By Rave’n Coleman, Staff Writer
Thanks to a standout defensive performance and a balanced offensive attack, the Susquehanna football team defeated Dickinson 38–7 in a Centennial Conference game on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Amos Alonzo Stagg Field in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.
River Hawk linebackers were all over the field as junior linebacker Connor Thompson led the team with 11 tackles and three of them served as solo tackles. Sophomore linebacker Cole Dixon finished with a total of eight tackles one of them being a solo tackle, and junior linebacker Noah Schairer also finished with a total of seven tackles five of them being solo tackles.
Five minutes into the game the River Hawks put the first points on the board as senior tailback Cameron Ott rushed for five yards into the end zone. Freshman Connor Lustenberger followed up with a successful extra point kick making the game 7–0 Susquehanna.
Thompson would recover a fumble on the ensuing Dickinson drive, giving Susquehanna the ball at Dickinson’s 35-yard
line. Following this, Susquehanna’s offense continued to put points on the board as senior quarterback Nick Crusco threw a 15-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Mikah Christian to make the score 14–0 Susquehanna. Christian finished the game with 91 yards and one touchdown.
Dickinson’s only score of the game was in the last five minutes of the first quarter as Phillip Butler rushed for a nine-yard touchdown followed by an extra point kick making the score 14–7 Susquehanna.
After the first two drives, the River Hawk offense stalled out for the remainder of the first half, in part to a couple turnovers, but the defense would hold strong and limit the Red Devils to only 105 yards of total offense, with only 15 yards of those yards through the air.
Early in the third quarter, the River Hawks offense got back on track as senior wide receiver Diamente Holloway rushed for a four-yard touch- down on a jet sweep to advance the Susquehanna lead to 21-7 with 9:07 left in the third quarter of play.
On the very next drive, the Susquehanna defense stepped up as senior defensive back Ryan Ganard intercepted a pass to give the River Hawks team the ball back on their own 38-yard line.
Off the interception Susquehanna went on an 11-play drive to add another score. Crusco would find Holloway for a four-yard touchdown pass. Lustenberger would tack on the extra point to make the score 28–7 Susquehanna.
Freshman wide receiver Terrell Brown added the only touchdown in the fourth quarter thanks to a 50-yard punt return touchdown where he eluded multiple would-be tacklers. After the return, the score would stand at 38-7 Riv- er Hawks, which would turn out to be the final score.
Susquehanna is scheduled to play next against Ursinus on homecoming weekend on October 21 at 1 p.m. at home. Ursinus is currently coming off a huge win over nationally-ranked Johns Hopkins and currently sits at 5-0 on the year.
Ursinus’ unlikely victory was spearheaded by sophomore dual-threat quarterback Thomas Garlick, who led the team in rushing and passing, with 104 yards and 247 yards respectively in the contest.
The win, which ended Johns Hopkins’ 45-game regular season win streak, was the Grizzly Bears fourth conference victory of the year.
Garlick effectively ended the game with an electrifying eight-yard scamper with 20 seconds remaining.
The touchdown capped a 13-play, 74- yard drive that came right after Johns Hopkins quarterback David Tammaro barrelled into the endzone for a one-yard score that gave the Blue Jays the lead, 17-14.
Bears receiver Carmen Fortino also racked up 111 yards on just three receptions, that included a 67-yard catch and run.
“I’m proud of the way our kids fought today,” said Ursinus head coach Pete Gallagher.
“They showed a lot of guts and determination and made the plays they needed to win.”
The River Hawks will have their hands full with Ursinus’ explosive offense, but with young talent surging on the defensive side of the ball, Susquehanna is up for the challenge to stop the Grizzly Bears’ offense.
Susquehanna currently sits at sixth in the Centennial Conference standings, while Ursinus is tied for first with Franklin and Marshall.