Will the real Mercyhurst College football team please stand up?
Mercyhurst football has started a season with two performances at the opposite side of the spectrum with a 31-13 beat down at the hands of Wayne State University on Saturday, Aug. 29 and a 45-15 pummeling of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania on Saturday, Sept. 5.
On Saturday the Lakers looked to redeem themselves after an ugly loss at the hands of Wayne State as the Lakers squared off against Cheney at Tullio Field.
The Lakers responded well with a 45-15 victory over Cheyney.
The Lakers were lead by the rushing attack of senior Ben Jennings and junior Gerald Anderson, who combined for 257 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns.
The Lakers combined for 446 yards of total offense as senior Joe Laffey threw for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
The Lakers’ defense also had a great game, holding the Wolves to only 43 yards passing.
The Lakers improved dramatically over the performance the previous week.
In the first play of the Lakers’ season against Wayne State, things got ugly.
Wayne State returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for the game’s first score, putting the Lakers behind early.
Wayne State added another touchdown on a rush to make it 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
Mercyhurst responded with a 67-yard drive capped by senior Ben Jennings’ 1-yard rushing TD.
Wayne State added another touchdown and a field goal in the second quarter, making the halftime score 24-7.
The Lakers couldn’t find their stride in the second half, but Jennings did manage to put another touchdown on the board before Wayne State shut the door with a rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
The final score of the game was 31-13, leaving the Lakers 0-1 to start the season.
The teams were relatively close in most offensive categories, though there were wide gaps in total rushing yards. Mercyhurst only mustered 20 yards on the ground compared to Wayne State’s 183 yards.
Another important stat was third-down conversions, with Mercyhurst only converting three out of a possible 14 while Wayne State converted half of their 16 chances.
Finally, while the Lakers performed well in the red zone, scoring three times out of their four chances, Wayne State produced when it counted, scoring four out of four times from the 20-yard line in.
Individually, Mercyhurst produced some notable results. Jennings rushed for both of the Lakers’ touchdowns, while Laffey completed 17 of 37 attempts for 218 yards.
Senior Josh Szeluga was the top receiver, catching six of Laffey’s passes for an even 100 yards.
Defensively, sophomore Bryant Kimball and senior Tim Herbener racked up 11 and 10 tackles, respectively, and Kimball nabbed Mercyhurst’s only interception of the game.
Mercyhurst will be back in action Saturday, Sept. 12 at 1 p.m. at Tullio Field against Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.