Crusaders Fail to Find Any Late-Game Heroics
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Fans of the Susquehanna football team are used to seeing the Crusaders pull off last-minute victories but that was not the case on Saturday, as SU fell 49-19 to visiting Ursinus in Centennial Conference action.
Both teams had 466-plus yards of offense, but the Bears (5-2, 5-1) were the ones that were able to convert those yards into points with seven touchdowns on the afternoon.
Quarterback Rich Palazzi (Newfoundland, Pa./Wallenpaupack) had solid numbers, going 26-of-41 for 378 yards, two touchdowns and just one pick, out-throwing his Ursinus counterpart, Chris Curran, who had 300 yards. Alex Patchin (Camp Hill, Pa./Camp Hill) was on the receiving end of both of those Palazzi touchdown throws as he reeled in eight catches for 141 yards and those two touchdowns.
However, Curran found the end zone four times and the Bears’ running game racked up 169 yards to Susquehanna’s net yardage of 88.
Ursinus’s Bryan Ellis’s 54-yard TD run opened the scoring just 1:25 into the afternoon’s action for a 7-0 Bears lead. Less than four minutes later, Curran connected with Nick Giarrantano for a 56-yard scoring play and a 14-0 edge.
The Crusaders got on the board seven minutes into the second quarter thanks to a Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) 22-yard field goal. Unfortunately, Nick Giarrantano and Curran teamed up yet again for a 22-yard scoring play and a 21-3 Bears lead at the midway point of the game.
SU came out of halftime and put together a 13-play, 57-yard drive that culminated in a 20-yard Hotaling field goal for a 21-6 ballgame.
For the next five-plus minutes it remained 21-6 before Spenser Ercole (Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg Area) fumbled a Michael Bennett punt that was recovered by Ursinus’s Buddy Ferro at the SU one-yard line. That set the Bears’ Drae Lewis up for the easy one-yard score and a 28-6 lead.
Patchin hauled in his first TD of the game with 1:34 on the clock in the third when Palazzi found him for the 27-yard reception. Hotaling’s PAT missed, however, keeping it 28-12.
The Bears responded with seven points on their next drive which burned only 11 seconds off the clock as Giarrantano picked up 64 yards to find the SU end zone yet again and make it 35-12.
That was the score as the game headed into the fourth quarter. Both teams scored touchdowns in the final period with Patchin scoring the first one on a 36-yard catch from Palazzi. Ursinus capped off any chance of a SU comeback, though, with another touchdown to go ahead 23 points and put the game out of reach.
Yet again, Trevor Terpening (Mount Airy, Md./South Carroll) led the SU defensive effort, racking up 11 tackles (five solo), including a half tackle for loss. Terpening was one of six Susquehanna players who had at least a half a tackle for loss and Jack McCarty (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) accounted for the Crusaders’ lone interception of the afternoon.
SU is back on the road next weekend as the Crusaders travel to Franklin & Marshall for a 1 p.m. kickoff.