Mercyhurst Runs Away From Seton Hill 35-16


Running back E’Andre Smith rushed for 200 yards, quarterback Doug Altavilla threw three touchdown passes and linebacker Joseph Scro had an interception-return touchdown as the Mercyhurst football team rolled past Seton Hill for a 35-16 victory in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division competition on Saturday at Tullio Field.

Smith ended with 20 carries while becoming the first Laker to hit the 200-yard mark since Brandon Brown-Dukes reached 221 against Gannon in 2013. Fellow RB Garrett Owens added 10 runs for 68 yards to the Mercyhurst effort.

Quarterback Doug Altavilla completed 12 of 20 passes for 131 yards. He found wide receiver Brad Novaktwice for scores; Novak finished with seven grabs for 77 yards. Fullback Theophilus Blackston III had the other TD reception.

On defense, Scro led the way with 12 total tackles and his thievery toward paydirt. Defensive back Ben Young added 10 tackles, linebacker Kaz Struna had nine tackles and defensive back Jake Tarasovitchcame through with eight tackles.

Also, defensive lineman Andrew Welton had seven tackles, including two for-loss. Linebacker Corbin Kessler also had seven tackles and finished with a tackle-for-loss, forced fumble and fumble recovery.

The Lakers (4-4, 3-2) jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first half and never looked back.

The Altavilla-to-Novak connection got Mercyhurst started with a 12-yard hookup, finishing off a nine-play, 70-yard drive. During that march, Altavilla completed 6 of 7 tosses for 71 yards to four different receivers.

Smith broke off a 73-yard TD run in the second quarter — the eighth-longest run in MU history — as the Lakers built a 14-0 lead. Later in that period, Scro returned his interception 62 yards for a score.

A 52-yard touchdown pass from SHU quarterback Christian Strong to wide receiver Michael Elardo got the visitors on the board before a field goal closed their halftime deficit to 21-9.

Mercyhurst came back with 14 consecutive points in the third. Blackston, the defensive-lineman-turned-fullback, had a three-yard TD reception from Altavilla. That finished off an eight-play drive during which Smith had seven runs for 69 yards.

The Lakers’ final score was an eight-yard connection between Altavilla and Novak.

SHU running back Jarvis McClam had a three-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter before a scoreless final period for both teams.

McClam had 20 rushes for 121 yards while Strong went 26 of 40 for 307 yards. His top receivers were Timothy Knuettell, who had eight catches for 90 yards, and Elardo, who made six grabs for 121.

Defensive back Fardan Allen and linebacker Cole Shuker had eight tackles apiece for the Griffin defense. Defensive lineman Kalen Brown recorded a sack.

The Lakers will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 28, with a 1 p.m. PSAC West contest at California (Pa.).

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