The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 21, 2013

College football: Susquehanna drops home opener

By Todd Hummel

For The Daily Item

SELINSGROVE -- As Dickinson recovered an onside kick with 30 seconds left in the game, Saturday's forecasted rain finally started falling on Amos Alonzo Stagg Field at Nicholas A. Lopardo Stadium.

And nothing could more aptly illustrate the mood of the Susquehanna University football team.

The Crusaders dropped to 0-3, dropping a 24-21 Centennial Conference matchup to the Red Devils.

It hasn't been physical issues for Susquehanna; it's been more between the Crusaders' ears. Susquehanna committed three personal fouls, had a touchdown called back due to a hold (though they still scored on the drive), and had key a third-down conversion called back as well.

"Absolutely, it is (between ears) -- one hundred percent it is," Susquehanna coach Steve Briggs said. "That's what I just said to them. We got guys on this football team that want to play after the whistles and not between the whistles. It killed us for third week in a row.

"We've got kids playing their butts off, but it's killing us. We've got to be better. We are better, but we are a 0-3 football team. We've got a lot of things to straighten out."

Susquehanna (0-2 CC) struggled to stop Red Devils quarterback Cole Ahern, a 5-foot-8, 180-pound junior, who not only rushed for 154 yards, but completed 19 of 21 passes for 153 yards.

"We were coming in 0-2 and we knew this was going to be a huge game for both teams," Ahern said. "We needed something out of our offensive line and they played great."

The Red Devils started two freshmen -- including Lewisburg graduate Kyle Santorine at center -- and two sophomores on the offensive line.

The Dickinson offense rolled up 411 yards and converted 7 of 12 third downs, after managing just 204 and 275 yards in its first two losses while converting just 6 of 22 third downs.

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