SELINSGROVE, Pa. – For the first time in over five years, the Susquehanna football team hosted a night game under the lights at Lopardo Stadium as the Crusaders welcomed Centennial Conference opponent Ursinus. Unfortunately, the excitement of the night did not translate into a win as SU fell 30-10 to the Bears.
Susquehanna (1-6, 1-5) was out-gained 368-272 in total offensive yards but did nearly match Ursinus (6-1, 5-1) in rushing yards with 151 to the Bears’ 157. SU’s Tim Wade (Doylestown, Pa./La Salle College HS) accounted for 131 of those rushing yards as he carried the ball 26 times.
Starting quarterback Mark Rosenbaum (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris Central) went 10-of-17 for 85 yards with one touchdown and one pick. Casey Tosches (Princeton Junction, N.J./West Windsor-Plainsboro South) was on the receiving end of that touchdown as his only catch of the night came in the Ursinus endzone. Freshman quarterback Joe Dorsey (Randallstown, Md./La Salle University) took the field, as well, and finished 4-of-7 for 36 yards while also rushing 10 times for 31 yards.
The Bears put together the first two scoring drives of the game, both of which came in the opening quarter. Ursinus’s Kevin Monahan connected with Corey Kelly for a 38-yard touchdown reception midway through the quarter. Just three minutes later, Monahan found Jerry Rahill on a 36-yard scoring pass for a 14-0 ballgame after 15 minutes of play. Rahill went on to set a Ursinus single-game record with 12 receptions in the game.
Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) ended the Bears’ scoring streak with a 33-yard field goal with 5:29 to play in the half. Unfortunately, Ursinus’s Eric Boyer countered with his own 33-yard field goal with just 12 ticks left in the half to make it a 17-3 game at halftime.
Both teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter. Ursinus’s Kelly struck first, this time on a 40-yard run with 8:07 on the clock. As time wound down inside the final two minutes of the quarter, Tosches reeled in a 14-yard pass from Rosenbaum and, combined with a successful Hotaling PAT, the score stood 24-10 heading into the fourth quarter.
Ursinus added three points on a Boyer 28-yard field goal less than five minutes into the quarter to make it 27-10. However, with 8:37 still to play, Monahan was picked off by Susquehanna’s Ian Murray (Tyrone, Pa./Tyrone) at the SU 20, giving the ball back to Rosenbaum and the Crusader offense with plenty of time to attempt a comeback.
Unfortunately, on the third play of the ensuing drive, Rosenbaum found himself picked off, as well, giving Ursinus the ball back at the Susquehanna 39. The Bears were able to end their drive with a 22-yard Boyer field goal to pad their lead to 30-10, which remained the final as the Crusaders turned the ball over on downs on their next and ultimately final possession.
Defensively, Adrian Bernard (East Stroudsburg, Pa./Pius X) led all players with his 13 tackles, including two for loss. Murray added seven tackles and accounted for the team’s lone interception. Cody Miller (Towanda, Pa./Towanda), the reigning Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week, added three tackles and a game-high two pass breakups.
At halftime, Susquehanna recognized the generous donations of Nick Lopardo ’68 and Joe Palchak ’71 with a video tribute and presentation of framed Susquehanna jerseys. Lopardo and his son, A.J., were largely responsible for the installation of the new ProGrass turf at Lopardo Stadium, named after Nick Lopardo, while Palchak’s generous donation allowed the new state-of-the-art videoboard to be installed prior to the start of the season.
The Crusaders now travel to face Franklin & Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 2 for a noon kickoff.
Night Game Not Kind to Crusaders
Oct 26, 2013