- Grove City, Pennsylvania


October 16, 2013

Slippery Rock rolls past Grove City

MERCER COUNTY AREA — It was a decade in the making, but it was certainly worth the wait for the Slippery Rock Rockets.

At Slippery Rock on Homecoming night Friday, the undefeated Rockets of coach Brendan Hathaway defeated long-time rival Grove City, 49-21. It marked the first time since Week 2 of the 2003 season that the Rockets upended the Eagles.

“Grove City always has a great program, so any time you can go toe-to-toe with a team like them, you have to be happy with where you’re at,” Hathaway said.

After a disappointing 0-10 season in 2010, and a combined 16-6 record over the past two seasons, the consistently building Rockets are looking to be a playoff contender this year.

“Every team we’ve had at Slippery Rock has helped build what these guys are doing,” Hathaway said. “I think the 0-10 team has a lot to do with the outcome tonight. Even those guys didn’t quit. We’ve been building up to this moment over the past four years.”

The Rockets (7-0) scored on the opening drive off a 42-yard touchdown pass thrown by quarterback Jake Whitmer to Chris Reeseman. Mark Cessar kicked his first of seven successful extra points.

On the next drive, the visiting Eagles (4-3) went the length of the field but were shut down at the 1-yard line by the Slippery Rock defense. The Rockets turned around and scored off of a 77-yard pass from Whitmer to Brady Kadlubek.

“That was a huge momentum killer for us,” said Grove City head coach Jeff Bell. “If we could have could have answered back there and tied it up, that would have been really big for us. But them scoring on the next drive was a real back-breaker.”

“After the Slippery Rock touchdown, Grove City fumbled the ball on the next possession to set up the Rockets at the 50-yard line. SR’s Frank Conlon powered in a 15-yard touchdown with four Eagle defenders on his back to give the home team a 21-0 lead at the start of the 2nd quarter.

“Grove City put some points on the board before halftime when Foster Reznor scored on a short 3-yard run. Dylan Nelson’s extra point was good.

Coming back from the half, Conlon scored again for the Rockets on a 14-yard run and Cessar tacked on the extra point to give the team a 28-7 lead.

GC responded with a touchdown of their own when quarterback Jared Graham had two complete passes and ran the ball 5 yards into the end zone.

On the next drive, Slippery Rock’s offensive line opened up a big hole for Travis Lauster to run the ball 56 yards for a touchdown. Cessar’s extra point attempt was good. 

Slippery Rock would score two more touchdowns to secure the win, via a 3-yard run by Jared McDowell and a 37-yard sprint by Ryan Lauster.

The final scoring play for the Eagles came during the closing minutes of the final frame when D’Andre Byers scored on a 35-yard run. Nelson kicked the extra point.

Slippery Rock did a much better job of throwing the ball than Bell and the Eagles expected, tossing for 169 yards.

“Against a team like Slippery Rock, you have to take one aspect of their game away,” Bell said. “We came in here wanting to stop the run and hoping to make them pitch the ball. They just did a much better job than we anticipated.”

Conlon led the Rockets with 170 yards on 14 carries. Travis Lauster and Ryan Lauster each had 100 and 92 rushing yards, respectively. Kadlubeck had 111 receiving yards and Reeseman had 58, each on two catches apiece.

Reznor led the running game for the Eagles with 92 yards on 17 carries and Jesse Hodge had a 45-yard completed catch.

Friday’s win for the Rockets was a true test of talent for the team, Hathaway commented. 

“Grove City is by far the best team we’ve played so far, maybe the best team we’ll play in the regular season,” Hathaway said. “I think this win gives the kids the validation of what they’re doing Monday through Thursday in practice.

Slippery Rock hopes to keep their undefeated record alive as they travel to Franklin on Friday for a Region 5-AAA game. The Rockets are 3-0 in the region, while Franklin is 1-2 and 2-5 overall.

The Eagles will look to bounce back from the loss on Friday at Titusville in a Region 3-AA matchup. Grove City is 3-2 in the region and Titusville 0-5 and 0-7 overall.


Text Only
  • On to baseball GC coach Bell retired — sort of!

    You can take the man out of coaching, but you can’t take coaching out of the man.
    Former Grove City High football coach Jeff Bell has spent his first few months of retirement hearing the ping of a baseball ricocheting off an aluminum bat instead of clap of shoulder pads coming together.
    “My grandson Maddox (Bell) and a few of his friends play on a traveling team, so I’m helping out with that,” said Bell, who retired as the Eagles’ football coach this past winter. “They’re a good group of kids to work with and this is a lot more enjoyable. It’s a lot less stress.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • RANDOM THOUGHTS: Pouncey latest Steeler to make court news

    HERE I THOUGHT, we were going to make it through an offseason without a Pittsburgh Steeler getting in trouble for something stupid.
    Thanks Maurkice Pouncey for allowing that to not happen.
    I just love seeing Steelers players in the police blotter or on the court docket (tongue firmly in cheek).

    July 30, 2014

  • EXTRA INNINGS: Forget trade deadline, focus on signing Martin

    WHILE BASEBALL fans are focused on tomorrow’s 4 p.m. EDT non-waiver trade deadline, there is an issue that is even more pressing for the Pirates: re-signing catcher Russell Martin, eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.
    Andrew McCutcheon is the team’s most valuable player, but Martin is the most valuable TO the Pirates. It is no coincidence that the Pirates’ return to the postseason last year occurred in Martin’s first year with the Bucs.

    July 30, 2014

  • NCAA Football: Rock 6-1 after 17-3 win over Cal U

    Slippery Rock University rode a length-of-the-field scoring drive by its offense and a goal-line stand by its No. 1-ranked defense late in the first half of action Saturday to a 17-3 win over 14th-ranked visiting California (Pa.).

    October 19, 2011

  • steez pc.jpg NFL: Steelers top Jags as Mendenhall makes return

    Mike Tomlin isn’t ready to say the Pittsburgh Steelers are back. Not after watching his team sleepwalk through the second half against Jacksonville on Sunday.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • wheldon, dan pc.jpg IndyCar Racing: Crash takes Wheldon’s life

    Every race car driver heads onto the track understanding this race could be the last and hoping it won’t be. On Sunday, IndyCar drivers got a harsh reminder when the worst happened to one of their own.

    October 19, 2011 3 Photos

  • pens pc.jpg NHL: Sabres beat Penguins 3-2

    The Buffalo Sabres have had trouble with the Pittsburgh Penguins whether Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin play or not.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • canadiens logo pc.jpg NHL Quick glance: Montreal at Pittsburgh

    A breakdown of the National Hockey League game Thursday night between the Pittsburgh Penguins and visiting Montreal Canadiens.

    October 19, 2011 4 Photos

  • High School Highlights: Oct. 19, 2011

    A look at the last few days in local high school fall sports action.

    October 19, 2011

  • washington, ron pc.jpg Leading Off: Oct. 19, 2011

    News and notes from the local, regional and national sports scene.

    October 19, 2011 5 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide