GETTYSBURG, Pa. – As is typical of Susquehanna-Gettysburg football matchups, offense was the highlight of the day for both squads. Unfortunately for the Crusaders, their offense was out-powered by the Bullets who came away with the 42-28 win over SU. Over the past four meetings, these teams have now combined for 351 points.
The game saw 1,090 yards of total offense from both teams with Susquehanna (0-4, 0-3) accounting for 544 of those yards. Sophomore quarterback Cam Olson (Durham, Maine/Chevrus Academy), making his first career start, went 22-for-39 for 308 yards, two touchdowns and two picks, the first turnovers of the season for SU.
The Susquehanna run game racked up 236 yards with Merle Moscarello (Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg Area), also making his first career start, picking up 176 of those yards, 107 of which came in the first half. Denzell Walker (Baltimore, Md./McDonough School) led the receiving game with five catches for 96 yards while Colin Buckley (Oreland, Pa/La Salle College HS) and Pat Murtha (Farmingdale, N.J./Colts Neck) each had a receiving touchdown.
Adrian Bernard (East Stroudsburg, Pa./Pius X) had a dominant day on defense, racking up 20 tackles, including five for a loss, with two sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Jared Minori (Tyrone, Pa./Bellwood-Antis) had two sacks to go along with five takcles.
The Crusaders turned the ball over on downs on their first possession and Gettysburg (1-3, 1-2) took full advantage. It took the Bullets only five plays to drive 68 yards down the field to take a quick 7-0 lead.
SU responded on its ensuing possession, however. Facing a third-and-12, Olson fired a rocket that found Buckley in the endzone for a 35-yard touchdown reception. Following a Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) kick, it was tied 7-7 with 5:30 to go in the opening quarter.
It remained a 7-7 game heading into the second quarter but it took Gettysburg just over a minute to change that when Eddie Hutchins found the endzone on a one-yard rush – aided by a SU offside penalty – for a 14-7 Bullets lead.
On the following drive, Susquehanna converted on a fourth-and-five in Gettysburg territory and Murtha came up with a diving catch in the Bullets endzone to cap off a nine-play, 68-yard scoring drive to again tie the game, this time at 14-all.
Unfortunately Gettysburg took no time at all to respond when Kyle Wigley came through with a 53-yard touchdown run that made it 21-14 with 8:36 left to play in the half. That remained the score as the teams headed into the locker room at halftime.
The Bullets opened the second half much like the first, with a drive that ended in another touchdown, their fourth of the game, for a 28-14 edge over SU. They were able to make that a three-touchdown lead (35-14) with another score at the 6:11 mark of the third quarter.
The Susquehanna offense countered with a 76-yard drive that was punctuated by Moscarello’s five-yard rushing touchdown which again made it a two-score game (35-21) with 3:33 remaining in the third quarter.
With SU driving, the game headed into the fourth quarter where Tim Wade (Doylestown, Pa./La Salle College HS) ended another scoring drive by finding the endzone on a five-yard run to bring his squad within just seven points of the lead, 35-28, with 10:58 left to play. Wade finished the game with 29 yards on eight carries.
The scoring continued but this time in Gettysburg’s favor when Alec Pacelli ran into the endzone for yet another Bullets’ touchdown, making it 41-28 with 5:53 on the clock.
With 2:18 remaining, Susquehanna took over at its own 26-yard line in what ended up being its final offensive possession of the game. Olson was able to work the ball down to the Bullets’ 21-yard line with 22 ticks left on the clock but the team turned the ball over on downs to effectively end the game.
The Crusaders remain on the road next weekend with a 1 p.m. game at Muhlenberg.
Time Runs Out on Susquehanna Football Squad