Bearcats earn ECAC Southwest Bowl bid
CENTERVILLE, Mass. (Nov. 13) - After finishing the regular season in second place in the Presidents' Athletic Conference, the Saint Vincent football team earned a bid to the 2011 Eastern College Athletic Conference Southwest Bowl.
The Bearcats (6-4, 5-3 PAC) will travel to Annville, Pa., to play Lebanon Valley College of the Middle Atlantic Conference on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 12 p.m.
The two teams had two common opponents this season as part of the PAC-MAC Football Challenge Series. Both teams easily defeated Fairleigh Dickinson-Florham, while SVC lost to Grove City, 21-16, a team LVC topped, 27-7.
SVC is making its first postseason appearance since the re-birth of football in 2007, and the first for the program since the 1949 season when the Bearcats defeated Emory & Henry, 7-6, in the Tangerine Bowl en route to a perfect 10-0 season.
Senior quarterback Aaron Smetanka, the program's modern-day leading passer, leads SVC with a 61.3 completion percentage (173-of-282) for 1,929 yards and 13 touchdowns. Sophomore Huey Ehredt (125 carries for 808 yards) and senior Mike Kale (135 attempts for 545 yards) have combined to top 100 rushing yards in every game this season.
On the defensive side of the ball, all-time leading tackler Anthony Johnson will have the opportunity to add to his career total. The senior enters this weekend with 102 tackles (61 solo) and 13.0 TFL on the season. Classmate Armando Fortunato, the number-two tackler in modern history, has registered 74 tackles (47 solo) and 6.5 TFL this year. Defensive backs freshman Darius Brown and sophomore Dan Wirkowski are each tied for the team lead with five interceptions apiece.
The Dutchmen (7-3, 5-4 MAC) finished the regular season in fourth place MAC and are averaging 36.6 points and 441.9 yards per game. They will be playing their third-straight ECAC bowl game after winning the Southwest Bowl against Salisbury (Md.) in 2009 and losing the South Atlantic Bowl to Johns Hopkins last season.
Their offense is led by senior running back Ben Guiles, who has amassed 1,114 yards and 17 touchdowns rushing this season on 165 carries. Senior quarterback Colt Zarilla has completed 143-of-253 attempts for 2,283 yards and 22 touchdowns while classmate Tim Picerno has caught 53 passes for 914 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011.
Defensively, LVC is led by senior Cory Homer. In 10 games this season, the defensive end has totaled 97 tackles (51 solo), 17.0 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.
Live stats of the game will be available by clicking here.