By Mike Henken Staff writer
The Susquehanna football team came up short on the road against Ursinus on Oct. 22, losing 31-24.
The River Hawks got off to a slow start, as they trailed the Bears 31-3 heading into the half. Susquehanna was able to bounce back in the second half, scoring 21 unanswered points in the second half, including three scores in the final 17 minutes.
Susquehanna’s final score came on a four-yard run from sophomore quarterback Nick Crusco with just 41 seconds remaining. That score brought the River Hawks within seven points, but Ursinus was able to run out the clock and end the game.
Despite the loss, Crusco had a strong offensive showing, tallying 309 passing yards and one touchdown, while adding two more touchdowns on the ground. Junior wide receiver Tommy Bluj also contributed by catching six passes for a total of 83 yards. Senior wide receiver Chris Beals was the recipient of Crusco’s touchdown pass. An established passing attack was a key factor of the game plan according to the quarterback.
“We knew going into this game that we were going to get pressured a lot to try and take our run game away so the pass game was an important part of the game plan,” Crusco said.
On the defensive end of the ball, the River Hawks had some issues in the first half, causing the large and early deficit, but the team was dominant in the final 30 minutes of play. Senior linebacker Marc LeDrappier led the unit with seven tackles, while freshman linebacker Juwan Rodriguez tallied six tackles including a sack.
As far as the slow start goes, Crusco acknowledged that it is an issue the team is trying to solve.
“I’m not exactly sure why we are having these slow starts to our games,” he said. “That is something we are struggling with lately and it’s up to myself and the other leaders on the team to change it. [Coach Perkovich] and the staff has challenged us this week to figure out why this is happening and correct it because being down 20 points at half time against a good [Franklin & Marshall] team is not what we want.”
Putting the loss in the rearview mirror, Head Coach Tom Perkovich is already looking forward to next week’s matchup.
“[Franklin & Marshall] is a very good football team, especially on defense,” he said. “We will have to be effective on offense to win. We must limit turnovers and win 3rd down and the red zone. Defensively we have to stop the run and limit big plays. Also, we need to create turnovers and tackle well. Special teams must be a phase we win. Field position will be a big factor also.”
Susquehanna will look to bounce back at home on Saturday, Oct. 29 when the River Hawks take on Franklin & Marshall. Ursinus will look to continue its winning streak against Johns Hopkins.