October did not treat IUP football kindly.
That included a two-week spell that resulted in disappointing and deflating conference losses back-to-back at home.
IUP football finally got back on track last weekend with a win to start the new month.
In what seems to be becoming a running theme, the Hawks have found success on the road.
The IUP beat the Seton Hill Griffins by a score of 38-3 on Saturday and consolidated their record to 6-3 overall.
The biggest difference in this game from the loss to Edinboro was that the IUP was able to convert for touchdowns rather than just goals from the field.
“We were very efficient with the ball with over 200 yards on the ground and converted two long passes to Irvin Charles (senior, unranked) who was almost 14 points, and Duane Brown (junior redshirt, sports administration) caught two touchdown passes in the red zone, ”said Tortorella.
Redzone threatens Charles returned to the game after being ruled out as a game time decision last weekend with a hand injury.
Charles had a monster game capturing two long strokes, one of which was 85 yards, for 155 total yards and a touchdown.
Brown also contributed two touchdowns in the receiving game.
Delivering the ball to the quarterback, Harry Woodbery (senior, business administration) threw for 220 yards on eight completed passes.
He registered three touchdowns and one interception.
IUP was able to efficiently run the ball.
Dayjur Stewart (freshman in red shirt, unranked) ran for 139 yards on 20 attempts while adding a touchdown.
The defensive unit played sound in an effort that yielded only three points.
The players were able to put pressure on the quarterback and registered five sacks.
In the grand scheme of things, victory changes nothing.
The Crimson Hawks won’t qualify for an NCAA playoff berth, but there’s a silver lining to the situation.
Head coach Paul Tortorella got the ship right after a rocky skid in October and will have the opportunity to watch his team compete to end the season on a two-game winning streak.
The final victory will not be easy.
The IUP will make the long bus ride to West Chester, Pa. This Saturday to face a quality opponent.
The Rams are 6-4 overall and have been tested throughout the year as they played on a solid schedule.
“[The Rams are a] very good team which has won a lot of games in the last 2-3 years ”, said Tortorella,“[and] can score a lot of points with a balanced attack in both running and throwing the ball.
On offense, West Chester counts running back Ja’Den McKenzie.
McKenzie has rushed for nine touchdowns and nearly a thousand yards so far this season.
The Rams’ offense is averaging 32.4 points per game and is led by quarterback Shane Dooley.
Dooley pitched for over 1,400 yards on 90 completed passes. He converted for 20 touchdowns.
In defense, the Rams revolve around linebacker Jackson Taylor.
Taylor leads his efforts with 56 solo tackles and 3.5 sacks this season.
The IUP will need to continue their offensive success for the second weekend in a row in order to keep pace with the Rams in what could very well turn into a shootout.
The Hawks will be looking to cap off a disappointing season, which has shown a lot of potential, with a big win this Saturday against a quality opponent.
Kick-off is set for 12 noon in West Chester, Pennsylvania.