The Shippensburg University football team traveled to Bloomsburg University on Saturday, looking to avenge last week’s gut-wrenching homecoming loss to Kutztown University.
The Red Raiders fought hard against their Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) East Division rival Huskies, but could not sustain an early lead in a 22–19 loss at Bloomsburg.
The game went back and forth between the two teams, until Bloomsburg blocked a game-tying field goal off the leg of SU kicker Billy Deane with three minutes left in the game.
The Huskies were forced to punt after the block, giving the Red Raiders one final chance with 50 seconds left to play. The Red Raiders’ next drive stalled at midfield, ending the game.
SU started off strong against Bloomsburg, scoring first on a 48-yard field goal from Deane. For Deane, the kick was the longest field goal of his career, and was a yard shy of the school record. The Red Raiders led 3–0 with six minutes left in the first quarter.
It did not take long for Bloomsburg to answer, as Huskies running back Lawrence Elliott Jr. found the end zone on a 3-yard rushing touchdown. The Huskies led 7–3 with just over a minute left in the first quarter.
After failed drives by both teams, Bloomsburg found itself deep in its own territory to start its next drive. The Huskies tried to dig themselves out of a hole, tossing the ball left to Elliott, who was tackled in the end zone for a safety. Bloomsburg led 7–5 after the score.
For the Red Raiders, the safety was the first real swing of momentum. After SU regained possession, it was able to do more damage on a 1-yard Cole Chiappialle touchdown. The touchdown was Chiappialle’s 13th of the year, and it gave SU a 12–7 lead with 9:07 left in the second quarter.
Bloomsburg answered again, however, as Elliott scampered into the end zone to reclaim the lead for the Huskies.
Bloomsburg went into halftime with a 15–12 lead. In the second half, it was all Bloomsburg. Numerous drives stalled out for SU after Chase Yocum found the end zone on a 1-yard rush. The Red Raiders were leading 19–15, but failed to muster any offense after the third-quarter touchdown.
The defensive stops eventually loomed large for Bloomsburg, as it took the lead on a 20-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Price from quarterback Duffy Gilhool. The extra point gave Bloomsburg all it needed.
The Red Raiders could not sustain any significant drives in the fourth quarter. The best offensive chance for SU came after Kevin Goldsmith forced an Elliott fumble that was recovered by Richard Nase. This gave SU great field position, and a chance to take the lead.
The Red Raiders were stuffed on three straight plays and had to attempt the game-tying field goal that was blocked. The Red Raiders fell to the Huskies, 22–19, in its final PSAC East Division matchup of the season.
With a strong performance on Saturday, Yocum broke teammate Ryan Zapoticky’s single-season rushing record for a quarterback. Yocum ran for 124 yards on the day, extending his season total to 638 yards. The former record was 561 rushing yards.
The Red Raiders, (6–4, 4–3 PSAC East) will wrap up its 2016 season on Nov. 12, at Seton Hill University. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.