Story and photo courtesy of Indiana (Pa.) Athletics
CHEYNEY, Pa. – The 23rd-ranked Crimson Hawks piled up another 300-yard rushing performance with 323 and six touchdowns on the ground, as the defense forced Cheyney into five turnovers and allowed just 106 total yards as IUP shutout the Wolves 56-0 at O'Shields-Stevenson Stadium in Cheyney on Saturday afternoon.
Three different IUP running backs scored a pair of touchdowns including Harvie Tuck (Akron, OH/St. Vincent-St. Mary), Montay Green (Pittsburgh/Fox Chapel) and Alex Holland (Curwensville/Curwensville). Getting his first career action, the true freshman Holland came off the bench to run for 96 yards on 19 carries, including a 33-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter. Tuck added 78 yards on just 10 carries while Green had 68 yards on 13 carries. De'Antwan Williams (Woodbridge, VA/Woodbridge) also had a successful day off the bench, carrying the ball 11 times for 83 yards.
The IUP defense also flexed its muscles, as the ground-oriented Cheyney offense netted just nine yards on the ground after gaining 75 but losing 66. The Wolves also fumbled five times as IUP owned a 34:33 – 25:27 time of possession advantage.
The Crimson Hawks rolled up 170 rushing yards in the first half en route to a 49-0 lead after just two quarters.
Cheyney got the ball first but on the game's fourth play, IUP's Greg Meisner (Greensburg/Hempfield ) recovered his own forced fumble, giving the offense great field position at the Wolves' 24-yard line. Two plays later Tuck covered those 24 yards on the ground to put IUP up 7-0 just 1:38 into the game.
The teams would trade possessions before IUP scored again, this time on a pass play as Pat Smith (Hollidaysburg/Hollidaysburg) hooked up with Pat Brewer (Coatesville/Coatesville) on a 57-yard catch-and-run to put the Crimson Hawks on top 14-0 in the first quarter. The play was preceded by three straight runs from Tuck of eight, four and 16 yards to get IUP out to its 43-yard line.
Two Cheyney possessions later the Wolves would give the ball up for the second time, as Errol Brewster (Harlem, NY/Springbrook (MD)) recovered a fumble at the Cheyney 22-yard line.
It took just four plays for the Crimson Hawks to capitalize, as Tuck took it in from six yards out as the ensuing extra point by Brett Ullman (Baltimore, MD/Perry Hall) made it a 21-0 lead just five seconds into the second quarter.
The next Wolves' drive didn't last long either, as Leroy Stanford coughed up the ball on just the second play as Mike Katch (Lansdale/North Penn) jumped on the ball at the Cheyney 38-yard line.
Tuck got a rest as Green or Williams ran all seven plays on the next IUP drive, with Green finishing it off with a one-yard plunge to help put the Crimson Hawks on top 28-0 with 10:38 left in the half.
The next IUP possession went a little longer, with the Crimson Hawks using 14 plays to cover 71 yards in 4:58, polishing off the drive with another one-yard touchdown run by Green. Williams and Green again starred on the possession by combining for 55 yards, while Smith completed a pair of passes to Tyler Dummermuth (New Philadelphia, OH/New Philadelphia) and Dom Maggio (Pittsburgh/Central Catholic) for 16 yards.
The final touchdown of the half came on the final play, as Smith hooked up with receiver Anthony Meriwether (Brook Park, OH/Midpark) on a 16-yard scoring strike as time expired. That touchdown and Ullman's extra point put IUP on top 42-0 heading into the locker room.
As more players saw playing time in the second half, the scoring became less. But the IUP ground game was still strong as Holland did all of his damage in the game's final two quarters.
He scored his first touchdown on the first drive of the third quarter, as he capped off the 12-play, 72-yard possession with a 13-yard sprint into the end zone 4:47 into the half.
Holland's second score came at the beginning of the fourth quarter following a Shane Meisner (Greensburg/Hempfield ) fumble recovery at the end of the third. Getting the ball on the Cheyney 19-yard line, IUP moved the ball down to the three-yard line before Holland capped off the game's scoring with a touchdown run.
Cheyney quarterback Blaze Wasserleben provided most of the offense for the Wolves, going 9-of-17 for 97 yards through the air and netting 21 yards on the ground.
For IUP, Smith finished 6-of-10 for 107 yards and two touchdowns while Mike Box (Lawrenceville, GA/Collins Hill) went 2-of-4 for 34 yards in relief. Brewer caught a pair of passes for 64 yards and a score while Josh Grafton (Harrisburg/Susquehanna ), Terrill Barnes (Gettysburg/Gettysburg) and Salath Williams (Harrisburg/Bishop McDevitt) along with Meriwether, Dummermuth and Maggio all added a catch as the Crimson Hawks spread the ball around.
On the defensive side for the Crimson Hawks, Johnny Franco (Altoona/Tyrone) had five tackles, including four solo stops. Terrell Holloway (Penn Hills/Penn Hills) added four solo tackles, as three of those came behind the line of scrimmage for a total loss of 12 yards. Carl Fleming (Reisterstown, MD/Franklin) and Marvase Byrd (McKeesport/McKeesport) each added four tackles.
Jordan Batts (Homestead/Jeannette) recovered the fifth Cheyney fumble and combined with Jeff Palmer (Cranberry Twp./Seneca Valley), Alexander Berdahl (Ashburn, VA/Bishop O'Connell) and Carl Thornton (Beaver Falls/Beaver Falls) for four more tackles-for-loss.
It was just the fifth meeting between the two schools, as IUP holds a 5-0 record in a series that dates back to 1994. In those meetings, IUP has given up an average of 5.2 points to the Wolves and has outscored Cheyney 272-26.
The 2-0 Crimson Hawks return home next Saturday, September 15 as they open up Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division play against visiting Lock Haven at George P. Miller Stadium at 4:00 p.m. Kickoff will follow the IUP Athletics Hall of Fame luncheon ceremony, where 14 school legends will also be honored at halftime.