The Gannon University football team improved to 3-1 for the first time since 2003, and is one of two teams that remain undefeated in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division.
The Knights accomplished this feat when they defeated Clarion University, 45-25, Saturday afternoon in Clarion, Pa.
Coach Brad Rzyczycki said the Knights got off to a fast start on offense because sophomore quarterback Liam Nadler was executing the offensive game plan well.
Nadler earned the honor of PSAC Western Division “Player of The Week” for the third time in his career due to his strong performance in the game. He threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns while recording no interceptions.
Another Knight notarized for his dominant performance was Justin Caliste. The 5-foot-5, 150-pound wide receiver and special teams returner was named the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II special teams player of the week by Beyond Sports Network.
Rzyczycki said that while Caliste may not physically look big, he is able to fight through tackles and make defenders miss.
“He is pound for pound the strongest kid that we have on this team, which I don’t think people understand,” Rzyczycki said. “If we can make 5 yards of space for Caliste then he can make everyone miss.”
Caliste led all wide receivers with nine receptions for 112 yards, and returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. He finished the day with 249 all-purpose yards.
“Most of the time I am the smallest guy on the field, but at the end of the day I feel like I play as big or bigger than anyone else out there,” Caliste said.
The defense recorded six sacks during the game and forced two turnovers. Gannon defensive backs, sophomore Matt Astorino and junior Ta’Von Bailey each snagged an interception.
The Knights will play their Homecoming game at noon Saturday when they take on undefeated Bloomsburg University at the Gannon University Field.