Second Half Struggles Add Up to a Loss for Football

Second Half Struggles Add Up to a Loss for Football

GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Points were not hard to come by on Saturday afternoon – particularly in the opening half – but the Susquehanna football team fell 49-30 at Gettysburg in Centennial Conference action.

The teams scored a combined 52 first-half points and while Susquehanna's offense hit some bumps in the second half; not so for the Bullets (4-0, 3-0), who scored 21 points to pull away from the Crusaders (2-2, 1-2).

Gettysburg held Susquehanna to one touchdown over the final 30 minutes of play after giving up 24 first-half points to the Crusaders.

Cameron Ott (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville Area) had his first 100-yard rushing day of the season with 124 yards and one touchdown, despite not playing late in the game. Quarterback Nick Crusco (Oak Ridge, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) had an up and down day but finished with 195 passing yards, one passing touchdown and two rushing touchdowns.

Diamente Holloway (Washington, D.C./Sidwell Friends) led the receivers with six catches for 61 yards while Ott caught four balls for 45 yards and one score.

As a team, Susquehanna matched Gettysburg in total offensive yards with 397 to the Bullets' 396. Gettysburg had 233 rushing yards to SU's 202 while SU threw the ball for 30 more yards than the Bullets.  SU was also a perfect 4-for-4 in fourth down conversions.

Susquehanna's first offensive drive of the game could not have been better executed as an 11-play, 79-yard drive resulted in a 33-yard touchdown pass from Crusco to Ott for the 7-0 Crusader lead after 5:36 of action.

The Bullets countered with seven points of their own, taking less than two minutes to score, for a 7-7 ballgame midway through the quarter.

SU was able to cap off the first-quarter scoring with a Crusco one-yard run at the 1:30 mark for a 14-7 Crusader lead.

If fans thought 21 first-quarter points were a lot, that was nothing compared to the second quarter which featured 31 points, all but 10 of which were scored by Gettysburg.

That second quarter did not start out in Gettysburg's favor, though, as the Crusaders scored the first 10 points of the period. Ott's 12-yard run made it a 21-7 SU advantage and was followed by a 44-yard Evan Argiriou (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon) field goal that put Susquehanna up 24-7 just inside seven minutes left to play in the half.

Unfortunately for SU, Gettysburg accounted the final 21 points of the half. Kyle Wigley scored on a three-yard run to make it 24-14 and with 1:56 remaining, Matt McFadden returned a Dylan Jenkins (Glen Mills, Pa./Bayard Rustin) punt 77 yards for a touchdown, bringing the Bullets within three (24-21) of the lead.

With time winding down in the half, Ryan Thompson's one-yard reception from Sam McDermott with 10 seconds on the clock gave Gettysburg a 28-24 halftime lead.

Crusco took matters into his own hands yet again with a two-yard rushing score – the first points of the second half – to give a 30-28 lead back to SU after a missed extra point with 3:14 left in the quarter.

The third quarter came to an end with Gettysburg driving and on the SU 15-yard line and the Bullets began the fourth quarter with a McDermott touchdown pass to Kevin McCarthy after just 35 seconds of play. Gettysburg converted on a two-point conversion play to go up 36-30. 

The Bullets scored at the 9:26 and 2:53 marks to go up by 19 (49-30) and seal the win.

Jim Barry (Staten Island, N.Y./Brooklyn Poly Prep) led SU with 13 tackles (nine solo) and also had a fumble recovery. Tim Lurz (Andover, N.J./North Warren) and Mason Spangler (Emmaus, Pa./Emmaus) had seven tackles apiece.

Susquehanna remains on the road to face Muhlenberg on Oct. 3 at 1 p.m.

Postgame Note: Saturday was Coach to Cure MD Day for football teams across the nation, an event designed to raise awareness of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.