By Alyssa Gehris, Staff Writer
The Susquehanna River Hawks clinched a postseason game and third place in the conference with a 28–21 road win against rival Juniata College on Saturday, Nov. 11.
River Hawk senior running back Cameron Ott had 29 carries for 99 yards, while freshman wide receiver Terrell Brown brought in five passes with 102 yards.
Senior quarterback Nick Crusco was 19-32 with 228 yards and accounted for three scores on the day.
Sophomore linebacker Cole Dixon finished the game with a total of 11 tackles and a sack while junior inside linebacker Connor Thompson earned a total of 10 tackles and a half sack with both Dixon and Thompson having two tackles for loss.
Scoring started early in the game for Susquehanna with the first drive. Ott started with a pair of short runs that then led to a four-yard pass completion and a first down on a catch from sophomore wide receiver Mitch Carsley. Two minutes later, Crusco would find the endzone thanks to a 64-yard touchdown catch from Brown to give the River Hawks a 7–0 lead.
Juniata almost blew a scoring opportunity when sophomore defensive lineman Tucker Garner forced a fumble on the Susquehanna one-yard line, but they managed to tie the game 7–7 thanks to a Matt Denver recovery from Juniata. To bring Susquehanna back to the lead, Crusco had a 13- play drive finishing off with a two-yard run to score. Brown kept the drive going with a six-yard reception on a third- and-five situation. Passes were also completed to Carsley for 12 yards and Ott for 11 yards. Susquehanna continued their lead with another touchdown in the second quarter after a long 14 play, 56-yard drive by Crusco and the rest of the offense. Ott would finish the drive with a three-yard touchdown reception to extend the lead to 21–7 towards the end of the first half.
Juniata took the third quarter to tie the score again at 21–21 thanks to two consecutive scores. The first was an Austin Montgome eight-yard touchdown pass to Daulton Snyder and the second was a one-yard touchdown run by Montgome.
In the final quarter of play though, the River Hawks’ defense limited Juniata while offense took control of the ball for most of the remaining time. Crusco would toss the eventual game-winner to Bluj for an eight-yard touchdown with 11:11 left in the fourth quarter to bring Susquehanna their 28–21 victory.
The win brought Susquehanna to a 7-3 record and earned Susquehanna a spot in the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series. The River Hawks will play against Albright College Saturday, Nov. 18. The game will be held at Albright’s Gene Shirk Stadium in Reading, Pennsylvania. Albright is the leader of the all-time series 23-30-1 with the River Hawks winning the latest matchup