Story and photo courtesy of Bloomsburg Athletics
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Franklyn Quiteh (Tobyhanna/Pocono Mountain West) eclipsed the 5,000-yard mark in career rushing and Bloomsburg broke the school-record for single-season rushing yardage as the Bloomsburg University football team just about sealed its place in the postseason with a 49-41 victory over Slippery Rock Saturday afternoon in the regular-season finale at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium.
Quiteh led the Huskies (10-1 overall) with 183 yards on the ground on 24 carries and four touchdowns. He ran for two one-yard touchdowns along with TD runs of 21 and 7 in the victory. I doing so, Quiteh surpassed Irv Sigler and moved into second in school-history with 5,129 career rushing yards. Jamar Brittingham is the Bloomsburg and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) leader in rushing yards at 5,689.
The Huskies have now won double-digit games for the fourth time in the last six years. They won 10 or more in 2006, 2008, 2010, and now 2012.
Bloomsburg rushed for 272 yards in the victory. It broke the previous school-record of 3,460 yards in a single-season and is four shy of the PSAC single-season record as it has now rushed for 3,548 in 2012. The PSAC record is Millersville's 3,552 yards in 1981.
Junior running back Eddie Mateo (Bethlehem/Freedom) took his first rush of the day 53 yards, moving him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. On the day, Mateo ran for 85 yards on 17 carries.
Quiteh and Mateo have now rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons. This is the first time this has been done in PSAC history.
Bloomsburg scored 42 points in the first half and forced two Slippery Rock turnovers on lost fumbles. One of the Huskies greatest defensive plays of the afternoon and the season was a blocked punt for a touchdown in the second quarter. Off a bad snap, sophomore defensive end Tony David (Allentown/Salisbury) found his way to the punter and blocked the punt, which was picked up by senior defensive end Larry Webster (Hagerstown, MD/Elkton) for the 18-yard return touchdown. Overall, it was Webster's third touchdown and fourth scoring play of the season.
Webster registered a team-high three sacks against The Rock. His second sack of the day in the second quarter brought his season total to 12.5, breaking Gary Fittery's previous record of 12 in 1997. Webster leads Bloomsburg with 13.5 sacks in his first season in the maroon and gold.
Redshirt freshman Tim Kelly (Camp Hill/Cedar Cliff) turned in his best road outing of the season Saturday. Kelly connected on 10 of his 17 passing attempts for 185 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Huskies to victory.
Senior wide receiver Ryan Dickerson (Harleysville/Souderton) brought in one of Kelly's touchdown passes, extending his streak to seven consecutive games with a touchdown. Dickerson was four yards short of tying a career-high as he brought in 113 yards on six catches.
Fellow senior wideout Kyle Fisher (Denver/Cocalico) returned to the lineup Saturday and hauled in a 41-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. It was his only catch of the day.
With the win, Bloomsburg head coach Danny Hale won his 213th career game, moving him into sole possession of second place in PSAC career coaching victories.
Defensively, Justin Shirk (Harrisburg/Central Dauphin) tallied a career-high 14 tackles for the second consecutive week. He had two sacks and three tackles for a loss.
Senior linebacker Jarrett Pidgeon (Barnegat, NJ/Southern Regional) had 12 tackles including a forced fumble.
Junior kicker Dan Fisher (Liverpool/Central Dauphin) connected on six extra-points, moving him up to third in PSAC history in career kicking points. Fisher's 268 points passed Slippery Rock's Morgan Anderson's 266 set in 2000.
Bloomsburg scored touchdowns on each of its opening three possessions against The Rock (6-5). Dickerson's 35-yard TD catch opened the game for the Huskies. Quiteh followed up the touchdown pass with one-yard scores on the next two possessions as Bloomsburg jumped out to a 21-6 lead in the second quarter.
Shirk, the reigning PSAC Defensive Athlete of the Week, got the Bloomsburg defense off on a great start with an 11-yard sack, his first of the season, on The Rock's opening possession to force the punt.
On a 3rd-and-4 the ensuing possession, Kelly tossed a 35-yard TD to Dickerson in the back left corner of the end zone, shades of last week's TD connection from Kelly-to-Dickerson against West Chester, to give BU the early lead.
The defense remained aggressive with three consecutive sacks the following possession. Shaun Moore (Lansdale/North Penn) and David McFadden (Allentown/Allentown Central Catholic) each brought down SRU quarterback Jared Buck on first down, as fellow defensive linemen David and Webster recorded sacks on second and third down, respectively.
The Rock used the running game to get on the board late in the first quarter. It ran 49 yards on a 13-play, 68-yard touchdown drive capped off with an 8-yard run by Buck. Buck also ran for an 8-yard TD run in the second quarter.
Coming off Quiteh's second TD of the day, Slippery Rock again targeted the Bloomsburg secondary. Buck completed a 50-yard pass downfield to Ken Amos, but then redshirt-freshman cornerback Gary Postell (Philadelphia/Bishop McDevitt) forced Amos to fumble the football and give the Huskies back the ball.
Pidgeon caused another Slippery Rock turnover as The Rock were driving deep into BU territory late in the second quarter. Pidgeon forced SRU running back Akeem Satterfield to fumble after a 10-yard run. Bloomsburg's DJ Robinson (Sinking Spring/Conrad Weiser) jumped on the fumble.
Bloomsburg cashed in on the turnover, marching downfield and tossing a 41-yard touchdown to Fisher to close the first-half offensive scoring for the Huskies.
Slippery Rock head coach Dr. George Mihalik must have given his team one of his greatest halftime speeches in his 25 years at the helm of The Rock. SRU scored 21 unanswered points coming out of the locker room to turn it into a one-possession game.
Slippery Rock turned a Bloomsburg missed field goal into an 80-yard touchdown drive capped off with a 3-yard run by Brett Crenshaw to bring the game to 42-20 midway through the third quarter.
Following Bloomsburg's second thrown interception of the day, Slippery Rock drove 49 yards and scored its second consecutive touchdown off the legs of Jainmire Dutrieuille from 16 yards out as BU led 42-27 in the early minutes of the fourth quarter.
Quiteh responded to the Slippery Rock threat with a 21-yard touchdown run to cap a six-play, 63-yard drive for the Huskies. Slippery Rock showed its resilience to score a touchdown with 45 seconds remaining, but was unable to recover the onside kick.
Satterfield led The Rock with 181 yards on the ground on 29 carries and a touchdown. Buck threw for 341 yards with a touchdown, but was sacked seven times by the BU defense. Defensively, Gary Allen had a team-high 10 tackles for Slippery Rock.
The Huskies now await the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday, Nov. 10, determining their playoff fate.