Crusader Football Victorious in Road Finale

Crusader Football Victorious in Road Finale

WESTMINSTER, Md. – The final road game of the 2014 Susquehanna football season ended in the form of a 24-16 Crusader victory against McDaniel, SU's second Centennial Conference win of the fall.

Susquehanna (2-7, 2-6) scored at least three points in all four quarters while blanking the Green Terror (1-8, 0-8) in the first and fourth quarters.

Ian Richardson (Hatfield, Pa./Cavalry Christian) had both a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown, the first of his career. He finished with 113 yards on the ground to lead all running backs.

Freshman quarterback Nick Crusco (Oak Ridge, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) went 23-for-31 for 246 yards and one touchdown and did not throw an interception. Fullback Pat Murtha (Farmingdale, N.J./Colts Neck) led the receivers with four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. Kwane Hayle (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Poughkeepsie) had four catches for 39 yards and another touchdown.

The Crusaders' offensive production gave them a five-minute advantage in time of possession.

Meanwhile, McDaniel's season-long success in the passing game continued as the Green Terror racked up 262 yards through the air.

On SU's second offensive possession of the game, Murtha came up with the biggest play of the drive, reeling in a 31-yard pass to make it first-and-goal from the three-yard line. SU was stalled at the one-yard line, though, and the drive ended with an 18-yard field goal from Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area).

McDaniel was able to put seven points on the board at the 4:35 mark of the second quarter and it remained 7-3 until the final minutes of the half when the Crusaders got the ball back with 4:27 to play.

With the ball at the McDaniel eight-yard line, SU pulled a trick out of its bag when Crusco handed the ball off to Richardson who lobbed the ball into the endzone where it found the hands of Hayle for a touchdown and a 10-3 Susquehanna lead.

Even though less than 60 seconds remained in the half, the Green Terror efficiently moved the ball down the field and were able to get off a 27-yard, game-tying field goal for a 10-10 game at the half.

McDaniel also scored the first points of the second half on a Tayahd Campbell touchdown just five minutes into the third quarter. The Green Terror missed the extra point, though, to go ahead by just six (16-10).

The Crusaders countered with a seven-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a two-yard touchdown pass from Crusco to Murtha to put SU up 17-16, making McDaniel's missed extra point potentially costly.

Three minutes into the fourth quarter, the Green Terror missed a 30-yard field goal attempt as SU held onto its one-point lead.

Richardson made that an eight-point lead (24-16) with a 10-yard touchdown run at the 7:55 mark of the fourth quarter.

McDaniel put together a potential scoring threat, moving the ball down to the SU eight yard line. However, Kyle Prpich (Commack, N.Y./Commack) came up with a tipped ball for the Crusaders' first pick of the afternoon, giving them the ball on their own 13-yard line with less than two minutes to play.

The Green Terror were unable to do anything in the remaining and Susquehanna held on for the win.

On the defensive side of the ball, C.J. Williams (Burlington, N.J./Perkiomen School) led the team with nine tackles and had a game-high three pass breakups.

The Crusaders conclude the 2014 season on Nov. 15 when they host Juniata on Nov. 15 at 1 p.m. It marks both Homecoming Weekend and Senior Day.