Story and photo courtesy of California (Pa.) Athletics
– Junior running back Lamont Smith (Penn Hills, Pa./Central Catholic) and senior wide receiver Thomas Mayo (Reston, Va./South Lakes) each scored three touchdowns and the defense registered a shutout on Saturday afternoon, as the No. 17 Vulcans cruised to a 44-0 victory over Elizabeth City State (N.C.) in the first round of NCAA Playoffs.
With the win, the California University of Pennsylvania football team improved to 10-2 overall. The Vulcans will now travel to face No. 3 Winston-Salem State (N.C.), who is undefeated this season (11-0), in the second round of the NCAA Playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 12 p.m. Meanwhile, the Vikings finish the year with an 8-4 record with all four losses coming against nationally-ranked opponents.
Redshirt junior quarterback Peter Lalich (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) posted his third 300-yard game of the season, finishing with 357 passing yards on 26-of-34 attempts with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He became only the third 3,000-yard quarterback in school history and now ranks second with 3,344 yards this season. Lalich is also only one touchdown shy of becoming the third quarterback with 30 touchdown passes in a single-season.
Smith finished with 83 rushing yards on 11 attempts (7.5 yards/attempt) and three touchdowns after posting only two rushing scores in the regular season. With his performance, he surpassed the 1,000-yard mark (1,078) and is one of four running backs in school history with 1,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons.
The Vulcans posted their first shutout of the season on Saturday after limiting the Vikings to only 197 yards of total offense. Cal U limited ECSU junior running back Daronte McNeill to a season-low 67 rushing yards on 20 carries (3.3 yards/attempt) after he entered the game ranked sixth in the country with 143.6 rushing yards/game and third with 22 rushing touchdowns. The Vulcans also forced the Vikings into four turnovers after ECSU entered the game ranked ninth in the nation in turnover margin (+13).