By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
BLOOMSBURG -- Five turnovers were too much for Bloomsburg to overcome Saturday in a stinging playoff loss to conference rival West Chester.
The Huskies fell behind by two touchdowns after a pair of early mistakes, and their second-half rally fell just short in a 40-38 loss in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs at Danny Hale Field at Redman Stadium.
The Golden Rams (12-1), who lost a home game to Bloomsburg three weeks ago, got a pair of touchdown receptions from Tim Brown and four field goals from Shawn Leo. The Huskies (10-2) lost four fumbles and an interception.
"We didn't find a way to make one more play and we gave them too many big plays defensively ... and the turnovers were the difference in the game," Bloomsburg interim head coach Paul Darragh said.
West Chester took advantage of two first-quarter miscues -- a punt that hit a Husky and was recovered by the Golden Rams, and a fumble by Franklyn Quiteh (his first in 233 carries) -- to forge a 17-3 lead.
Quiteh ended his collegiate career with 7,523 rushing yards, second most in Division II history. He scored on runs of 24 and 1 yard, his 86th and 87th career rushing touchdowns, in the second quarter to tie the game at 17 with 1:44 left before halftime.
West Chester, aided by a roughing the passer call, drove 61 yards on seven plays following the Bloomsburg score to go up 20-17 at the half. Leo kicked the second of his four field goals, a 21-yard attempt with 17 seconds left in the half. He also connected from 28, 32 and 43 yards.
The Huskies received the ball to start the third quarter but managed six yards on three plays and were forced to punt from their own 41.
"We talk about the first five minutes of the third quarter being big and that's why we love to defer and take the ball in the second half," Darragh said. "We have been pretty efficient in having some positive plays in the beginning of the third quarter."