Shippensburg University’s football team threw a wrench in Gannon University’s postseason plans with a 35-28 upset win over the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West Golden Knights in overtime.
Gannon entered the contest sitting at the top of the PSAC West standings and ranked No. 7 in the Super Region One rankings. Shippensburg entered the game knowing they had no playoff future, but they played as if they did.
On the opening possession, freshman quarterback Evan Falco engineered an 11-play 87-yard drive capped off by a 15-yard touchdown reception by sophomore Ian Sheehan.
The Gannon offense would respond early in the second quarter as Golden Knights quarterback Kory Curtis threw the first of his four touchdowns on the day.
On the next Gannon possession, sophomore linebacker Matt Feeney picked off Curtis and set the SU offense up in great position. However, the Raiders could not capitalize as their 37-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right.
The Golden Knights would then march down the field and score a touchdown with 50 seconds remaining in the first half to take a 14-7 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff sophomore Redd Douglas returned the ball 55 yards to set the Raiders up in plus territory. Falco took advantage of this opportunity with a 43-yard bomb to Douglas to even the score at 14 with just one second remaining in the half.
Gannon came out of the half aggressively by going for it on 4th down at midfield, but the Shippensburg defense was up to the task and got the turnover on downs.
Senior running back Khalid Dorsey thanked the SU defense for the field position by scoring his sixth touchdown of the season from six yards out. His score put the Raiders up 21-14.
That lead did not last long however, as Curtis would tie the game for Gannon with a 73-yard rocket to receiver Jonathan Bowden.
Early in the fourth, SU took advantage of another Golden Knight miscue, as a fumbled punt recovered by the Raiders turned into a 1-yard touchdown run by Dorsey.
Leading 28-21 late in the fourth, Shippensburg’s defense attempted to close the door on the Knights, but Curtis delivered a clutch pass to the endzone for a score on 3rd and 15 for the tie.
Both teams would get another possession in regulation but neither would score, sending the game into overtime.
The Raiders began the extra period with the ball, and senior running back Bill Williams immediately put them up seven thanks to a 22-yard touchdown run.
SU’s defense finally got their long-awaited stop on the ensuing possession, completing the upset.
Falco ended the game 16-32 with a career-high 221 yards and two touchdowns. He went toe-to-toe with Curtis who finished with 387 yards and four touchdowns.
Douglas caught seven passes for 109 yards and a score and Dorsey rushed for 54 yards and two scores.
Feeney led the defense with six tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery. Sophomore linebacker Javon M. Cruz had a team-high 10 tackles.
The Raiders finish the season 5-6 (3-4 PSAC East) and will miss the playoffs, this is just their second season finishing under .500 since 2010.