Courtesy of Bloomsburg Athletics
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. - After falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter, the Bloomsburg University football team went on a 47-3 rampage, as the Huskies defeated the visiting Crimson Hawks of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 47-20, Saturday at Redman Stadium. With the win, Bloomsburg improves to 2-1 on the year, while IUP slides to an identical ledger, as both teams prepare to open their Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) divisional schedule next week.
The game began ominously, as the opening boot of BU kicker Jared Shannon (Bloomsburg, Bloomsburg) was muffed by IUP. The Crimson Hawks recovered the ball and marched 41 yards before being forced to punt. A Bloomsburg fumble on the return put the ball back in IUPâ€™s hands, allowing the Crimson Hawks to get on the board first with a 35-yard field goal by Craig Burgess.
On its next possession, IUP seemed capable of walking away with the game, as a 42-yard drive capped by a seven-yard rush by freshman Teddy Blakeman extended the Crimson Hawksâ€™ advantage to 10-0.
Bloomsburg went to the air the subsequent possession, and on his first pass of the day, quarterback Pat Carey (Loyalsock, Loyalsock Twp.) connected with sophomore Kyle Fisher (Denver, Cocalico), who stayed on his feet for 68 yards to score a touchdown pass in his first game of the 2010 season.
The 10-7 score stood for nearly a quarter of the game, but late in the second period, Burgess connected on a 29-yard kick, extending the IUP lead to 13-7.
The Huskies then assembled an eight-play, 70-yard drive highlighted by a 20 yard completion from Carey to senior Chris Tressler (Lewistown, Lewistown) and a six-yard TD run by redshirt freshman Franklyn Quiteh (Tobyhanna, Pocono Mountain West), as Bloomsburg narrowly jumped in front 14-13.
IUP, led by first-time starting quarterback Bo Napoleon, hoped to regain the lead in the final seconds before halftime, but an errant pass by Napoleon on the first play of the next drive landed in the hands of BU senior D. Solomon Oliver (Cheltenham, Cheltenham ) for his first career interception. Five plays later, Quiteh ran the final yard of the drive, giving the Huskies a 21-13 advantage entering the break.
Less than a minute into third quarter, Quiteh lost a fumble near midfield, giving the IUP supporters hope to equalize the score. The wishes of those fans would not come true, as the Crimson Hawks fell into a disastrous slump, turning the ball over six times in their next eight possessions, including four more interceptions and two lost fumbles in a pattern of unfortunate mistakes that stretched late into the fourth quarter.
Bloomsburg broke the game open during that span, starting their second-half scoring with a 60-yard interception return by last weekâ€™s PSAC East Defensive Player of the Week Mike Varanavage (Philadelphia, Archbishop Ryan); redshirt freshman Dan Fisher (Harrisburg, Central Dauphin) connected on a pair of field goals from 43 and 34 yards; and Carey connected on his second touchdown pass of the day, this time finding senior tight end Ben Weaber (Lebanon, Cedar Crest) from two yards out.
The dust finally settled after a 68-yard fumble return found BU sophomore Dan Haverstock (York, West York) with the ball in the end zone for his first career defensive touchdown, as the Huskies posted 26 second-half points and led 47-13 with five minutes to play in the game.
IUP managed to partially redeem their day by coordinating a 49-yard drive on the ground capped by a four-yard TD rush by freshman Teddy Blakeman, giving the Crimson Hawks their final seven points of the day. The Bloomsburg fans rose to their feet as the clock hit 0:00 with the Huskies in front 47-20.
Bloomsburgâ€™s Carey ended the game having completed 13 of 19 passes, totaling 237 yards and two touchdowns. Napoleon, who replaced an injured Pat Smith under center for IUP, connected on only 12 of 32 attempts, throwing five interceptions while managing 128 yards.
BU's Quiteh, who entered the game as the leading rusher in all of NCAA Division II, was held to just 91 yards on 22 carries, though he still managed to find the end zone twice, bringing his touchdown total up to five on the season.
Defensively, Varanavage led the way again for the Huskies, racking up 11 tackles on the day and scoring his first defensive touchdown. Thomas McFarland (Pottsville, Pottsville) was credited with a season-high nine tackles on the day. Junior Wallace Jamison (Hershey, Hershey) saw his first career interception and fumble recovery while sophomore Justin Rivera (Bethlehem, Liberty) made his first career interception. For the Crimson Hawks, redshirt freshman Mike Scott had a team-high 11 tackles followed by senior Jeff Vaughn with 10. Carl Thornton and Larry Federoff both had fumble recoveries for IUP.
Up next, both teams face off against PSAC divisional rivals, as the Huskies travel to face the Marauders of Millersville while the Crimson Hawks return home to host The Rock of Slippery Rock. Both games kickoff on Saturday, September 25, at 1 p.m.