The Red Raider football team matched up against Kutztown University Oct. 29 with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) East Division on the line and suffered a heartbreaking loss in double overtime, 24–21. It is Kutztown’s first win at SU since 1995.
A 42-yard blocked field goal by Kutztown at the end of regulation, and a 23-yard field goal by Brandon Keffer at the end of the second overtime was the game-winner for the Golden Bears.
With the win, Kutztown clinched the PSAC East Division title, earning it a spot in the PSAC Championship game.
Momentum shifted in the game after a penalty extended a Kutztown drive in the third quarter that led to Kutztown’s first touchdown of the game.
The Red Raiders controlled the game in the first half. The defense stopped the Golden Bears and forced multiple Kutztown punts before Cole Chiappialle found the end zone for the Red Raiders on a 1-yard rushing touchdown to score the first points of the game. The Red Raiders took a 7–0 lead with 14:09 left in the second quarter and went into the half with that lead.
During halftime homecoming festivities, Brandon Christmas-Lindsey and Madeline Kwarteng were crowned homecoming king and queen. All of the homecoming candidates fundraised for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter, with Christmas-Lindsey and Kwarteng raising the most money.
The Red Raiders expanded their lead in the third quarter when quarterback Collin DiGalbo’s pass was intercepted by SU’s Kevin Taylor. Taylor returned the interception 40 yards for an SU touchdown, giving SU a 14–0 lead with 10:37 left in the quarter. Taylor came away with two interceptions on the day.
Shortly after the touchdown, Kutztown finally found its stride, scoring its first touchdown of the day on a 10-yard rush by Darrell Scott. The Red Raiders led 14–7 heading into the fourth quarter.
Coming into the game, the Red Raiders had yet to give up points in the fourth quarter. Kutztown finally broke the streak, adding a touchdown on a 63-yard rush by Craig Reynolds to tie the game at 14.
The game went to overtime, where Kutztown took possession first. Kutztown started off overtime with a 5-yard touchdown run by DiGalbo. Kutztown took a 21–14 lead.
The Red Raiders came out with a chance to send the game to a second overtime, and SU’s Chase Yocum capped off the overtime period with a 2-yard rushing touchdown. Billy Deane’s extra point was good, which sent the game to a second overtime.
In the second overtime period, SU started with the ball. The offense stalled and a holding penalty negated an SU touchdown. The Red Raiders faced a long third down play, and attempted a 47-yard goal that fell just short.
Kutztown’s Keffer nailed the game-winning kick to end the game on the next possession.
“They fought for sixty minutes, that’s all we can ask for,” coach Mark “Mac” Maciejewski said. “It came down to the fact that we made more mistakes in crucial times.”
For Maciejewski and the Red Raiders, it was a heartbreaking loss.
“That is probably the hardest loss I’ve ever had as a coach. The defense really played their hearts out and we had our chances to do things offensively and we just couldn’t get it done,” Maciejewski said.
For the Red Raiders, the defense forced DiGalbo into multiple mistakes, intercepting four passes. Allen Holman had 17 tackles for the Red Raiders on the day.
Maciejewski also mentioned how great it was to have the backing of the crowd at Seth Grove Stadium for homecoming. There were 7,670 people in attendance for the game.
“It’s always great to play at Seth Grove Stadium. We have a great fan base supporting us and we are really lucky in that aspect. I am just sorry that it wasn’t a better outcome for the Red Raiders today. They played their heart out,” Maciejewski said.
With the loss, the Red Raiders fall to 6–3, and 4–2 in the PSAC East. The Red Raiders will travel to Bloomsburg next week to match up with rival Bloomsburg University. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.