CARLISLE, Pa. – A last-second shot at the end zone for the Susquehanna football team that would have won the game over Dickinson fell short and SU dropped a 17-14 decision in its first road contest of the season.
Down by three points with the clock nearing zero, Mike Ritter (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) took a pitch from Casey Tosches (Princeton Junction, N.J./WWPS) and took off down the field but he fumbled the ball, giving the ball back to the Red Devils with three seconds on the clock, thus sealing the victory for Dickinson (2-1, 2-0).
George Pachucy (Olyphant, Pa./Scranton Prep) started the game at quarterback for SU (1-2, 0-2) before Taylor Kolmer (Churchville, N.Y./Churchill) came in roughly midway through the first half. Pachucy finished the game 1-for-3 while Kolmer went 11-for-21 for 108 yards and one touchdown.
On the ground, Connor McGrath (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII/Assumption) finished with 102 yards and Ritter was the team’s leading receiver with 73 yards on four catches, including a touchdown. Ritter’s touchdown marked the 20th of his career.
For the Susquehanna defense, Mike Statuti (Souderton, Pa./Souderton) led the way with an 11-tackle day while Jalon Scott (Albany, N.Y./Albany HS) added 10 tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss.
The game did not start out on a promising note for the SU offense with two penalties on the opening drive, putting the team in a first-and-25 situation and turned the ball over on downs. The first quarter ended without a scoring drive from either side.
With less than seven minutes to play in the half, Dickinson’s offense took over in what remained a 0-0 game. It did not stay scoreless, though, as the Red Devils’ Michael Carmella found Matt Wood in the end zone who, despite juggling the ball, maintained controlled as he hit the ground to make it 7-0 with 3:56 on the clock.
Will Dyson (Hawley Pa./Wallenpaupack) changed that when he picked off Carmella on Dickinson’s very next offensive play and ran his way 45 yards into the end zone to knot the game at 7-7 with 2:43 remaining.
Steven Viegas (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) followed that with a pick of his own at nearly the same spot and gave SU’s offense the ball at the Red Devils’ 48 at the 1:56 mark of the half. Susquehanna could not convert that pick into points but it ran the clock down to 47 seconds in the half and Dickinson knelt on its last two possessions of the quarter for a 7-7 halftime score.
Dickinson came out of halftime and put together a 10- point third quarter to lead 17-7 with 15 minutes remaining.
Ritter snapped that Red Devils’ scoring streak by pushing his way into the end zone on a third-down play less than three minutes into the fourth quarter to make it a three-point contest at 17-14.
Both teams traded possessions without finding the end zone but with 26 seconds left in the game, Dickinson had a fourth-and-goal at the three-yard line with the chance to put the game out of reach. The Red Devils’ Mike Capone was short of the end zone but it still left SU with only 22 seconds with which to work to put points on the board.
The Crusaders took over on their own one-yard line and Kolmer pitched the ball to Tosches who subsequently pitched the ball to Ritter. The senior looked like he had a shot at the end zone but he fumbled it at the Dickinson 43-yard line and with three seconds left, the Red Devils came away with the win.
SU returns home for two straight games beginning Saturday, Sept. 22 with a 1 p.m. game against Gettysburg.
Crusaders Fall Just Short Against Dickinson