PREVIEW: SU set for homecoming clash with Millersville
After a dominant 56-0 victory over Cheyney University last weekend, the Shippensburg University football team returns home to Seth Grove Stadium on Saturday when it hosts Millersville University for homecoming.
The Red Raiders (6-1, 3-1 PSAC East) will look to continue to emphasize the run after SU ran for 273 yards and seven scores last week against the Wolves.
“We’re going to run the ball and they’re going to have to stop us from running the ball,” SU head coach Mark Maciejewski said.
Millersville (3-4, 2-2 PSAC East) enters the game boasting the eighth-best defense in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, which includes the conference’s leading tackler in Sean Dugan. The Red Raider defense enters the contest with the best defense in the PSAC, giving up just 11.9 points per game on the season.
While Millersville is not one of the four teams tied for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division lead, the Marauders will try to spoil SU’s homecoming as SU looks for a key victory to keep it in the PSAC Eastern Division hunt.
“We’re going to focus on what we do,” Maciejewski said. “That’s what we try to do every week. Millersville is a good team and they have had success the last few weeks and they’re going to try and take something away from us and we need to make sure that we don’t let that happen.”
With homecoming, the Red Raiders are encouraging fans to wear red to create a “red out” at Seth Grove Stadium to create a hostile environment for Millersville.
“Homecoming is always fun here at Shippensburg,” Maciejewski said. “We’re going to have a huge crowd and all the fans will be behind us. It’s exciting for our players because they see all the support and what a great game day atmosphere we have between the band and the fans.”
SU will face a tough task in the Marauder pass defense, as Millersville ranks fourth in the PSAC in passing yards per game. Red Raider quarterback Ryan Zapoticky has had a phenomenal season however, throwing for 1,923 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Even with the four-way tie in the Eastern Division, SU still needs to win the rest of its games and have West Chester University lose another game if the Red Raiders are to earn a spot in the PSAC championship game or “state game.”
“What’s in the past is in the past, right now we have a four-game schedule,” Maciejewski said. “We’re looking at the big picture of what can happen if we take care of business, but at the same time, we’ve got to understand that we have to do the little things, have attention to detail and take it game by game. We’ve been in this situation the last few years and we need to make sure this season ends differently.”
SU and Millersville will kickoff at 1 p.m. at Seth Grove Stadium.