After a phenomenal win vs. Slippery Rock at the Big House, the Laker football team made the short trip to Erie Veteran Memorial Stadium on Thursday night, Oct. 23, to take on the 1-5 Edinboro Fighting Scots.
The first half was slow for both teams as neither was able to score in the first quarter.
Edinboro’s offense saw some life in the second quarter registering three points with a 23-yard field goal.
The Lakers answered immediately on the ensuing drive, when sophomore Dylan Kondis tied the game with a 21-yard field goal.
With 40 seconds to go in the first half, Edinboro caught the Laker defense off guard as quarterback Cody Harris led the fighting Scots on a drive of over 90 yards and a touchdown.
This led the Lakers into the half hesitant, but not intimidated because being down at the half is something that Mercyhurst experienced in its previous game against Slippery Rock.
Redshirt sophomore fullback Trae Williams said the locker room was not too tense during halftime.
“Coach Shaetzle calmly told us that we knew what we had to do, but had to just get out there and actually execute it, have confidence like we did in our previous wins,” Williams said.
It was obvious that the coaches got to the players at halftime and made adjustments to the play book, as the Lakers scored on their first possession of the third quarter.
Faced with a fourth and six from the Edinboro 36-yard line, redshirt junior Brendan Boylan threw a pass to redshirt senior R.J. Miller, gaining 20 yards and a first down. This would lead to a 57-yard touchdown pass from Boylan to redshirt senior wide receiver Steven Yarborough, giving Mercyhurst the lead with three minutes in the third quarter.
Boylan completed 19 of 33 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns, while also recording two more touchdowns on the ground. This was Boylan’s third consecutive 300-yard passing game, breaking the school record.
Notable aids to Boylan’s pass attack were junior wide receiver Jaquan Williams, who had six receptions for 91 yards and Steven Yarbough, who collected two receptions for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
The Laker defense played great as well, holding Edinboro to just 10 points and shutting them out in the second half. Junior linebacker Joe Dever led the Lakers with nine tackles and broke up two passes, while both freshman Austin Brooks and senior Jazz Wright recorded their first career sacks.
However, the key defensive play for the Lakers took place in the fourth quarter.
Edinboro had the ball at first and goal, with a great opportunity to tie the game. Scots running back Anfreenee Williams ran the ball up the middle but was met by freshmen defensive lineman Michael Gonzalez. This caused a fumble, which senior linebacker Pat Behm picked up for a touchback, further securing a Laker victory.
The final score of the night was 31-10, as the Lakers gained their fourth straight win, improving to an overall record of 4-4 moving them up to fourth place in the PSAC west.
Mercyhurst will play its final road game of the season on Saturday, Nov. 1 at noon when they travel to Greensburg, PA., to take on the 2-6 Seton Hill Griffins.