Vulcans earn first win of the season over Panthers


Rachael McKriger

Senior wide receiver Tom Greene had a career-high game, making eight catches for 158 yards against Ohio Dominican University.

Jacob Greco, Contributor

The California University of Pennsylvania Vulcans won an early shootout Thursday night in their home opener vs. the Ohio Dominican Panthers.

Vulcans’ kicker, Will Brazill, nailed a go ahead field goal with less than a minute remaining. The Panthers missed a 50-yard attempt as time expired. The Vulcans held onto a 36-34 victory.

The Vulcans started off the scoring with a 13 play 91-yard drive. The drive was led by senior quarterback Michael Keir, throwing for 50 yards, and senior running back Nick Grissom, gaining 29 total yards. The drive was completed with a 5-yard touchdown run by Jalen Bell.

The Panthers answered with a touchdown drive of their own scoring with 3:56 remaining in the first quarter. The 11 play 68-yard drive was finished off by a 26-yard pass from Grant Russell to David Turner.

In response to the Panthers touchtown, The Vulcans ended the first quarter scoring with a 4 play 70-yard drive. The highlight of the drive was a 67-yard reception by Tom Greene. Greene was tripped up at the 2-yard line. Dylan Stallings would complete the drive with a 2-yard touchdown reception from Kier.

At the conclusion of a high paced 1st quarter, our Cal U Vulcans were leading the Panthers 14-7. By quarters end, both teams combined for 270 total yards.

Both defenses came to play in the 2nd quarter. The Vulcans had a seven play 51-yard scoring drive. The Vulcans scored with 1:53 remaining in the half on a 16-yard completion from Keir to Jordan Dandridge. This was Kier’s second touchdown of the night. Dandridge’s touchdown made the score 21-7 with your Vulcans in the lead.

The Panthers responded with a five play 75-yard drive resulting in a 52-yard touchdown pass by Russell to Cedric Washington. The score with 1:04 remaining in the half was 21-14.

Finishing off the half, Brazill converted on a 32-yard field goal. The half time score was 24-14 with the Vulcans on top of the Panthers.

The explosive Vulcans offense was led by Keir, who completed 19 of 26 passing attempts for 220-yards passing and two touchdowns.

Calu’s defense started the scoring in the second half with a safety. The safety was made by Malik Akins and put the Vulcans up 26-14. Calu would proceed to score on their next offensive possession putting the Vulcans up 33-14. A 6 play 74-yard drive was finished by a one-yard rush by Grissom.

Not giving up hope, ODU scored on their next two offensive possessions. Rushing touchdowns by Ed Colson and Russell brought the Panthers back into the game making the score 33-28.

ODU would gain their first lead of the game with a 52-yard touchdown thrown by running back Cory Contini to Washington. The Panthers would fail on the two-point effort and left the score at 34-33.

“I told my offense that we are gonna have to go down and score again, we will need to put more points on the board.” Coach Dunn commented about the atmosphere on the sideline before their last drive. “Those guys have won a lot of football games here and they knew what they were gonna have to do.”

The Vulcans started at their final drive at their own 28-yard line. The Vulcans senior led offense was able to march down to the Panthers’ 7-yard line with under a minute remaining. senior kicker Brazill made a 25-yard field goal with 49 seconds left on the clock. The field goal gave the Vulcans a 36-34 lead.

Cal U was led by a big first week from senior quarterback Keir. Keir was 36 for 51 with 398-yards and two touchdowns. Keir was assisted by Luke Smorey; 10 receptions for 96-yards, and Greene; eight receptions for 158-yards.

When asked about his receiving core, “playing with this group of guys is like waking up on Christmas morning. They are just a great group and I love playing with them.” Keir responded. “I couldn’t ask for a better offensive line.”

With the win, the Vulcans start the season (1-0) and will play at home against Cheyney next Saturday.