By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE -- Defense could have been seen as a question mark for Susquehanna entering the season, but perhaps it only took time for new starters to become comfortable.
Using a mix of experienced linemen and underclassmen receiving a chance to start this year, the Crusaders came away with their first win of the year Saturday, beating Moravian, 27-17, in a Centennial Conference battle of previously winless teams.
"We are very, very pleased (to get our first win)," Susquehanna head coach Steve Briggs said. "We're just going to enjoy every part of it. It's good to get guys back and win."
While Briggs noted that his team has areas to improve, he emphatically showed his pleasure in getting one in the win column.
"Three digits: W-I-N!" Briggs exclaimed.
From the start of the game, the Crusaders (1-5, 1-4 CC) pressured Moravian (0-6, 0-5). When the Greyhounds tried to establish any momentum offensively, Susquehanna was able to break up plays in the backfield and keep tight coverage. The constant disruption by the Crusaders defense forced the Greyhounds into a number of mistakes that prevented a comeback.
With the Crusaders leading 13-3 early in the fourth quarter, Cody Miller made perhaps the most important defensive play in a day filled with big ones on both sides.
After Moravian deflected a Susquehanna punt to gain possession slightly beyond midfield at the Crusaders 47, Miller made his presence felt.
On a second-and-7, Miller broke for the ball from his cornerback slot on a short pass near the sideline and stepped in front to intercept the ball. With room to run, Miller raced to the end zone, staying on his feet to return the ball 56 yards for a touchdown.
"He did a nice job. They all did," Briggs said.
Miller nearly had an interception earlier in the game but could not hold on with open field in front of him. With his second chance, Miller bobbled the ball but regained control.