Hotaling Boots Ultimate Game-Winning Field Goal for Win at Moravian

Hotaling Boots Ultimate Game-Winning Field Goal for Win at Moravian

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – In the epitome of a back-and-forth battle, the Susquehanna football team came out on top of Moravian 24-21 in Bethlehem. Senior Pre-Season All-American Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) knocked a 40-yard field goal with 19 seconds to play to ultimately win the game for the Crusaders as they picked up their first win of the season.

The teams literally traded scores for the duration of the game, with Hotaling's field goal marking the final points of the game.

SU (1-5, 1-4) passed for 218 yards while the defense held Moravian (3-3, 2-3) to 160 yards through the air. Freshman quarterback Nick Crusco (Oak Ridge, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) passed for 218 yards on 20 completions with one touchdown.

Susquehanna's leading rusher, Tim Wade (Doylestown, Pa./La Salle College HS), was out due to injury but Ian Richardson (Hatfield, Pa./Cavalry Christian) had a more than solid day on the ground, rushing for 94 yards on 29 carries with two touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, Tom McLoughlin (Bloomsbury, N.J./Bethlehem Catholic) was all over the field, leading the team with 11 tackles while also adding one pass breakup. Ian Murray (Tyrone, pa./Tyrone) had eight tackles while Cody Miller (Towanda, Pa./Towanda) finished with seven tackles and a game-high two interceptions.

Halfway through the first quarter, Miller picked off a third-and-four pass by Mike Hayes at the Moravian 44-yard line. That resulted in a Susquehanna touchdown when Crusco connected with Denzell Walker (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh School) on the first play of the ensuing drive for a quick, 7-0 Crusader lead. Walker finished with a team-leading 36 yards on five catches.

It remained 7-0 for the next 13-plus minutes before the Greyhounds' Chris Negron found the endzone on a 17-yard run for a game-tying score.

With it still tied seven-all and four minutes remaining in the half, Richardson pushed his way into the endzone for a six-yard rushing touchdown and a subsequent 14-7 SU lead.

Unfortunately, Moravian followed Susquehanna's scoring drive with one of its own, aided by a pass interference call against the Crusader defense that gave the Greyhounds a fresh set of downs and moved the ball to the Moravian 43-yard line. Moravian worked the ball to the Crusader 48-yard line and Hayes proceeded to throw a game-tying, 48-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Racobaldo which marked the final points of the half.

The second half started on a sour note for SU when the special teams unit muffed a fair catch, giving Moravian the ball on the Susquehanna 40-yard line. The Crusader defense held strong, though, forcing the Greyhounds into a fourth-and-28 and Susquehanna took over on downs at its own 17-yard line.

Ultimately, the third quarter passed without a score by either team but SU had the ball and was driving as the game headed into the fourth quarter. The Crusaders worked the ball to the Moravian 14-yard line and on third-and-six after a five-yard penalty against Susquehanna, Crusco's pass intended for Will Howell (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) was just out of reach.

Hotaling came on for a 36-yard field goal but misplay and fumble on the snap ultimately gave Moravian the ball on its own 49-yard line.

The Greyhounds only held onto the ball for mere seconds before Miller promptly picked off Hayes on the first play of the ensuing drive and Susquehanna moved right back into scoring territory, moving the ball to the nine-yard line, setting up third-and-one.

Richardson picked up the first down with a four-yard run and on the very next play, found the endzone to break the tie for a 21-14 Crusader lead with 8:50 left to play.

The scoring continued but this time for the Greyhounds, who promptly worked the ball down the field and into the Susquehanna endzone on another Negron 17-yard run for a 21-21 ballgame with inside six minutes to play.

On third-and-seven at the Moravian 32, Crusco found Walker for a nine-yard gain and a first down. On third-and-11, Richardson was stopped at the 23-yard line and SU proceeded to run the clock down and called a timeout with 23 seconds on the clock.

Hotaling then came on for a 40-yard field goal and it was good, giving Moravian just 19 seconds with which to work.

With one second to play, Hayes' last-ditch pass was knocked down in the endzone by C.J. Williams (Burlington, N.J./Perkiomen School), ending the game 24-21 in favor of SU.

Susquehanna remains on the road to face Ursinus on Oct. 25 at 1 p.m.