Shippensburg University’s football team celebrated Senior Day with a 17-13 come from behind win over Mercyhurst University on a windy Saturday afternoon at Seth Grove Stadium.
SU (9-2) honored its 21 seniors before their final home game of the regular season and ended it by becoming the first team since 2012 to go undefeated at home. The Raiders finished with a 6-0 record at this season.
Freshman Jake Deluccia scored two rushing touchdowns in the win, including the go-ahead score with 4:30 remaining in the final frame. Redshirt-sophomore Bill Williams finished with 98 yards rushing, two yards shy of his first career 100-yard rushing game. Shippensburg ran for a total of 184 yards on 47 rushing attempts in the win.
The SU defense smothered Mercyhurst’s ground game, allowing just 26 yards on the ground and not giving up a run longer than five yards. The Lakers passed for 263 yards however on 31 attempts, while the Raiders could only muster 88 yards through the air.
After exchanging field goals, Shippensburg went on an 11-play drive capped off by a 5-yard DeLuccia touchdown run to give the home team a 10-3 lead.
MU responded with a field goal on their next drive and a touchdown on their final drive of the first half to give them a 13-10 lead heading into halftime.
The score would stay frozen until midway through the fourth quarter. The Raiders would go on another 11-play touchdown scoring drive capped off by another DeLuccia score, this one from nine yards out.
Down four with 38 seconds left and no timeouts, the Lakers looked to pull a rabbit out of a hat. The SU defense though would be having no tricks as sophomore Jacoby Sherard forced a sack-fumble that was recovered by redshirt-freshman Chisom Ifeanyi, effectively ending the game at 17-13.
DeLuccia finished with 8 rushes for 44 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Brycen Mussina only completed 13 passes but also chipped in 54 rushing yards.
Sherard had 2.0 sacks on the day, giving him a team-high 6.5 on the season. Senior Trey Paul had six tackles and was credited with three pass breakups. Fellow senior Laron Woody led the Raiders in tackles with seven.
Mercyhurst head coach Marty Schaetzle was recognized before the game by the Raiders as he was coaching in his final game as the Lakers head coach. Schaetzle served as an assistant coach for Shippensburg from 1990-1996.
The Raiders will now await the announcement of the NCAA Tournament Field, which will be announced Sunday at 5 p.m.
Shippensburg is currently ranked No. 8 in the Super Region 1 Rankings.