Big Plays Hurt Susquehanna in Home Loss

Big Plays Hurt Susquehanna in Home Loss

Diamente Holloway caught a 51-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter as the Susquehanna University Football team drew to within three points at 27-24 but despite regaining possession on a successful on-sides kick, the River Hawks ran out of time and could not tie the score as Franklin and Marshall held on for the 27-24 win in a Centennial Conference game Saturday on Amos Alonzo Stagg Field in Selinsgrove.

Trailing by 10 points with less than two minutes left to play, Holloway took a pass from Nick Crusco and raced down the sideline for the long TD pass and the longest play from scrimmage on the day for Susquehanna (2-2 Overall, 1-2 Centennial).

The Diplomats (4-0, 3-0) had big plays of their own scoring on pass plays of 32 and 57 yards as well as a 66-yard run. The only other Franklin and Marshall points came on field goals of 25 and 31 yards.

The River Hawks opened the scoring with a 31-yard field goal by Connor Lustenberger five minutes into the contest and the Diplomats answered late in the first quarter with a 32-yard pass play to take a 7-3 lead after 15 minutes of action.

The Diplomats made it 10-3 early in the second quarter as the Susquehanna defense stopped a first-and-goal situation and forced the short field goal.

The River Hawks took the ensuing drive and covered 90 yards in 16 plays and consumed 9:42 off the clock with a drive that was capped by a Luke Robertson 2-yard run to tie the score at 10-10 with less than a minute before the end of the half. Crusco completed three passes at the start of the drive with Tommy Bluj catching a 20 yarder, Mitch Carsley pulling in a 28-yarder and Robertson catching a 31-yarder for the River Hawks.

Franklin and Marshall opened the second half with a big play on the second play of the period with a 57-yard pass play.

After a short drive by the River Hawks, Franklin and Marshall had an 11-play drive stopped by the Susquehanna defense but the punt deflected off the back of a Susquehanna blocker and the Diplomats jumped on the ball to retain possession.

The drive resulted in another field goal and gave Franklin and Marshall a 20-10 advantage.

Following the field goal, Crusco engineered a scoring drive that lasted 20 plays and covered 84 yards for 9:08 and was capped by a two-yard run by Crusco as the River Hawks cut the lead to 20-17 with 7:54 left to play.

Franklin and Marshall answered with another big play with a 66-yard run on the second play from scrimmage to regain the 10-point advantage.

After the teams exchanged punts, Crusco put together another drive that ended with the 51-yard scoring pass to Holloway.

On the ensuing kickoff, Lustenberger executed a perfect on-sides kick that bounced over the heads of the front line of the kickoff return team and into the hands of Mikah Christian who raced down the sideline to near the 20-yard line but, buy rule, the on-sides kick cannot be advanced and the River Hawks started the drive at the 47-yard line. On the second play of the drive, Crusco was sacked and fumbled allowing Franklin and Marshall to close out the game.

Crusco finished with 358 yards on 24-for-43 passing and Bluj led the River Hawks with 114 yards receiving on nine catches and Holloway had four receptions for 89 yards.

Defensively, Cole Dixon led Susquehanna with 11 tackles and Caleb Cash added nine stops. Connor Thompson had eight tackles, a sack and a pass breakup and Kyle Micik added eight tackles.

The River Hawks are home against next weekend hosting Dickinson College at 1 p.m. Saturday.