The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 15, 2013

College football: Susquehanna has good defensive showing in loss


Daily Item

---- — By The Daily Item

BALTIMORE , Md. -- The score of the Susquehanna football team's 24-7 loss at Johns Hopkins tells the story: defense was the name of the game on Saturday afternoon.

Susquehanna (0-2) held a team coming off 38-point season-opening win to just 24 points on Saturday. Despite the loss, the game marked the fewest points Johns Hopkins (2-0) has scored against the Crusaders since 1977 when Susquehanna won, 20-12.

Adrian Bernard and Steven Viegas led the way on defense with 11 tackles apiece with Viegas also adding one sack and a tackle for loss. Cody Miller had eight tackles -- seven solo -- with one of SU's two interceptions as well as a pass break up.

Meanwhile, Susquehanna's struggles on the offensive line translated into nine total sacks of starting quarterback Taylor Kolmer. Kolmer finished the day 10-of-19 for 90 yards and zero interceptions. He also ran the ball for SU's only touchdown of the day.

Six different receivers caught at least one pass from Kolmer with Devon Pascoe leading the way with 35 yards receiving on two catches while Casey Tosches had three catches for 25 yards. Sophomore Tim Wade led the running game with 56 yards on 19 carries.

The Blue Jays finished the game with 485 total offensive yards to SU's 122.

The teams traded downs for the first eight minutes of the opening quarter before Johns Hopkins broke through for a four-play, 82-yard drive that took just 50 seconds and made it 7-0.

Several possessions later, Stephen Homan was able to help end a potential John's Hopkins scoring drive with a fumble recovery as SU took over at its own 37 yard-line with 4:43 left in the quarter.

Kolmer drove the offense down the field and connected with Pascoe on a 31-yard reception that put the ball on the one-yard line. Kolmer followed that with a quarterback keeper to knot the game at seven with 1:29 on the clock.

Jared Minori continued the fumble recovery trend as he came up with the ball on the Blue Jays' ensuing possession, giving the ball to the Crusaders on their own 37 yard-line to start the second quarter. Unfortunately Kolmer was sacked on third down, forcing T.J. Morton to come out to punt the ball away. Morton punted 11 times on Saturday with an average of 43 yards per punt, including a long of 54.

The Blue Jays were able to tack on another touchdown the very next drive courtesy of a 36-yard pass from quarterback Robbie Matey to Brandon Cherry for a 14-7 ballgame with 7:02 remaining in the half.

Miller came up with a critical interception on the Susquehanna 12-yard line as the clock ticked down inside the one-minute mark, thus helping keep it a one-score game (14-7) at halftime.

Six minutes into the third quarter, Tom McLoughlin picked off Matey on the Crusader 15-yard line to put Kolmer and the offense on the field still down by just one touchdown. Unfortunately, the Johns Hopkins defense continued its dominant defensive play as SU was forced to punt the ball away.

It still remained a seven-point game as the game headed into the fourth quarter. However, a Johns Hopkins drive that started in the third quarter culminated in the team's third touchdown of the game to make it a 21-7 contest with 13:21 of action remaining.

The Blue Jays added a field goal at the 2:53 mark of the fourth quarter for a 24-7 advantage, leaving the Crusaders without enough time to mount a comeback.

Susquehanna finally hosts its first home game of the season on Saturday with a 1 p.m. game against conference opponent Dickinson.