Dragons start four-week road stretch by traveling to Mercyhurst

Before Tiffin University’s football team departs for Erie, Pennsylvania, today, it may want to swing by Frost-Kalnow Stadium and take a long look at it.

The Dragons won’t be seeing it for a while.

After starting its season with a 40-27 home win over Northwood University last week, Tiffin travels to Pennsylvania to take on Mercyhurst University, another non-conference foe.

It’s the first of four consecutive road games. TU won’t return to Frost-Kalnow for a game until Oct. 6, when it hosts Malone University for Homecoming.

“We definitely have to be road warriors,” Tiffin coach Gary Goff said. “It just happened that way, with us going into a new conference and trying to find some non-conference games.”

So the Dragons will take on the Lakers, who lost their first game to Hillsdale College, a former conference rival of Tiffin.

The Lakers fell 14-9, limited to a single fourth-quarter touchdown.

But Goff said it’s difficult to read much into Mercyhurst’s first game.

For starters, the game was delayed 2 1/2 hours between the first and second halves due to lightning.

Goff said the Laker defense is aggressive.

“They blitz, and they bring guys from everywhere,” he said. “They’ve got a very good corner. The defensive line is very active with their hands. They’re more explosive guys. They may not have the size that Northwood had, but they’re more explosive guys … and then their linebackers, they play the 3-4, so they’ve got linebackers everywhere. So it will be a completely different challenge.”

On offense, Mercyhurst quarterback Doug Altavilla struggled some against the Chargers, managing just 18 of 34 passing for 140 yards and an interception. But Goff said much of that can bet attributed to delays.

The Lakers did run the ball effectively, going for 140 yards last week. Frederick Green and Garrett Owens nearly split 120 of those yards between them.

“It’s gonna be their first home (game),” Goff said. “A hostile environment.”

Tiffin, meanwhile, will see if it can keep its passing game on point. Quarterback Nick Watson lit up Northwood in Week 1, completing 25 of 29 passes for 317 yards. Three receivers ― Charles Holland, Tyler Denton and Victor Talley ― each caught a touchdown and went for more than 90 yards receiving.

“(Watson’s) gotta go out there and take what the defense gives ya,” Goff said. “He did a great job of that last week.”

Kickoff is at noon.

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