Courtesy of Gannon Athletics
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Tyler Batts rushed for a career-high 137 yards and six different Golden Knights scored touchdowns as the Gannon football team rolled past Lock Haven 42-7 Saturday afternoon. As a result, the Golden Knights have their best seven-game record (4-3) since the 2003 team opened the season 6-1.
Gannon led 7-0 at halftime after Batts scored from 14 yards out with 12:05 left in the second quarter. The Golden Knights then responded after the break with 35 points during the final two quarters.
Head coach Jim Kiernan’s squad waste little time scoring in the second half. Gannon scored a touchdown on its opening drive, moving the ball 55 yards on nine plays. Two plays after a personal foul on third down gave the Golden Knights a new set of downs, Tony Sims (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) scored his first career touchdown with a six-yard run.
Gannon needed only two plays on its next possession to stretch the lead to 21-0 as Zach Boedicker (Northfield, Ohio/Nordonia) found a wide-open Geoff Hicks (Buffalo, N.Y./Cleveland Hill) for a 43-yard touchdown strike.
During Lock Haven’s ensuing possession, Keith Yager (Hermitage, Pa./Hickory) forced a fumble when he hit quarterback Jarryd Burkett. Chris Cook (Cleveland, Ohio/Shaw) snatched the ball out of mid-air and raced 58 yards untouched for another touchdown, extending the Gannon margin to 28-0.
Lock Haven did become only the second team to score against Gannon in the third quarter this season. Trailing by four touchdowns, Burkett scored on a 15-yard run with 1:10 left in the frame.
It was still a dominating third-quarter performance as Gannon out-scored Lock Haven 21-7. The Golden Knights have now out-scored their opponents 58-14 in the third quarter this season.
Ben Griffith (Erie, Pa./McDowell) and Jansen Jones (Rochester, N.Y./Penfield) tacked on fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns to account for the final 42-7 score. Griffith produced his second career touchdown with a two-yard blast at the 9:47 mark while Jones scored his first career touchdown on a 58-yard jaunt with 6:17 left in regulation.
Gannon out-gained Lock Haven 380-176, including a 245-72 edge on the ground. The Golden Knights were 6-of-13 in third-down conversions after going 0-for-11 last week against fourth-ranked California (Pa.). The squad was 6-of-38 during the last three weeks.
Batts led the bruising ground attack with 137 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries. The effort represented his second 100-yard rushing performance of the season and third of his career.
Jones added 60 yards and one score on two carries. Seven Golden Knights were credited with a carry and five rushed for at least 12 yards.
Hicks headlined the receivers with two catches for 51 yards and a touchdown. Batts and Jason Ladouceur (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park) also had two receptions each.
Defensively, Gannon was able to get off the field every time it needed to. The Golden Knights did not allow Lock Haven to convert a third-down play in 13 chances. In all, 22 players made at least one tackle. The team combined to make 13 tackles for a loss and seven sacks.
Randy Colling (Arcade, N.Y./Pioneer) was the defensive leader with seven tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. Yager and Kevin Minor (South Euclid, Ohio/Shaw) chipped in six stops each. Both players had three tackles for a loss.
Gannon improved to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division. Lock Haven dropped to 0-7 overall and 0-4 in conference play while losing its 28th consecutive game. The Golden Knights have out-scored the Bald Eagles 95-7 during the program’s three all-time meetings.
Gannon returns to action Saturday, October 23 when it hosts Indiana (Pa.) during Homecoming Weekend. Game time at Gannon University Field is scheduled for 12 noon.