SHU football overcomes the odds

Junior defensive back Tanelious Walton leading the Griffins out on their home turf at Offutt Stadium. Photo courtesy of Darnell Graham

Junior defensive back Tanelious Walton leading the Griffins out on their home turf at Offutt Stadium. Photo courtesy of Darnell Graham

The Seton Hill Griffin’s football team is off to a better start than last year with a current record of 2-4, with their two wins over Lock Haven University and Slippery Rock University.

They lost to Shippensburg University, West Chester University, California University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. With the exception of week one and last week’s previous loss, the Griffin’s have kept the scores between ten points of their opponents.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback, Christian Strong scans the field for an open target. Photo courtesy of Darnell Graham.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback, Christian Strong scans the field for an open target. Photo courtesy of Darnell Graham.

The current quarterback for the team this year is redshirt sophomore Christian Strong, who is also co-editor-in-chief of the Setonian. He became the starter after senior quarterback Dan Pietrangelo took an injury against Lock Haven University. Strong has had a total of 10 passing touchdowns for 1563 yards total in just four full games of play.

“Christian is getting better with each week. It has been a lot of fun seeing him grow as a QB in this system, and I am excited to see where he can take us going forward,” said Chris Haupt, quarterbacks coach and pass game coordinator for the Griffins.

Last year the Griffins had the number one passing offense in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) finishing the season with a 331.4 passing yards per game average.

Head coach Isaac Collins stated, “I believe we are still a work in progress, but the biggest difference in this team is the work they put in this off-season that has allowed us to be in more games in the 4th Quarter.”

Having this sense of work ethic instilled in the coaching staff and athletes has most likely contributed to this improvement for the Griffins midway through their season. Last year the Griffins finished 3-8 overall.

“I feel like the team this year seems to be more composed and have showed the capability to gel when under pressure,” said Jesser Boulnemour, senior kicker for the Griffins who has already surpassed his 2 field goals last year with 8 this season so far.

Junior receiver Jarvis McClam sets a new school record for his 92 yard kick return against IUP. Photo courtesy of Darnell Graham

Junior receiver Jarvis McClam sets a new school record for his 92 yard kick return against IUP. Photo courtesy of Darnell Graham

The strength of the team and their abilities are doubted by many people. But, on Sept. 26 the Griffins took down the 14th ranked team in the nation, Slippery Rock University. Seton Hill beat Slippery Rock with a final score of 41-38 in a thriller which marked the biggest upset in school history.

Overcoming the odds and executing for four full quarters has been a goal for the team.

“Our focus will always be about how can we get better, so to gain respect you have to play well and win consistently,” said Collins. “We have taken some steps this season, but at the midway point in the season we still have a lot of work to do in order to have a successful season.”

By winning this game, Seton Hill slid Slippery Rock off of the national rankings and proved to their fans, doubters and community that they are driven to success.

“The teams has made leaps and bounds since coach Collins and his staff have arrived. Both on and off the field we are quickly becoming one of the strongest programs in the PSAC Conference,” said senior captain and defensive back Christian Carter.

The Griffins are on the road for their next game against the undefeated Clarion University. The Golden Eagles currently have a perfect record in PSAC conference play and 6-0 overall. Slippery Rock was also undefeated until they played the Griffins on that fateful day. The game will be played this Saturday on Oct. 17.

Both teams contain prolific offenses, so expect a thriller. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. at Memorial Stadium Clarion, Pa. but if you are unable to travel to attend, be sure to check out the coverage of the game on sportsfever tv.

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