The Shippensburg University football team took the field on a rainy Thursday evening to face No. 5-nationally ranked Bloomsburg University. The Raiders grinded out a 34–18 victory.
The first quarter was a defensive battle, which ended in a scoreless tie.
SU struck first in the second quarter when quarterback Zach Zulli found wide receiver Trevor Harman down the visitor’s side for a touchdown. Drew Newcomer’s point after attempt was no good but the Raiders jumped out to a 6–0 lead.
The Raiders struck again late in the second quarter when Zulli found Sheldon Mayer for an 84-yard touchdown. Mayer managed to outrun the Huskies’ secondary and stumble into the end zone, extending SU’s lead to 13–0.
BU began marching down the field and had a chance to score when Husky running back Franklyn Quiteh found a hole but Raider defensive back Tyriq Kershaw made a touchdown-saving tackle.
The Huskies’ Dan Fisher ended up knocking in a 28-yard field goal, cutting the Raiders’ lead to 13–3.
“Our biggest thing was to contain the run game and when the balls in the air just fly around and make plays,” Kershaw said.
SU’s defense performed well throughout the course of Thursday’s game. The Raiders held the Huskies to a season low in points scored and total offensive yards. SU shut down Quiteh all night.
The Raiders held Quiteh to just 82 yards, a season low.
Kershaw led the SU defense, recording eight tackles. Brian Sourber, James Brennan and Cortlin Dell all contributed seven tackles each.
The Raiders topped BU’s field goal when Zulli found Harman once again for a 27-yard touchdown reception, taking the Raiders lead to 20–3.
Quiteh scored his only touchdown of the game on an eight yard touchdown just under a minute after Harman’s touchdown, cutting the Raiders lead to 20–10.
SU struck back when Zulli found Mayer one more time for a 75-yard touchdown pass.
Mayer finished the game with 244 receiving yards, the second most in school history.
Mayer also added two touchdowns on six receptions throughout Thursday’s game.
Mayer’s touchdown gave the Raiders a commanding 27–10 lead.
The Raiders managed to tack one more score on the board when Zulli found Harman again, taking the Raiders’ lead to 34–10.
Harman extended his consecutive games with 100-plus receiving yards to eight during Thursday’s game. Harman finished the night with 134 receiving yards, 12 catches and three touchdowns.
The Huskies tried to make a late game surge when Tim Kelly scored off a 1- yard touchdown run. Quiteh ran the two-point conversion in, cutting the Raiders’ lead to 34–18.
The Raider defense shut down the Huskie offense, solidifying their victory.
“That was one of the best games I have ever seen these guys [the Raider defense] play,” Harman said. “It was awesome. I’m proud of them and I’m proud of this team.”
SU’s defense stepped up big when it needed to against a powerhouse BU offense.
“They just wanted to play hard. They wanted to prove they are still a tough football team. They did that today and I’m so proud of them,” head coach Mark Maciejewski said.
The Raiders will dwell on the victory for the time being but will get back on the road when they travel to Cheyney University on Saturday, Nov. 9, kickoff is set for noon.