Shippensburg football got out to a 7-0 lead on their first drive on the road against IUP this past Saturday but didn’t score again until the 4th quarter in a 49-14 loss. The Raiders’ defense held quite strong early in the contest, only trailing 14-7 at the half, but a 21-point 3rd quarter from the Crimson Hawks put the game out of reach.
After graduate defensive back Mike Brewer intercepted an IUP pass to end IUP’s first drive, the Raiders capitalized on the great field position with junior Jake DeLuccia reaching the endzone on a 28-yard touchdown pass from redshirt sophomore Sam Johnson III to give Shippensburg a 7-0 lead.
After IUP scored on the very next drive, the score remained at 7-7 deep into the second quarter. Both teams had scoring chances they were unable to convert in this quarter, with IUP failing to convert a fourth down in the redzone, and Shippensburg missing a 27-yard field goal attempt.
The momentum changed right before the half, with Johnson III getting sacked and losing the football, the first of four fumbles lost on the day, which was recovered by IUP defender Jay Holmes who ran it in for a scoop and score, giving the Crimson Hawks a 14-7 lead with 58 seconds left in the half.
The Raiders’ offense struggled mightily in the second half, with their first three drives of the half resulting in a lost fumble, a 3-and-out, and a lost fumble. IUP scored touchdowns after all three drives, giving them a 35-7 lead less than six minutes into the third quarter.
Johnson III was replaced by freshman Sam Stoner late in the third quarter, and Stoner led the team in passing with 122 yards, along with a late touchdown pass to junior Tykey Reinberry. Redshirt sophomore Tanner Hess led the ground game with 39 rushing yards, and junior Redd Douglas led receivers with 54 yards on 3 catches. Douglas also earned 143 kick return yards.
Football returns to Seth Grove Stadium for Family Day this week to face Bloomsburg in the PSAC East conference opener. Kickoff is at 1 PM.