Courtesy of East Stroudsburg Athletics
EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. – Kutztown ran out to a 38-10 lead, then withstood three fourth-quarter scoring drives by East Stroudsburg University before finally securing a 38-31 win that sent the Warriors to their fifth straight setback on Saturday afternoon at Eiler-Martin Stadium.
Redshirt senior quarterback Matt Marshall was 37-for-57 for 382 yards and four touchdowns – including a 15-for-21, 185-yard, three-TD performance in the fourth quarter – to nearly bring the Warriors (1-5, 0-3) back from a 28-point deficit.
The game wasn’t decided until Kutztown picked up a third-and-seven conversion from the 37-yard line with 2:41 remaining, when Kevin Morton’s pass to Colby Tuell was spotted at the 29-yard line as he came back to make the completion on the Warriors’ sideline. Kutztown (6-0, 3-0) ran out the remainder of the clock to improve to 6-0 for the first time in school history.
The Golden Bears went ahead 38-10 on the first play of the fourth quarter, when backup defensive back Alex Dinolfi picked up an ESU lateral and went 38 yards for the touchdown that seemingly put the game out of reach.
Just as they did two weeks ago vs. West Chester, the Warriors fought back, with Marshall leading scoring drives of 63, 56 and 86 yards, the final one pulling ESU within a touchdown with 3:35 remaining.
Freshman tailback Dusty Reed caught a pair of touchdown passes, from nine and eight yards out, around a three-yard strike from Marshall to redshirt senior Jeff Giglio on a fourth down play. The defense forced their second straight three-and-out, and Marshall went 86 yards on nine plays, beginning with a 21-yard pass to Giglio and finishing with Reed’s eight-yard scoring play.
ESU attempted two onside kicks – the first appeared to be recovered by the Warriors but came after Kutztown called timeout, and the second was caught and covered by Kutztown wide receiver Chris McCormick. The Golden Bears were 6-for-12 on third downs in the game, and the spot on their final conversion sealed the win.
Marshall’s 37 completions are the second-most in school history, one behind Steve Mummaw’s 38 vs. Lafayette in 1970. His 57 attempts are tied for third in ESU’s record book, and his 382 yards are the second-most in his career, following last year’s 430-yard effort vs. Kutztown in a 27-20 overtime win.
Redshirt senior outside linebacker Matt Freed led ESU with 11 tackles, four tackles for a loss and three sacks. Freed moved past All-American and NFL veteran Mike Reichebach (1980-83) with 341 career tackles and has 19 career sacks.
Kutztown led 17-10 at halftime, then used a pair of third-quarter TD passes by Morton to widen the advantage before Dinolfi’s fumble return on the first play of the final period. Morton was 19-for-27 for 273 yards and three touchdowns, with a 26-yard strike to Erik Frazier and two TD passes to tailback Josh Mastromatto (six catches, 38 yards). Mastromatto also had 19 carries for 90 yards on the ground.
Marshall connected with 10 receivers, including five players with at least five catches. Redshirt senior Ed Kiser had seven catches for 83 yards, Giglio caught six passes for 49 yards and a TD, Reed had five catches for 55 yards and two TDs, and redshirt sophomore wide receiver Wade Williams and sophomore tailback Eric Deery had five catches each.
The Warriors will travel to C.W. Post for next week’s PSAC East game at 1 p.m.