Courtesy of East Stroudsburg Athletics
– Redshirt senior quarterback Matt Marshall threw four touchdown passes, sophomore tailback Kendrick Williams had his first career 100-yard rushing game and four scores and East Stroudsburg University held Millersville to 93 yards passing in a 65-14 win on Saturday afternoon at Biemesderfer Stadium.
The Warriors (2-6) led 51-7 at halftime as they broke a six-game losing streak, their longest skid since 1987. Marshall was 18-for-22 for 257 yards and all four TD passes in the first half and finished 20-for-26 for 268 yards. Redshirt senior wide receiver Ed Kiser hauled in six catches for 148 yards and two TDs and Williams ran for 127 yards on 18 carries.
Redshirt senior outside linebacker Matt Freed led the defense with 11 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and an interception and hit two career milestones along the way. The two-time All-America selection passed Dan Murray (1984-87) for third in school history with 364 career tackles and has 21 career sacks.
Junior safety Herschel Thornton and senior cornerback David Castillo also had interceptions and Castillo and junior linebacker Mike Bergey recovered fumbles for the ESU defense, which forced five total turnovers.
Millersville (2-6) was fourth in the PSAC averaging 251 yards passing, but ESU harassed senior quarterback Bill Shirk into a 9-for-26 afternoon that included a season-high three interceptions for the Warriors’ defense. Jamal Smith had one catch for 21 yards after entering the day ranked seventh in Division II with 121.4 yards per game.
ESU outgained the Marauders 524-204, with Marshall and redshirt junior Ray Wagner (2-for-4, 66 yards) combining for 334 yards passing and Williams leading a rushing attack that produced a season-high 208 yards.
The Warriors scored 48 points in a 16-minute stretch from 2:54 in the first quarter until 1:43 in the second quarter. Freshman Taylor Groff made a 42-yard field goal, his 11th of the season, on ESU’s first drive and the offense put the ball in the end zone on seven of its final eight possessions of the first half.
Williams scored the first of his three first-half touchdowns late in the first quarter, capping a 13 play, 80-yard drive with a six-yard run. Freed forced a fumble which Castillo recovered at the 19-yard line on Millersville’s next offensive play, and Marshall hit freshman fullback Darius Jackson for a seven-yard touchdown on the third play of the drive to make it 17-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Millersville cut the lead to 17-7 with 10:15 left in the second quarter as Fateen Brown scored on a two-yard run to help the Marauders capitalize on a blocked punt, but the momentum was short-lived.
The Warriors put 34 points on the board in a 7:05 stretch in the second quarter, rolling up 198 yards with Marshall going 10-for-12 for 154 yards and three touchdowns. Williams scored on runs of two and eight yards, the first set up by a 42-yard pass from Marshall to Kiser, and the defense forced turnovers on three plays in a four-play stretch.
Marshall hit freshman tailback Dusty Reed for a 14-yard TD one play after Bergey recovered a fumble, Thornton picked off Shirk’s next pass leading to Williams’ eight-yard run on the Warriors’ second offensive play, and Marshall hooked up with Kiser for a 15-yard scoring play on the second snap after Freed’s interception. Marshall and Kiser connected again on a 19-yard TD to finish the half after a seven play, 61-yard drive.
After a scoreless third quarter, Shirk engineered a 14 play, 95-yard drive that culminated in an eight-yard touchdown pass to Greg Frantz on the first play of the fourth quarter. The scoring march accounted for nearly half of Millersville’s 204 yards in the game.
Williams answered right back for the Warriors on the first play of their ensuing possession, breaking a tackle at the line of scrimmage and sprinting 63 yards past the Marauders’ secondary for his fourth touchdown of the day. The run was the longest of Williams’ career and put him over the 100-yard mark for the first time in his 14th career start.
ESU finished the scoring midway through the fourth quarter on a six-yard run by redshirt freshman tailback Joe Klebon, his first career rushing touchdown after catching two TD passes earlier in the season. Wagner hit redshirt sophomore wide receiver Jordan Hallman for 45 yards and Kiser for 21 yards in his first action since the season-opening 57-0 win at Pace.
The Warriors are back at home next Saturday with a 1 p.m. game against Cheyney on an afternoon that will include two special dedications. The President’s box will be named the Dr. Jake Piatt ’61 President’s Box during a halftime ceremony, and the playing surface will be named Gregory-Douds Field at Eiler-Martin Stadium in a ceremony immediately following the game.