Courtesy of Bloomsburg Athletics
- Redshirt freshman Franklyn Quiteh rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns, while Ben Weaber, Codie Butler, and Pat Carey had outstanding games as well, as No. 16 Bloomsburg University (7-1, 5-0 PSAC East) defeated West Chester University (3-5, 3-2 PSAC East) in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) football action on Saturday evening.
Bloomsburg wasted no time in taking control of the game. The Huskies forced a three-and-out on the Golden Rams’ first drive and took over at their own 49 yard line. On the drive’s third play, Franklyn Quiteh (Tobyhanna, Pocono Mountain West) broke loose and trotted to the endzone from 37-yards out in what would be his longest run of the day.
With a 7-0 lead, Bloomsburg held West Chester to 15 yards on the next drive, forcing another quick punt. The 12-play, 90-yard drive was capped off by a seven-yard Pat Carey (Loyalsock, Loyalsock Twp.) toss to senior captain Ben Weaber (Lebanon, Cedar Crest) to give the Huskies a 14-0 lead.
Still in the first quarter, West Chester was forced to punt from its own four-yard line, leaving the Huskies to start their third drive of the game from WCU’s 37. Carey found junior Tyler Guise (Mechanicsburg, Cumberland Valley) from 30 yards out to give Bloomsburg a 21-0 lead with 1:35 to play in the period.
On the ensuing drive, the Golden Rams’ offense began to come together. Quarterback Mike Mattei completed four passes on the 8-play 70-yard drive, including an 18-yard scoring toss to freshman LaRon Lee to narrow the score to 21-7.
West Chester forced Bloomsburg’s first punt on the next drive, and once again, the Golden Rams looked effective. Mattei assembled a 13-play, 62-yard drive, eventually finding redshirt freshman Tim Keyser from 5 yards out to cut Bloomsburg’s lead to 21-14 with less than 30 seconds remaining in the half.
With halftime looming, the Huskies seemed destined to have only a one-possession lead at the intermission, but Head Coach Danny Hale had other plans. In one of the game’s most exciting plays, Carey threw a lateral to tight end Weaber, who aired the ball out downfield, connecting with sophomore Kyle Fisher (Denver, Cocalico) for a 53-yard gain. With 7 seconds remaining, Carey threw to Weaber for the final three yards needed to get to the endzone, and Bloomsburg carried a 28-14 lead into the break.
Despite a 31-yard Fisher return on the half’s opening kick, the Huskies failed to gain significant ground on their drive. West Chester’s D’Andre Webb soon escaped for a 77-yard run, tightening the game, 28-21.
On Bloomsburg’s next drive, a miraculous 47-yard diving catch by Guise put BU within striking distance of the goal line. Quiteh finished off the final two yards of the 10-play, 67-yard drive.
Later in the third, West Chester’s Lee tried to emulate the success of Weaber, but the receiver was picked on a pass that was deflected by Oscar Rivera (Bethlehem, Liberty) into the arms of younger brother Justin Rivera (Bethlehem, Liberty) for the day’s only interception. The Huskies proceeded to take another six minutes off the clock with an 11-play drive that concluded with a 40-yard field goal by Daniel Fisher (Liverpool, Central Dauphin), improving his school record to 12 goals on the season.
Determined to put the game away, Bloomsburg offense and defense rose to the moment in the fourth quarter. The Golden Rams were held to 18 yards of offense in the period, during which BU kept possession for nearly 11 of 15 minutes.
The final score of the game came on yet another run by Quiteh, who scored his third touchdown of the day from 17-yards out to ice the game at 45-21.
The Bloomsburg defense held West Chester to fewer than 20 yards offense on 8 of 11 drives, four of which found the Golden Rams recording negative net yardage.
Carey finished the day completing 7 of 13 passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns. Mattei had 143 yards and 2 scores while throwing 13 of 29 successfully.
Kyle Fisher had a game-high 75 receiving yards off three catches, while Weaber had 2 touchdowns and 23 yards off his own three receptions.
In addition to Quiteh’s 161 yards on the ground, freshman Codie Butler (Womelsdorf, Conrad Weiser) ran for a career-high 110 on 15 attempts. The game was the first this season in which two Husky backs tallied 100+ yards, a feat that was last accomplished in 2009 when Kenny Domzalski (122) and Derrick Price (110) each ran for triple digits against Shippensburg. The current NCAA leader in rushing yards, Quiteh (1,310) averages 163.8 yards per game and gained three spots to take over seventh on the Bloomsburg all-time list for season rushing yards.
Defensively, captain Mike Varanavage (Philadelphia, Archbishop Ryan) had 10 tackles on the day, including two for loss. The senior now has 60 stops on the year and has had 10 or more in four games. Marcus Zimmerman (Lititz, Manheim Central) had seven tackles, while reigning PSAC East Defensive Player of the Week Jarrett Pidgeon (Barnegat, NJ, Southern Regional) had five.