running time off the clock. The Vulcans ran the clock down to two minutes before Edinboro would get the ball back. With so little time and with the Vulcans defense harassing the opponent's quarterback, Edinboro would fail to score again and the Vulcans would walk out with a 24-14 victory.
The victory would not come without some concerns. Throughout the game, Cal U committed penalty after penalty, amassing 14 for a total of 108 yards. If Cal U wants to remain undefeated, they will need to address the penalty situation.
First-year head coach Mike Kellar brings his 3-0 No. 6-ranked Vulcans back home to California, Penn. to host arch rival Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) in the annual Coal Bowl. IUP has been playing tough football so far this season, posting a 3-0 record and outscoring their opponents 131-6 in the three games combined.
After shutting out their last two opponents, IUP will be a formidable challenge for the Vulcans.
All California/Edinboro game stats obtained at http://www.calvulcans.com/boxscore.aspx?path=football&id=1981.