Kutztown Shines in 42-34 Season Finale Win Over Slippery Rock

11/11/2017 | Football | Box Score
KUTZTOWN | Redshirt-senior quarterback Chris Kane made his last game in a Kutztown uniform a memorable one as he led the Kutztown University football team to a 42-34 win over Slippery Rock University Saturday afternoon at Andre Reed Stadium in the regular season finale for KU.

It is the first victory against the Rock since 2012, having last played in 2014, a 37-26 Slippery Rock win.

The Golden Bears finish 2017 with an 8-3 overall mark and 5-2 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) East Division. Slippery Rock concludes its regular season also at 8-3.

In his second career start, and second in a row, Kane threw for a career-high 469 passing yards and five touchdowns. The 469 yards through the air is third most in KU history and the most since Kevin Morton threw for 490 yards in Oct. 2012.

He connected with five different receivers for touchdowns, the most since the 62-17 win against Seton Hill in week three on Sept. 16.

“It’s been an adjustment getting to play so much these last two weeks, but credit to [offensive line] coach [GA] Mangus, he really makes it easy to understand the offense,” said Kane. “It’s unbelievable not only to be able to come back from injury, but to win on senior day in my last home game at Kutztown. Someone upstairs has been looking out for me and I’m appreciative to be here in this postion.”

Jack Pilkerton, Abdul-Hassan Neblett, Conor Sullivan, Evan Culver and Josh Lee all caught touchdown passes. Pilkerton led all receivers with seven receptions for 135 yards. Sullivan had five for 51 yards.

Culver has scored a touchdown in six-straight games.

Neblett (3 catches, 106 yards) also rushed for 71 yards and a score.

Kutztown may not have come away with the victory had it not been for its defense.

Holding a 32-24 lead with 0:59 left Slippery Rock was driving inside the red zone. Facing a first-down from its own 4-yard line, the Maroon and Gold defensive unit stood tall for four straight plays, not allowing a single yard, and allowed its offense to take three knees to run out the clock.

TwyNique Chisholm-Wilkerson had two sacks and recovered a fumble, to go along with seven tackles. Junior Tajier Jefferson finished with a game-high 10 tackles and 0.5 sacks.

Redshirt-junior Jake Perry came away with an interception in the third quarter, halting a Rock drive. It was his 10th career pick, which ties him for eighth in the KU record books. Perry also had nine tackles.

Not to be outdone, redshirt-freshman Shawn Turber-Ortiz recorded his sixth career interception, which sets KU’s freshman record. It is also good for second in the PSAC.

The KU defense has 18 interceptions on the season, second in the conference.

Senior Jalen Nieves came away with eight tackles, finishing his career with 255, 11th in program history.

Kutztown honored seven seniors prior to kickoff. Kane, Nieves, Tristan Shoopack, Skyler Panchari, Ronny Tomasetti, Andrew Garbarino and Steve Plousis have all played in their final games in a KU uniform.

Tomasetti ended his career with 19.5 sacks, tied for fifth in program history, while Plousis ends his career with 101 tackles and 10 sacks.

Panchari played in 42 career games and recorded a touchdown on his first career carry earlier this season, marking the first touchdown by a KU offensive lineman since 2012. Garbarino played 43 career games and had his first career catch and touchdown reception earlier this year.

Kutztown finished in a tie for third place in the PSAC East with its 5-2 mark, behind Shippensburg and West Chester both at 6-1.

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