- Score: at Gannon 31, Indiana (Pa.) 21
- Records: Gannon (8-2, 7-2 PSAC), Indiana (Pa.) (6-4, 5-4 PSAC)
- Location: Erie, Pa. – Gannon University Field
- The Short Story: Gannon out-scored Indiana (Pa.) 17-7 during the second half en route to a 31-21 victory Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at Gannon University Field. As a result, the Golden Knights finished as Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division Champions.
GAMEDAY MEDIA CENTER
- Box Score: Click Here
- Photo Gallery #1 (Senior Day): Click Here
- Photo Gallery #2 (Action): Click Here
- Video Highlights & Post-Game Interviews: (Coming Soon)
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Gannon wasted little time getting the offensive jets going. After IUP won the toss and elected to kick, the Golden Knights immediately marched 75 yards on 11 plays for the contest’s first score. The drive consisted of eight runs and two pass completions, capped by junior Brock Jones‘ (Peninsula, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) one-yard touchdown run 4:49 into the game.
- Indiana (Pa.) produced back-to-back touchdown drives midway through the first half to forge ahead. The game-tying score came on C.J. Jackson’s 55-yard touchdown pass from Chase Haslett with 2:38 left in the first half.
- After forcing a Gannon three-and-out, IUP went 60 yards on nine plays to assume a 14-7 lead. Haslett’s second touchdown pass was hauled in by Drew Carswell from 14 yards out for the go-ahead score 2:04 into the second quarter.
- Gannon punched back on its next possession, chewing up 57 yards on nine plays. The Golden Knights converted a third-and-nine with a 14-yard pass from redshirt junior Liam Nadler (Leipsic, Ohio/Leipsic Local) to junior Jesstin Hamm (Harwood, Md./DeMatha Catholic). Later on third-and-14, Nadler connected with senior Justin Caliste (Roseville, Calif./Oakmont) for a 38-yard touchdown pass to knot the score at 14 with 9:08 left in the first half.
- The two teams eventually went to halftime tied at 14, before the second half turned into a more defensive affair.
- Gannon scored the only points of the third quarter when freshman Karch Holland (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington) drilled a 37-yard field goal with 7:19 left in the frame, giving the Golden Knights a lead they wouldn’t relinquish at 17-14. Gannon converted two more third downs during the drive.
- The lead extended to double digits for the first time early in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Kailan Chavis (Charlotte, N.C./Hopewell) returned an interception to the IUP 40-yard line right before the end of the third quarter. After another third-down conversion, Nadler hit Hamm for their second scoring connection of the game. This one went for 18 yards to give the Golden Knights a 24-14 advantage 1:43 into the final stanza.
- IUP refused to fold and immediately answered with a touchdown of its own. On third-and-five, Haslett hit Walt Pegues for 27 yards and a first down to the Gannon 14-yard line. Two plays later, the same duo hooked up for a five-yard touchdown pass to pull within 24-21 at the 10:28 mark.
- The see-saw contest continued as Gannon needed only four plays to answer on its next possession. The big play came on first down when Nadler pulled the ball from Jones and hit a wide-open Hamm for a 59-yard pass to the IUP seven-yard line. Three plays later, Jones found pay dirt for the second time from two yards out, giving Gannon a 31-21 edge with 9:14 to play.
- IUP’s last two drives came to an end with an interception by sophomore Ryan Davis (Olmsted Falls, Ohio/St. Edward) and a sack by redshirt junior Joshua Wiechelt (Depew, N.Y./Depew) that ended the contest.
- Gannon entered the game ranked third in the country in third-down conversion percentage and proceeded to convert 11 of 18 against IUP.
- IUP entered the contest ranked third in NCAA Division II in rushing defense, allowing 66.6 yards per game. Gannon was able to churn out 150 yards on 39 carries.
- Gannon out-scored IUP 24-7 during the final 42 minutes.
- Jones produced his seventh 100-yard rushing performance in eight games with 106 yards and two touchdowns. He needs one more to tie the school’s single-season record of eight set by Sterling Pierce in 1998.
- Hamm set a career-high with 175 receiving yards, surpassing his previous high of 171 set against Mercyhurst last season. His nine catches tied a career-high set earlier this season against Kutztown.
- Nadler extended his school-record total of 300-yard passing games to 11 with 304 yards and two touchdowns on a 20-of-36 chart.
- Davis’ fourth-quarter interception represented his first career pick.
- Chavis’ third-quarter interception was his team-best fourth of the season.
- Senior Luke Rankie (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) tied a season-high with a team-high 11 tackles. He recorded two sacks in a game for the second time during his collegiate career.
- Saturday’s game was played with temperatures in the 40’s with wind chills in the 30’s due to wind gusts between 15-20 miles per hour. Part of the second half was played with light hail falling.
- The contest was part of Senior Day as 15 Gannon student-athletes were honored prior to the game. Gannon fans also took part in Military Appreciation Day.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Gannon captured its first divisional title in school history spanning two conferences in the PSAC and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).
- The Golden Knights finished tied for first place in the PSAC Western Division with Slippery Rock. However, the Rock will play in next week’s PSAC title game due to its 31-28 victory against Gannon on October 4.
- Gannon has won eight games for the first time since the 2003 squad went 9-1 as an NCAA Division II Independent.
- Rankie jumped Dan Tomko (2003-06) and moved into sixth place all-time at Gannon with 271 career tackles. He needs three more to move into Gannon’s all-time top five.
- Caliste broke Gannon’s single-season reception record, finishing the game with 67 catches. The previous record of 64 was set by teammate Abraham Ocasio in 2012.
- Hamm moved past Pat Cain (2000-03) into seventh place all-time at Gannon with 1,281 career receiving yards.
- Gannon concludes the regular season Saturday, November 15 against East Stroudsburg at Gannon University Field. Game time is scheduled for 12 noon.
- The Golden Knights are 0-2 all-time against the Warriors, but the two programs haven’t met since the 2009 season.
- The regular-season finale will be an important one to keep Gannon’s hopes of an NCAA Division II Tournament bid alive.