Rock falls, 38-17, at Indiana, Pa.
Josh Kniess rushed for 142 yards and two TDs and Colin Golden had nine catches
for 75 yards to lead The Rock effort. SRU is now 2-4 overall, 2-1 in PSAC-W
Oct. 8, 2005
Indiana, Pa. - Josh Kniess rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns and Colin Golden had nine pass receptions for 75 yards Saturday afternoon, but the efforts went for naught.
Indiana U. of Pa., behind four bigt-play touchdowns, handed The Rock a 38-17 setback in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-Western Division action.
The loss snapped a modest two-game win streak for SRU (2-4 overall, 2-1 PSAC-West) and dropped The Rock into a three-way tie for second place in the PSAC-West.
Indiana (3-3, 2-0) assumed the division lead when Edinboro (4-2, 2-1) dropped a 36-26 decision at California U. of Pa. (4-2, 2-1) on Saturday.
The Rock is now tied with California and Edinboro in second place.
Saturday's loss was the seventh straight suffered by The Rock in head-to-head meetings with Indiana, a string that stretches back to 1999.
The Rock and Indiana combined to amass 1,015 yards in offense on Saturday, with the Indians holding a slim 517-498 advantage.
Kniess' 147-yard rushing effort paced a 273-yard ground game for The Rock.
Nate Crookshank passed for 254 yards on a 19-for-36 passing day. Just less than half of Crookshank's completions were to Golden, while Paul Favers had 75 yards on four catches.
Favers also picked up 154 yards on seven kickoff returns, while Kniess -- who entered the game ranked first in the PSAC and second in the nation in the statistical category -- was held to only 21 yards on three punt returns.
The Rock trailed 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, but Kniess' two TDS runs erased that deficit.
Kniess capped a seven-play, 68-yard scoring drive with an 11-yard TD run with 1:10 left in the first half. He then put The Rock ahead, 14-10, with a 33-yard sprint to the endzone with 10:56 left in the third period to culminate a six-play, 63-yard drive.
Reminiscent of the season-opening loss at Bloomsburg -- when The Rock let a 24-7 advantage slip away in the span of seven minutes -- SRU saw its slim lead evaporate quickly on Saturday.
Indiana scored three TDs in the span of less than 3 1/2 minutes to take a 31-14 advantage at the 3:16 mark of the third stanza.
The Indians' scores came on a 53-yard pass, a 46-yard reverse and an 80-yard pass. Deanco Oliver was the on the receiving end of the first TD and added the reverse-for-a-TD.
A 29-yard field goal by The Rock's Ryan Daniel with 0:18 left in the third period trimmed the hosts' lead to 31-17 before Indiana got yet another long-play TD.
A 73-yard run by backup tailback Pat McDanel with 11:21 left in the game accounted for the game's final TD.
All told, Indiana picked up over half -- 252 of 517, to be precise -- of its total yards on its four long scoring plays.
Chris Morgan, who had scored Indiana's first TD on a 24-yard run in the final seconds of the first quarter, led the Indiana offensive attack with 168 yards and two TDs.
The Rock defensive effort was led by Jim D'Amico, who had a team-high nine tackles (eight solo) and a 31-yard interception return from his free safety position.
The Rock will look to return to its winning ways next Saturday when it hosts Millersville in a 2 p.m. game on Bob DiSpirito Field at N. Kerr Thompson.
That game will be the headline act of SRU's homecoming weekend festivities.