SELINSGROVE, Pa. – If Susquehanna's on-side kick with less than a minute left in the game had fallen SU's way, perhaps the team would have come from behind to defeat Dickinson but it was not meant to be as the Crusaders fell 24-21 in their 2013 home opener.
Susquehanna (0-3, 0-2) led 14-7 heading into the fourth quarter but the Red Devils (1-2, 1-1) were able to put 17 points on the board in the final quarter to come from behind for the victory, spoiling SU's home opener.
Dickinson doubled the Crusaders in first downs (24-13) and finished with 411 yards of total offense while holding Susquehanna to just 276.
Dickinson quarterback Cole Ahnell finished with 154 yards rushing with one touchdown and threw for 153 yards without an interception. Susquehanna quarterback Taylor Kolmer (Churchville, N.Y. / Churchville) put up similar numbers, going 13-of-23 for 152 yards, also without a pick.
Ian Richardson (Hatfield, Pa. / Cavalry Christian) got the bulk of the carries, rushing the ball 19 times for 72 yards and one touchdown. Casey Tosches (Princeton Junction, N.J. / West Windsor-Plainsboro South), meanwhile, caught four passes for 33 yards and Kwane Hayle's (Poughkeepsie, N.Y. / Poughkeepsie) lone reception came in the form of a 67-yard touchdown that made it a three-point game (24-21) late in the fourth quarter.
The game certainly opened in SU's favor as the team marched down the field and capped off a game-opening, 12-play, 58-yard drive with a one-yard Kolmer quarterback sneak that was set up by his 12-yard pass to Devon Pascoe (Spencerport, N.Y. / Spencerport).
The first quarter ended without another score by either team before the Red Devils were able to knot the game at seven less than midway through the second quarter on five-yard Ahnell run. Both teams were forced to punt on their final possessions of the half to keep it a tie game at the midway point.
With Dickinson punting on its first drive of the third quarter, punter Adam Kaminski's punt was blocked by Jared Minori (Tyrone, Pa. / Bellwood-Antis), giving the ball back to SU on the Dickinson 25-yard line. That turnover eventually led to another Crusader touchdown as Richardson found the endzone on a five-yard rush to put his team ahead 14-7.
It did not take long for the Red Devils to again tie the ballgame as their first drive of the fourth and final quarter ended in a touchdown for a 14-14 score with more than 11 minutes left in the game.
Dickinson forced SU to punt on its ensuing possession and the Red Devils proceeded to put together a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive that burned 6:21 off the clock and made it a 21-14 Dickinson lead with only 3:03 to play.
The Red Devils got the ball back again at the 2:09 mark and were able to get a field goal out of their drive to make it a two-score game while leaving Susquehanna with just 2:09 remaining to mount a comeback.
Just when many might have considered the game over, Kolmer found Hayle down the near sideline for a 67-yard touchdown pass that suddenly made it a one-score game, 24-21, with 1:03 to play.
Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa. / Selinsgrove Area) came out for the on-side kick but Dickinson was able to recover the kick at the Susquehanna 49 and that marked the end of the game.
Defensively, Bill Mancini (Malvern, Pa. / St. Joseph's Prep), Cody Miller (Towanda, Pa. / Towanda) and Tom McLoughlin (Bloomsbury, N.J. / Bethlehem Catholic) all finished with eight tackles apiece with Mancini adding one forced fumble and three tackles for loss. Jim Barry (Staten Island, N.Y. / Brooklyn Poly Prep) and Minori combined for the lone sack by the Crusader defense.
Susquehanna hits the road again next Saturday to face Gettysburg at 2 p.m.
Crusader Football Opens Home Season with a Loss