Crusaders Cannot Hold off Late Dickinson Rally

Crusaders Cannot Hold off Late Dickinson Rally

CARLISLE, Pa. – No one can deny it was one of the more exciting endings in recent Susquehanna football memory but it certainly did not end the way the Crusaders wanted as a furious second-half rally by Dickinson College resulted in a 29-28 Red Devils victory.

SU (0-3, 0-2) led 21-0 in the second quarter and maintained a 21-6 halftime lead before the Red Devils (1-2, 1-1) scored 23 of the 30 second-half points for the come-from-behind win.

Dickinson finished with 390 total yards of offense, 286 of which came on the ground. Quarterback Cole Ahnell accounted for 89 yards on the ground, including one score, and passed for 104 yards and three touchdowns.

Crusader quarterback Nick Crusco (Oak Ridge, N.J./Don Bosco Prep), meanwhile, had 160 yards of offense and two touchdowns. Denzell Walker (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh School) and Will Howell (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) were again on the receiving end of those scoring passes with Walker leading the team with 70 yards receiving. Tim Wade (Doylestown, Pa./La Salle College HS) carried the ball 32 times for 96 yards and a score.

Jim Barry (Staten Island, N.Y./Brooklyn Poly Prep) and Jordan Duras (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cedar Cliff) racked up double-digit tackles with 16 and 12, respectively. C.J. Williams (Burlington, N.J./Perkiomen School) had seven tackles, one interception and one block on special teams.

A Williams interception on the Red Devils' first drive of the game gave the ball to the SU offense on its own 41-yard yard line. Wade went on to score on a one-yard run for a 7-0 lead with 8:18 on the clock.

Dickinson again turned the ball over on its ensuing drive when Cedric Madden fumbled the ball and Duras came up with the ball. Crusco proceeded to take the offense into his own hands – literally – on a quarterback sneak that made it a 14-0 SU lead with 2:40 still to play in the quarter.

Yet another Red Devils fumble in the early part of the second quarter was recovered by the Crusaders at their own 30-yard line and Crusco connected with Howell on a third-and-four play for a 29-yard score that put Dickinson in a 21-0 hole.

With just 12 seconds to play in the half, Ahnell found Brent Scardapane for a three-yard touchdown but Adam Kaminski's point after attempt was blocked by Williams and the Crusaders took a 21-6 lead into the locker room.

On Dickinson's first drive of the second half, kicker Austin High connected on a 25-yard field goal, trimming SU's lead to 12 (21-9).

However, late in the third quarter and into the fourth quarter, Susquehanna put together a 20-play scoring drive that burned 11:45 off the clock and resulted in a 16-yard Walker touchdown for a 28-9 lead.

The following drive saw the Red Devils put six on the board with another Ahnell touchdown pass but his two-point rushing attempt failed and it remained a 13-point game (28-15) with a mere 2:38 to play.

SU went three-and-out and the Red Devils blocked Spencer Hotaling's (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) punt. The ensuing Dickinson drive culminated in a Red Devils touchdown and trimmed the Crusaders' lead to 28-22.

On first-and-10, Crusco threw a costly pick at SU's 35-yard line and nine plays later, Ahnell connected with Anders Overhaug for a six-yard touchdown reception. With the extra point, the Red Devils went ahead 29-28 with just 1:30 remaining.

A potential Crusco interception was overturned on a Dickinson pass interference, giving another life to SU, but a last-ditch lateral play by the Crusaders fell short, time ran out and the game ended in the one-point Red Devils victory.

Susquehanna returns home for two-straight games, beginning Sept. 27 against Gettysburg. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.