Story and photo courtesy of Indiana (Pa.) Athletics
EDINBORO, Pa. - Alexander Berdahl led an IUP defense that totaled five sacks and Harvie Tuck ran for 178 yards and two touchdowns as the 22nd-ranked Crimson Hawks shut down hot-handed Edinboro 26-10 on Saturday afternoon at Sox Harrison Stadium.
Berdahl had a career-high 15 total tackles along with a sack and an interception, keying a defensive effort that held Edinboro and all-conference quarterback Cody Harris to just 185 passing yards. Through his first five games of the season, Harris was averaging over 290 yards per game as the Fighting Scots entered today's game scoring over 36 points in their last three contests.
Tuck rushed for over 100 yards for the fifth time this year as he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the third straight season. Now with a career-high 1,173 yards, Tuck also moved into second place on IUP's all-time career rushing list with 3,854 yards, passing Chris Morgan (2003-06).
The Crimson Hawks move to 6-1 overall on the season and 3-1 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West, while Edinboro drops to 3-3 and 2-2.
Tuck gave IUP the first points of the game with a two-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the first quarter. The score was set up by a Jerrell McFadden (Manassas, VA/Osbourn) interception of Harris on the fourth play of the game, returning it 35 yards down to the Edinboro six-yard line.
Three possessions later the Fighting Scots would get on the board, going on a marathon 19-play, 90-yard drive that ended in a six-yard touchdown pass from Harris to Seth Hembree.
With the Crimson Hawks offense still sputtering in the second quarter, the Fighting Scots took a 10-7 lead with a 39-yard field goal by Sean Seefeldt. That score came at the end of another long drive for Edinboro, this one going 62 yards on 14 plays.
That's when the IUP offense started to heat up, starting with a 43-yard jaunt by De'Antwan Williams (Woodbridge, VA/Woodbridge) down to the Edinboro 27-yard line. Two plays later quarterback Mike Box (Lawrenceville, GA/Collins Hill) connected with Tyler Dummermuth (New Philadelphia, OH/New Philadelphia) for 10 yards on a third-and-eight before sneaking across the goal line for a touchdown three plays after that. The extra point would get blocked but IUP still held a 13-10 lead with 4:09 to go before the half.
That lead extended to six before the quarter would end, as Brett Ullman (Baltimore, MD/Perry Hall) converted a 39-yard field goal try with 48 seconds left to give IUP a 16-10 lead heading into the locker room.
After a scoreless third, Ullman again would make good on a field goal try, converting this one from 27-yards out to make it a 19-10 lead with 11:47 left in the game.
After an Edinboro three-and-out, IUP capped off the scoring with 8:08 left as Tuck bolted in from 31 yards away, as Ullman's extra point made it 26-10.
The Fighting Scots ran just 21 plays for 22 yards in the second half, with three of their five drives ending in a punt while the others were stopped by an interception and a loss of downs. This came after a first half in which Edinboro ran 50 plays and owned the clock for more than 21 minutes of action.
Edinboro finished with 231 yards of offense as Harris went 22-of-40 for 185 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He also gained 44 yards on the ground but netted just 12 after the five IUP sacks.
Tuck's 178 yards came on 27 carries as he averaged 6.6 yards per carry. His two touchdowns also extended his season total to a career-high 12. Williams added 85 yards on 14 carries as IUP finished with 273 yards on the ground.
Box finished just 7-of-16 for 65 yards through the air, but didn't turn the ball over. Terrill Barnes (Gettysburg/Gettysburg) caught five of those passes for 51 yards.
Defensively, Carl Thornton (Beaver Falls/Beaver Falls) had two of IUP's five sacks, totaling six tackles on the afternoon. Akeem Smith (Philadelphia/Frankford) had one while Greg Meisner (Greensburg/Hempfield ) and Larry Gooden (McKeesport/McKeesport) combined for another. Johnny Franco (Altoona/Tyrone), McFadden and Shane Meisner (Greensburg/Hempfield ) all had five tackles.
This was IUP's last road game in the month of October, as the Crimson Hawks come home for two straight home games starting with a huge matchup against Mercyhurst (6-1, 4-0) next Saturday at 1:00 p.m.