Golden Knights Slayed in Season Opener
Gannon's season opener was spoiled by Southern Connecticut State's Eli Parks who rushed for four touchdowns in a 35-32 win over the Golden Knights.
"Physically as the game wore on, I thought they were the more physical team," said Gannon head coach Brad Rzyczycki. "Their running back ran through some tackles. If we look back at the missed tackles for the most part defensively, it cost us."
Parks capped his four-score performance by answering Gannon's touchdown with 2:33 left with a seven-yard touchdown with under a minute to play. The senior running back finished the night with 127 yards on the ground.
The other major factor for Gannon in their season-opening loss was the mistakes made in all three phases. The Golden Knights combined for 13 penalties that totaled up to 107 yards. Combine that with two interceptions by quarterback Jimmy Keefe, and Gannon is left with some areas to clean up heading into their next game against West Chester
"We obviously had too many mental lapses," said Rzyczycki. "I thought at times we were out-physicaled up front and you can't win ball games."
The offensive attack also struggled to find consistency in game one of the season, as Keefe was limited to 212 yards and the two misthrows. The redshirt sophomore also added three scores through the air and one on the ground.
"I think what they did, they jumped into a bare front where they covered a lot of people up and set some people on Marcus [Jones] to force us to throw the football," said Rzyczycki. "I don't know how well we executed that today. It's something that we definitely have to expect all year."
Jones ran for 160 yards in his first game. He opened the scoring in this game with a one-yard touchdown.
Gannon now has 10 days to prepare before hitting the road for West Chester on Saturday, Sept. 8th. The team though says a lot must be done to prepare for a test from one of the top teams in the PSAC East.
"We just wasn't all the way together," said senior Gannon senior linebacker Anthony Howard. "I mean it hurts to lose but we just got to get back in the book and really get together, all the way together, unified."
That game in West Chester will kickoff at noon from John A. Farrell Stadium.