Crusaders Can’t Escape Past Bullets

Crusaders Can’t Escape Past Bullets

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – As is typical of Susquehanna and Gettysburg football games, the teams traded scores for the majority of the afternoon but the Bullets were able to pull away in the third and fourth quarters for a 31-21 win.

The game was tied at 14 as the teams headed into the locker room at halftime but the Bullets (2-2, 2-1) out-scored SU (0-4, 0-3) 17-7 over the final 30 minutes of action.

Despite the outcome, the Susquehanna offense had a productive day with 409 total yards of offense, 336 of which came through the air. Freshman quarterback Nick Crusco (Oak Ridge, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) accounted for all 336 of those yards, going 29-for-42 with two touchdowns.

Denzell Walker (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh School) continued to be one of Crusco's favorite targets, reeling in 11 catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns.

On the ground, Tim Wade (Doylestown, Pa./La Salle College HS) had 68 yards on 23 carries with one touchdown, his fourth of the season.

The Crusaders easily won the clock game, holding the ball for more than 38 minutes and scored on three of four red zone opportunities.

While the Bullets had just under 500 yards of total offense, Jim Barry (Staten Island, N.Y./Brooklyn Poly Prep) had a more than productive day on defense for Susquehanna with 16 tackles (15 solo), one tackle for a loss, one forced fumble and one pass breakup. SU finished with three sacks on the day and had 82 tackles to Gettysburg's 75.

The game certainly started out in the Bullets favor. They marched down the field on their first drive, putting together a 13-play, 73-yard drive that took a mere four minutes off the clock and made it 7-0 after Zach Miller ran the ball for a six-yard score.

On their second drive of the game, the Crusaders put together a game-tying drive when Crusco found Walker for an eight-yard touchdown that capped off a nine-play, 76-yard drive.

Gettysburg, however, was able to close out the quarter with its second touchdown of the game, a Nick Ulassin 12-yard run with just 1:05 on the clock.

The SU defense proceeded to shut out the Bullets for the next 15 minutes, though, while the Crusader offense put seven points on the board. Those points came in the form of yet another Walker touchdown catch with 28 ticks on the clock for a 14-14 game at the half.

The third quarter proved to be the game changer as the Bullets put up 10 points. Kyle Wigley got the scoring started with a seven-yard scoring run exactly 60 seconds into the period.

The Bullets tacked on a field goal at the 4:11 mark of the quarter for a 24-14 Gettysburg lead before Wade ran for a 14-yard score with 1:09 on the clock to make it a three-point game, 24-21, with 15 minutes of action remaining.

SU opened the fourth quarter with a 14-play drive that burned 6:49 off the clock but ended in a missed Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) field goal from 42 yards out to keep it a 24-21 ballgame.

On its ensuing possession, though, Gettysburg added seven points on another Ulassin rushing score and Susquehanna found itself in a 10-point hole with 4:44 to play.

The Crusaders failed to convert on fourth-and-17 and the Bullets were able to run down the clock on their final drive of the game to come away with the win.

Susquehanna closes out a two-game homestand next Saturday with a 1 p.m. game against Muhlenberg.

Postgame Note: Saturday marked Coach to Cure MD day for football programs across the country and across divisions. Coaches from the Susquehanna and Gettysburg staff wore Coach to Cure MD patches on their sleeves and twin brothers Dayton and Blake – who suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy – served as honorary team captains.