SLIPPERY ROCK — Redshirt senior strong safety Derek Morgan (Clearfield) topped the Slippery Rock defense with 12 tackles as The Rock held off Northeast 10 Conference champion Assumption 41-39 in the NCAA Division II Super Region One semifinals Saturday afternoon.
Five of Morgan’s career-high stops were solo for a unit that had four fumble recoveries and one interception to pad its nation-leading turnover total to 46.
The Rock, ranked No. 10 in the latest American Football Coaches Association Poll, rolled into the fourth quarter with a 41-19 lead, but the No. 19-ranked Greyhounds (11-2) kept the crowd of 1,101 in Mihalik-Thompson Stadium with a rally that fizzled only when a two-point try failed with 3:47 remaining.
After extending the longest Division II home winning streak to 17, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference champion Slippery Rock (12-1) will go on the road Saturday to challenge top seed Shepherd (W.Va.) for the Super Region One title and a trip to the NCAA semifinals.
The Mountain East Conference champ had to come from behind to turn back No. 5 seed Indiana University of Pennsylvania 17-13 in the other semifinal for an 11-0 record.
Despite missing two full games and most of a third because of an injury, Morgan is third on The Rock defense in pass breakups with seven and is tied for third in interceptions with three.
He has registered 27 solo tackles and assisted on 21 other stops.