WESTMINSTER, Md. —Wide receiver Mike Ritter (Selinsgrove, Pa. / Selinsgrove Area) had three touchdown receptions, including the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter, as Susquehanna football defeated McDaniel 42-38 in comeback fashion on Homecoming Weekend at Gill Stadium. The victory marks the Crusaders' first at McDaniel since 1969.
Ritter finished the contest with six receptions for 167 yards and those three touchdowns. Taylor Kolmer (Churchville, N.Y. / Churchville) went 16-for-29 with 251 passing yards and four touchdowns.
The Crusader defense forced three Green Terror interceptions and Adrian Bernard (East Stroudsburg, Pa. / Pius X) finished with 10 tackles although surrendering 266 rushing yards to running back Joe Rollins.
McDaniel scored quickly to open up the contest, going 45 yards in two plays, capped off by a 2-yard rushing touchdown by Rollins to give the Green Terror an early 7-0 lead with 12:57 left in the first quarter.
On the next McDaniel possession, Rollins scrambled for 71 yards at 9:28, the longest play from scrimmage for McDaniel all season, but the SU defense held and earned the ball back on a turnover on downs.
Ken Schetroma (Elysburg, Pa. / Southern Columbia) recovered a fumble with 2:49 left in the period, giving SU the ball in McDaniel territory and the Crusaders wasted no time afterwards as Kolmer found Ritter on a 23 yard flea-flicker touchdown pass to tie the game 7-7.
The Green Terror responded with an eight-yard touchdown pass with 11:15 in the second to take the lead 13-7 and scored again as Rollins took a direct snap from six yards out at 4:40 for his second rushing touchdown of the half, giving McDaniel the lead 19-7.
Jared Minori (Tyrone, Pa. / Bellwood-Antis) picked off a McDaniel pass to give the Crusaders the ball inside McDaniel territory with 50 ticks left in the half, setting up a Kolmer rushing touchdown cutting the deficit to 19-14 at halftime.
Rollins opened up the second half with a 68-yard touchdown run, extending the McDaniel lead to 25-14. But on the ensuing kickoff, Jalon Scott (Albany, N.Y. / Albany) ran 84 yards for a touchdown, his second of the season, to trim the deficit to 25-21.
But McDaniel responded yet again on a one-yard rush by Rollins, his fourth of the afternoon, to increase their lead 32-24 with 5:43 left in the third.
On the first play of the next drive, Kolmer found Ritter once more for a 56-yard touchdown score but the two-point conversion failed with SU still trailing 32-30 with 38 seconds left in the third.
Unfortunately, the Green Terror extended their lead 38-30 after a 29-yard touchdown pass to begin the fourth quarter.
After a Bill Mancini (Malvern, Pa. / St. Joseph's Prep) interception, Denzell Walker (Baltimore, Md. / McDonogh School) hauled in a three-yard touchdown reception as SU trailed 38-36 with 7:47 left in the game.
But the Crusaders got the ball back right away as Will Dyson (Hawley, Pa. / Wallenpaupack Area) hauled in an interception and two plays later Ritter caught a 64-yard slant for a touchdown, his third of the afternoon, to give SU their first lead 42-38 with six minutes remaining and this proved to be enough to hold off McDaniel.
The Crusaders host rival Juniata next Saturday, Nov. 10 at 1:00 p.m. for the annual Goal Post Game. The Eagles won last year's meeting 17-16 in Huntingdon.