---- — By George Thompson
For The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE -- Freshman running back Corey Kelly was a one-man wrecking crew Saturday, punishing the Susquehanna defense with an effort that culminated in a 30-10 loss to Ursinus.
Playing their second consecutive home game, the Crusaders (1-6) couldn't find a way to match Kelly's production on offense. He finished the game with 147 yards on 33 rushes, but he wasn't the only player who exposed the Susquehanna defense. In addition to Kelly, Ursinus leading wide receiver, senior Jerry Rahill, had a big game as well, finishing with 148 yards and a touchdown on 12 catches.
According to Susquehanna coach Steve Briggs, a loss like the one Saturday night boils down to playing better. "We got to play better against good people," he said after the game.
An energized and enthused Crusaders team playing in front of its home crowd started the game slowly, falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter.
Ursinus' first score of the game came on a drive that took all of two plays and covered 56 yards. After junior quarterback Kevin Monahan completed a 38-yard pass to Rahill that moved the chains to Susquehanna's 38-yard-line, Kelly finished the drive with a touchdown on a pass from Monahan. Junior kicker Eric Boyer's point put Ursinus up 7-0.
Despite the Crusaders' best efforts on defense, the Ursinus offense, and more specifically Kelly, continued to roll. They added another touchdown to increase the lead to 14-0 on the next drive when Rahill reeled in his sixth touchdown catch of the year. After Susquehanna went three-and-out, Monahan connected with Rahill on a 36-yard TD.
Briggs said Ursinus wasn't doing anything complicated during their two scoring drives in the first quarter. "They pounded it," he said. "They're big, strong kids."
Despite the two-score hole, the Crusaders continued to battle and they were eventually rewarded. Starting from their own 21-yard-line, they put together a 15-play, 63-yard drive. Sophomore running back Tim Wade led the way on the drive, rushing the ball nine times, including a 19-yard dash on first-and-10 from his own 31. The drive eventually stalled at Ursinus' 16-yard-line, and junior kicker Spencer Hotaling drilled a 33-yard field goal, cutting Ursinus' lead to 14-3 with 5:29 left in the half.
Ursinus (6-1) responded with a field goal of its own, and the half ended at 17-3.
The Bears took control in the second half, outscoring Susquehanna, 13-7. The Crusaders' lone touchdown came with 1:23 to play in the third quarter on a 14-yard pass from junior quarterback Mark Rosenbaum to senior split end Casey Tosches, capping off a 14-play, 79-yard drive.
"We got to stay focused," Briggs said. "I just said to (the team) there it's not just showing up, it's the little things. We have to take care of the little things and get better."