By Mel Barracato, Staff Writer
The Susquehanna football team closed out their season with a 28-9 victory against Albright College in the Centennial-Mac Bowl Series game to finish the season 8-3 on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Senior running back Cameron Ott scored a touchdown on a seven-yard run for Susquehanna in the first quarter, and the half remained 7-0 until Albright answered with their own touchdown in the last minute before halftime.
“We had to establish the run game because of the weather. We knew that it would tough to throw the ball. Once Cam gets rolling there is no stopping him with our offensive line,” Carsley said.
The River Hawk defense only allowed Albright five drives in the second half which resulted in three fumbles and an interception.
Senior quarterback Nick Crusco connected with sophomore Mikah Christian on a 46- yard pass that helped Susquehanna move 75-yards within five plays. Another 25-yard pass to senior Tommy Bluj put
the River hawks within the 10- yard line, and Crusco was able to finish the drive on a four- yard scoring run.
On the next drive, junior Connor Thompson forced a fumble on Albright’s sixth play, where senior Ryan Ganard was able to recover it right outside the Susquehanna end zone. How- ever, Albright was able to force a safety to put the score at 13-9.
Later in the third quarter, Crusco and Ott combined for a 13-play, 70-yard drive that finished with Ott scoring off a three-yard run. Sophomore Mitch Carsley completed a two- point conversion pass to Crusco to put Susquehanna ahead 21-9.
“We’ve run this play a couple times. I go in motion like a sweep stop and then throw it back to him. It works pretty well,” Cars- ley said after the game.
Ganard gained his fourth interception of the year on the first play of the fourth quarter to give the ball back to the Susquehanna offense. The next drive by the River Hawks almost stalled but a fumbled kick return recovered by Carsley set up a scoring drive for the River Hawks as Crusco was able to push a two-yard run for a touchdown to put the lead at 28-9.
Once Albright got the ball back they were able to form a short drive that was stopped by junior Jason Brougham after the Albright receiver fumbled the ball and allowed Brougham to recover for the River Hawks.
The last play of Albright offense included a junior Jeremy Kozich sacking the Lions quarterback and a recovery by sophomore Tucker Garner to set up the final drive that lasted the remaining five minutes of the content.
Crusco finished the game 16- 24 for 217 yards, which gave him a school-record 8,318 career passing yards. He also finishes with school records for career passing attempts, completions, and yards and total offensive yards. His 2,501 yards for this season puts him in second on the all-time season record list.
Ott finished with 86 yards and two touchdowns to put him just over 1,000 yards rushing to make him the eighth 1,000-yard rusher in Susquehanna history.
This season was the first time since 2009 that Susquehanna finished with eight wins.
That season, Susquehanna finished with a Liberty League Championship and a birth in the NCAA tournament.