Slippery Rock University wide receiver Jermaine Wynn, Jr. tied the NCAA Division II Playoff record for single-game receptions and the #8-ranked SRU football team outscored Shepherd University 28-7 over the last 18 minutes to pull away for a 51-30 victory in the second round of the playoffs Saturday from Mihalik-Thompson Stadium.
Wynn Jr. caught 18 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns in the game, breaking the SRU single-game record of 17 receptions that was set by Greg Hopkins in 1992 and tying the Division II Playoff record that was set by Humboldt State’s Chase Krivashei in 2015.
The Rock defense forced a season-high five turnovers in the game with Shepherd losing three fumbles and throwing two interceptions. Shane Schuback forced and recovered two fumbles, Butler grad Tim Vernick and Tyree Spearman each had one interception and Brad Zaffram had one fumble recovery.
Shepherd entered the game ranked in the top five nationally in fewest sacks and tackles for loss allowed, but the SRU defense got to Bagent for three sacks and finished with five tackles for loss.
Slippery Rock finished the game with a season-high 652 yards of total offense with 416 passing yards and 236 rushing yards to go along with just one turnover, a lost fumble in the first half.
Shepherd’s offense put up 528 total yards with 413 passing yards and 115 rushing yards.
The two quarterbacks entered the game ranked first (Roland Rivers III) and second (Tyson Bagent) in the nation in total offense and did not disappoint. Rivers completed 31-of-47 passes for 416 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions while also rushing for 33 yards and one touchdown. Bagent completed 30-of-42 passes for 413 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Rock running back Charles Snorweah rushed for a career-high 163 yards and two touchdowns to finish with 196 all-purpose yards and three scores. DeSean Dinkins added 41 rushing yards on nine carries.
The top-seeded Rock improve to 12-0 on the year, matching the 1998 and 2015 teams for the most wins in a single-season in program history. Slippery Rock advances to the NCAA quarterfinals for the second straight year and will host Notre Dame (Ohio) Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s regional final. Fifth-seeded Shepherd finishes its season with a 10-3 overall record.
SRU head coach Shawn Lutz, the 2018 & 2019 PSAC-West Coach of the Year, improved to 38-10.
Hear next Saturday’s game on The Rock Station 97.7fm beginning with the Coach Shawn Lutz Show at 12:30pm