SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Seniors Anthony McCoy (Rosedale, N.Y./Long Island Lutheran) and Mikah Christian (Bowie, Md./Bowie) combined for five touchdown receptions to lead the No. 24 Susquehanna University football team to a dominant Centennial Conference victory Saturday afternoon. Susquehanna (3-1, 2-1 CC) handled the visiting Franklin & Marshall College Diplomats (3-1, 2-1 CC), 42-13, for F&M's first loss of the season.
The River Hawks now find themselves in a five-way tie for second in the Centennial standings as SU, F&M, No. 18 Johns Hopkins University, McDaniel College, and Ursinus College are all 2-1 in league play. No. 9 Muhlenberg College sits alone atop of the standings with a 3-0 mark following its 42-5 road win over Juniata College.
This is the River Hawks' largest margin of victory over F&M, surpassing the previous mark by three points when SU handed the Diplomats a 40-14 setback in 2011 in Lancaster. Susquehanna picks up its fourth win in 20 tries against Franklin & Marshall since the series began in 1898, with three of those wins happening on Amos Alonzo Stagg Field. Today's 29-point win snaps a seven-game streak of these two teams' games being decided by 10 or fewer points.
No. 24 Susquehanna 42, Franklin & Marshall 13
How It Happened
- Susquehanna jumped out to a 7-0 lead late in the quarter behind Christian's first touchdown of the day – a 49-yard reception from sophomore quarterback Michael Ruisch (Fogelsville, Pa./Parkland).
- Sophomore strong safety L'Trell Bradley (West Orange, N.J./West Orange) picked off Garrett Perschy to end the Diplomats' fourth and final drive of the quarter. All four of F&M's drives stalled as three ended punts.
- The River Hawks put on a 21-point second quarter to head into halftime with a 28-0 advantage against the Centennial's stingiest defense. F&M entered the game allowing only 12.3 points per game and 227.3 yards per game.
- SU turned Bradley's interception in seven points as McCoy scored his first TD off a three-yard pass.
- McCoy tacked on his second score of the afternoon on 4th and 2 with a 24-yard reception.
- The final blow of the first half was a 66-yard catch by Christian for his second score of the day.
- Once again, the Diplomats struggled to find any offensive rhythm and punted on all three drives.
- Susquehanna punted on its first two drives of the second half before Ruisch connected with McCoy for the third time, delivering a 15-yard pass for a 35-0 River Hawk lead.
- It was much of the same for the Diplomats on their offensive side of the ball as they punted three more times.
- The Diplomats avoided the shutout in the fourth when Thomas Downs intercepted sophomore quarterback Hezekiah Patterson's (Trenton, N.J./Hamilton West) pass at the Susquehanna 35 and returned it to the SU 7. Joe Hartley-Vittoria would punch it in two plays later from five yards out.
- Junior running back Da'Avian Ellington (Carteret, N.J./Woodbridge) would match his career-long run when Ellington broke free for 63 yards and SU's final score of the day with 10:19 remaining in the game.
- F&M added another score with three seconds on the clock when Jack Donaghy hit Grant Gale for an eight-yard completion in the end zone.
Inside the Box Score
- Susquehanna is the first team to drop more than 20 points on the Diplomats this season as F&M had only allowed 37 points in its first three games, including shutting out Juniata, 54-0, on September 14.
- The Diplomats punted 10 times for 334 yards.
- Ruisch finished the afternoon 16-of-25 for 250 yards with a career-best five touchdowns. His 66-yard strike to Christian in the second quarter is his longest of the season.
- McCoy was efficient with his team-leading five receptions as three were touchdown catches while Christian led the River Hawks with 126 reception yards on three catches.
- Ellington had another solid performance for SU, carrying the ball 13 times for 110 yards and one score.
- Senior captain Danial Shelton was front and center in the team's stellar defensive play, leading the way with eight tackles, while senior captain Cole Dixon (Dallas, Pa./Dallas) and sophomore outside linebacker Brendan Krumenacker (Chester Springs, Pa./Owen J. Roberts) each added seven.
- Junior defensive lineman Riley Gaughan (Taylor, Pa./Riverside) came up with 1.5 sacks and four tackles.
- Perschy went 4-of-13 with one interception while being sacked twice. He also punted 10 times for 334 yards, including a long of 44. On defense, Marlen Fenstermacher totaled seven tackles while Kevonte Beard and Peyton Snopek each contributed six.
Up Next for the River Hawks
- October 5 vs. Dickinson (1-2) – Selinsgrove, Pa. / Doug Arthur Stadium – 6:00 p.m.
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