It hasn’t showed yet in perhaps the only place it counts, but the football program at St. Vincent College in Latrobe has made some major strides.
The Bearcats boast just a single win in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference standings and overall on the 2010 season - a 17-3 victory over Thiel that came Sept. 25. - but haven’t been on the losing side by much. St. Vincent has only been outscored 132-103, a remarkable upswing since last season’s 189-point differential.
Grove City College and head coach Chris Smith will get a firsthand glimpse today of just how much the Bearcats (1-5, 1-2) have improved when the Wolverines take on St. Vincent at 1 p.m. Today at Chuck Noll Field in Latrobe.
Since beginning the football program anew after a 35-year hiatus, the Bearcats have posted a 2-34 mark under head coach Bob Colbert with the lone win besides the one over the Tomcats earlier this season coming in a 2008 matchup with Galludet.
This season, though, Colbert’s team fell to PAC-leading Thomas More by 18, Washington and Jefferson by 11 and Geneva by only 4.
The Bearcats are led by quarterback Aaron Smetanka, who went over a 1,000 yards passing last week in the loss to Thomas More, and running back Mike Hale, who has rushed for 305 yards on 62 attempts.
The Wolverines (3-3, 1-2), meanwhile, are coming off a 13-7 win last Saturday over Geneva which Smith called huge for his team after watching freshmen quarterback Brian Pell pass for 218 yards and a touchdown in a 15-of-25 performance in his debut outing.
LOCK HAVEN AT SLIPPERY ROCK - Head coach George Mihalik’s team will look for a rebound in today’s Homecoming contest at Slippery Rock after a 28-3 loss last week at Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-leading California.
Slippery Rock, which is 5-2 after Week 7 for the second straight season, was limited with just a 42-yard performance last week from star running back Akeem Satterfield versus the Vulcans’ defense in the road loss.
The eighth game a season ago was a critical one for Slippery Rock. A 51-48 setback versus Gannon in Erie was part of a skid to end the season in which Slippery Rock finished 1-4, with the only win netted by Mihalik’s team coming in a 47-6 defeat of Lock Haven.
The Golden Eagles have again fallen on hard times this season as well, dropping all seven of its games to open the campaign while scoring only 53 points along the way.
Under head coach John Klacik, Lock Haven is just 5-58 in the last seven seasons.