The Susquehanna University football team scored touchdowns on pass, a run and a fumble recovery to post a 20-0 Centennial Conference victory over visiting Moravian College Saturday at Nicholas A. Lopardo Stadium.
The Crusaders improve to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in conference action while the Greyhounds fall to 1-5 overall and 1-4 in Centennial Conference action. Moravian will start a three-game home stand next Saturday, October 22 when the squad hosts Franklin & Marshall College at 1:00 p.m. at Rocco Calvo Field in the annual Homecoming game.
The Greyhounds started the game with the ball but were driving into a strong wind. Moravian picked up a pair of first downs, one on a rush by junior running back C.J. Billera and the other on a short pass from sophomore quarterback Robbie Moyer to senior wide receiver Ray Olivo; however, a penalty and a sack would force junior Tyler Thompson to come on and punt into the wind.
The Crusaders started with good field position at their own 43-yard line, but Susquehanna went three-and-out before punting.
Moravian gained a first down by penalty on the next drive before Moyer was hit by senior defensive lineman Trevor Terpening and fumbled. Senior defensive back Jesse Eggerton covered the ball for Susquehanna at the Moravian 30-yard line.
After a first down on a pass from senior quarterback Rich Palazzi, the Crusaders would turn the ball over when Greyhound junior defensive back Rees Judge hit Susquehanna senior tight end Matt Knouse after a completion and forced a fumble. Senior linebacker Stephen Kircher covered the loose ball at the Moravian 19-yard line.
The Greyhounds ran three plays before Thompson came onto to punt, and the wind limited the punt to nine yards.
Susquehanna picked up a first down before its drive stalled at the Greyhounds' 24-yard line. Freshman kicker Spencer Hotaling came in to attempt a 42-yard field goal with nine seconds left in the first quarter but the attempt was wide right.
Moravian ran one play before the quarter switch and getting the wind at its back. The Greyhounds moved into Susquehanna territory for the first time in the game on a 19-yard run by junior running back Joe Tegan. Moravian would end up attempting a fake punt but Kircher was stopped.
The Crusaders started at the Moravian 47-yard line and picked up a first down before punting inside the ten-yard line. Susquehanna was called for a penalty after the play so Moravian would start at its own 23-yard line.
The Greyhounds would punt after three plays while Susquehanna turned the ball over on downs. Moravian punted again on its next possession. The Crusaders answered with two first downs before turning the ball over on downs again at the Moravian 26-yard line.
Moravian picked up a first down on a pass from Moyer to Olivo on the first play of the drive, and two personal foul penalties on Susquehanna moved the ball to the Crusaders' 34-yard line. After two plays, senior Ian Heck lined up for a 42-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the first half but it was blocked by Crusaders' sophomore defensive back Jalen Scott.
Susquehanna opened the second half with the ball and the wind at its back. The Crusaders would need eight plays to cover the 57 yards to the end zone with sophomore quarterback Mark Rosenbaum hitting sophomore wide receiver Alex Patchin with a 30-yard touchdown pass. Hotaling added the extra-point for a 7-0 Susquehanna lead with 10:46 to play in the third quarter.
Moravian went three-and-out on its first drive of the second half while the Crusaders turned the ball over on downs on its next possession. The Greyhounds started at their own 35-yard line, and freshman quarterback Chris Souders, who came in late in the second quarter when Moyer was injured, was hit and fumbled with Susquehanna sophomore defensive lineman Jon Trego covering the ball.
The Crusaders would turn the ball back over on downs twice while Moravian punted on its next two possessions. Susquehanna started at its own 32-yard line late in the third quarter, and the Crusaders would need just five plays to cover the 68 yards to the end zone. Senior running back Greg Tellish capped the drive with a six-yard touchdown run, and Hotaling made the extra-point for a 14-0 Susquehanna lead with 14:40 left in the fourth quarter.
Facing a third-and-24 on the next drive, Souders ran for 22 yards but the Greyhounds would turn the ball over on downs. Moravian's defense would hold and force the Crusaders into a punt.
Souders completed his first collegiate pass to sophomore wide receiver Julian Gentile, a 28-yard completion to move the Greyhounds near midfield on the next possession. However, three plays later Souders was hit from behind by Susquehanna senior linebacker Andy White and fumbled. Freshman linebacker Jared Minori scooped up the ball and ran 56 yards for a touchdown. Hotaling's extra-point was blocked by Greyhound senior defensive back D.J. Wacker to keep the score at 20-0 with 7:21 left in the contest.
Moravian picked up two first downs, one on a penalty and one on a 26-yard pass from Souders to Olivo; however, the drive stalled by the Susquehanna pressure on Souders, and the Greyhounds punted. The teams traded punts before Susquehanna ran out the clock.
The Crusaders picked up 262 yards on 63 plays with Tellish gaining 72 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown. Palazzi completed 13 of 25 passes for 157 yards, and he was sacked four times. Rosenbaum completed his only pass for the 30-yard touchdown, and he added six yards on one carry. Patchin caught three passes for 45 yards with the score while junior wide receiver Spenser Ercole had three catches for 30 yards. Knouse grabbed two passes for 45 yards while senior wide receiver Justin Stover had two receptions for 25 yards.
Moravian had 128 yards on 67 plays, and the Greyhounds had an advantage in time of possession with 30:18. Souders completed three of 12 passes for 58 yards but he was sacked eight times while Moyer completed three of eight passes for 16 yards and was sacked three times. Tegan ran for 49 yards on 12 carries while Billera added 46 yards on eight carries. Moyer had 11 yards on 14 attempts. Olivo caught three passes for 41 yards while Gentile had one catch for 28 yards.
Terpening led the Susquehanna defense with 11 tackles including two and a half tackles for loss and a sack while sophomore defensive lineman Bill Mancini had ten tackles with four tackles for loss, two sacks, two pass break-ups and a forced fumble. White contributed eight tackles with a sack and forced fumble while junior defensive lineman Ken Schetroma had seven tackles with four and a half for loss and two sacks.
Sophomore defensive back Dalton Petit led the Moravian defense with eight tackles before leaving the game with an injury while junior linebacker Jake Hildebrand and Wacker each had seven stops with Hildebrand adding four tackles for loss. Sophomore defensive back Brandon Lesko contributed six tackles with a sack and a tackle for loss while senior defensive lineman Allen Petros had five tackles, all for loss to raise his school record total to 55.5 in his career, and he added a sack which was the 25th of his career to move within a sack of second in the school record books.