SELINSGROVE, Pa. – With Saturday's decisive 44-15 Senior Day win over McDaniel, the Susquehanna football team finished its home season with a 4-1 record at Lopardo Stadium and improved to 4-5 overall on the season.
Susquehanna quarterback Nick Crusco threw for 365 yards on 33 completions with three touchdowns. He also ran for 71 yards and another score on 10 carries.
"He's a competitor and that's what we look for in finding the guys to build our program around," head coach Tom Perkovich said. "We want guys that are competitive and he had a huge day."
In total, the Crusaders racked up 575 total yards of offense while the Green Terror (0-9, 0-8) finished with 305 yards, including a mere 61 yards rushing.
Diamente Holloway was on the receiving end of 13 receptions for 238 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Neuschatz led the team with 74 yards rushing.
SU capitalized on 8-of-13 third downs while holding McDaniel to just four conversions on 13 third-down conversion attempts. Senior Jim Barry led SU in tackles with nine while classmates Tom McLoughlin and Mason Spangler had eight and seven, respectively, with McLoughlin also adding a pass break up.
The Crusaders led from start to finish against the Green Terror. SU opened the game with the ball and drove 87 yards on 15 plays over a 6:17 span with the drive that culminated in a Crusco touchdown pass to Colin Buckley for the 7-0 lead.
On the team's next drive, Crusco found Neuschatz for a 21-yard touchdown reception and it was quickly 14-0 in favor of Susquehanna with 3:27 still to play in the opening quarter.
Tyler McMillian intercepted McDaniel quarterback Will Koester on the Green Terror's ensuing drive to keep it 14-0 in favor of the Crusaders by the time the quarter came to a close.
It was a 21-0 lead after SU's first drive of the second quarter was capped off on a seven-yard Crusco touchdown pass to Holloway.
With 5:48 left in the half, Susquehanna took over on downs and while this time SU did not find the endzone, Evan Argiriou's 28-yard field goal made it 24-0.
McDaniel finally got on the board on its final drive of the half when Koester connected with Taylor Wagner for a one-yard score. The team's two-point conversion attempt failed, though, and it was 24-6 at the midway point of the game.
McDaniel got the ball to start the second half and put together an 11-play, 42-yard drive that ended in a 35-yard field goal that made it 24-9. Susquehanna promptly responded with a field goal of its own, a 30-yarder off the foot of Argiriou to Susquehanna back up by 18 (27-9).
With 4:59 on the clock, Koester connected with Bamasa Bailor on a 25-yard touchdown reception that brought the Green Terror within just 12 (27-15) at the five-minute mark of the third quarter.
McDaniel would pull no closer and in fact was shut out for the remainder of the afternoon.
Argiriou connected on his third field goal of the day, a 22-yarder with 1:46 remaining in the quarter to make it 30-15 heading into the final 15 minutes of the contest.
Susquehanna was the only team to put points on the board in the final quarter. Crusco rushed for a two-yard score at the 6:04 mark and senior Kris Stern snuck into the endzone on a one-yard run that put his team ahead 44-15 with less than two minutes to play, sealing the victory for SU.
The Crusaders conclude their season on Nov. 14 with a game at rival Juniata; kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. in the Goal Post Trophy contest.