LOCK HAVEN — A decision by wide receiver Jesse Hoover (Curwensville) to play one more season for Lock Haven as a graduate student has resulted in the 6-1, 205-pounder finishing his four-year career on a quartet of the program’s all-time Top 10 lists.
One of 13 Bald Eagles honored prior to their final game at Hubert Jack Stadium Saturday, Hoover caught three passes for 30 yards in a 44-14 loss to former Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division rival Gannon in front of 1,763 fans.
He closed the season with a team-high 48 receptions for a career-best 501 yards and three touchdowns, ranking No. 13 in the PSAC for receptions per game (4.4) and No. 14 in catches.
Hoover started all but three of the 42 games in which he played after redshirting in 2009 and will leave the Lock Haven program tied for fifth in receptions with 126, seventh in receiving yards with 1,653 for a 13.12 average, tied for eighth in touchdown passes caught with 12 and ninth with an average of three receptions per game.
Hoover, one of four captains for the 2013 Bald Eagle team, also caught one PAT pass and had one solo tackle and one assist in his career.
Sophomore running back Beau Swales (Clearfield) carried three times for 14 yards, caught one pass for 10 yards and average 25.3 yards on four kickoff returns for Lock Haven in the PSAC cross-over game.
He is one of the top kickoff returners in the PSAC, ranking third with 26 runbacks, fifth with 594 yards and seventh with a 22.8 average.
Swales had 29 carries for 78 yards and one TD and eight pass receptions for 74 yards and one TD.
His 746 all-purpose yards were third highest for the Bald Eagles.
Swales has appeared in 22 consecutive games as a reserve with 78 carries for 185 yards and two TDs, 12 catches for 113 yards and one TD, 28 kickoff returns for a 22.43 average and two tackle assists.
Lock Haven ended the season 3-8, the most wins since 2004, with a 2-5 record in its first year in the PSAC-East Division.
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BLOOMSBURG — Redshirt sophomore Derek Morgan (Clearfield) registered two solo tackles and assisted on three other stops for the Slippery Rock (9-2) defense that was unable to hold off Bloomsburg (10-1) in the final two minutes of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship game Saturday and came out on the short end of a 42-38 thriller seen by a crowd of 2,635 at Redman Stadium.
The Rock, who had led 28-13 late in the third quarter, went in front again at 38-35 on a field goal with 2:16 remaining, but the No. 12-ranked Huskies responded with a drive capped by a touchdown run with 27 seconds left.
Slippery Rock, which had won seven games in a row en route to the PSAC-West Division title and No. 12 ranking by D2football.com and No. 18 by the American Football Coaches Association, received a bid to the NCAA Division II Super Region 1 Playoffs for the first time since 1999 and, as the No. 5 seed, will travel to North Carolina to test No. 4 seed Winston-Salem State (9-1) Saturday.
No. 3 seed West Chester (10-1) will host No. 6 American International College (9-2) in the other first-round match-up. No. 1 Shepherd (10-0) and No. 2 Bloomsburg received the byes.
Morgan’s season totals show 35 tackles, three interceptions and two pass break-ups.
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HUNTINGDON — Freshman defensive back Jordan Russell (Curwensville) made the tackle that prevented a Susquehanna runback on a 51-yard fourth quarter punt which gave Juniata field position for the remainder of its 17-10 win in the annual Battle for the Goal Post showdown at Knox Stadium Saturday.
A Senior Day turnout of 1,750 fans saw the Eagles improve to 7-3, tying for the most wins since 1990, and grab a share of third place in the Centennial Conference at 6-3.
Their reward is a berth in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Southwest Bowl Saturday against Albright, which was 6-3 in the Middle Atlantic Conference and also is 7-3 overall.
Russell has played in nine games with 11 tackles, including six solo stops. He also has one pass break-up and one fumble recovery.
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WEST CHESTER — Sophomore long snapper Eric White (Clearfield) was involved in his seventh tackle of the season for the Clarion punt unit in a season-ending 41-14 loss to nationally-ranked West Chester Saturday afternoon.
He made the first hit on a Golden Ram punt return in the first quarter of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference cross-over game that attracted 2,677 fans to Farrell Stadium.
The Golden Eagles finished 4-7 with a 2-5 record in the PSAC-West Division, while the Golden Rams, who were ranked No. 17 by D2football.com, will take a 10-1 record into the NCAA Division II Super Region 1 Playoffs.
In two seasons, White has played in 22 games with one solo tackle and eight assists.
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PITTSBURGH — Graduate student center Nick Redden (Clearfield) made his final appearance on the Rooney Field turf for Duquesne Saturday afternoon as the Dukes claimed a share of the Northeast Conference title by edging Central Connecticut State 24-21 in front of 2,022 fans.
The Dukes, who also shared the championship in 2011, were denied a trip to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs when Sacred Heart defeated Robert Morris 42-25 to tie for the top spot at 4-2 and became the NEC’s automatic qualifier.
Redden will make his 22nd and last start for the Dukes Saturday in a non-conference game at Monmouth (N.J.)
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PITTSBURGH — Sophomore 141-pounder Jake Keller (Curwensville) lost 12-3 to former PIAA Class AAA state champion Dan Neff (Quarryville/Solanco H.S.) in his first dual meet appearance for Pitt, which opened its Eastern Wrestling League schedule with a 27-14 win over Lock Haven in Fitzgerald Field House Friday night.
Neff, a redshirt sophomore who was named Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year for the 2012-13 season, took control with three takedowns in the first period for a 6-2 lead.
Keller is 2-3 overall.
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WILLIAMSPORT — Lycoming freshman 157-pounder Nolan Barger (Clearfield) was edged 7-5 by York sophomore Adam Kritzer (Line Mountain) in the dual meet opener for both teams at Lamade Gym on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Lycoming was victorious, 24-13.
Barger has a 5-2 record.
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WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
BETHLEHEM — St. Francis (Pa.) freshman Becca Johnson (Grampian/Curwensville Area H.S.) set a new personal record for 6,000 meters at the NCAA Division I Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships hosted by Lehigh Friday.
Johnson ran the Goodman Campus Course in 24:28 to better her previous lifetime best by 47 seconds and place 181st among the 207 runners.
She was the seventh finisher for the Red Flash, whose top five runners placed 24th in the 29-team field.