Friday, September 8, 2017

Bloomsburg Football Heads To PSAC West-Rival Clarion Saturday

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
- Bloomsburg is 7-4-1 lifetime against Clarion and has won the last five meetings between the two schools. During the winning streak against the Golden Eagles, Bloomsburg has outscored Clarion, 197-63.

- Both teams are coming off of season-opening losses a week ago. The Huskies fell behind 17-0 against Stonehill in the opening nine minutes and dropped a 44-28 decision to the Skyhawks last Saturday.Bloomsburg was held to just 79 yards rushing - only the fifth time in the Paul Darragh era that the Huskies have had less than 100 yards on the ground in a game. Meanwhile, Clarion opened at Tennessee-Martin - a Division I FCS opponent - and suffered a 36-0 loss. The Golden Eagles were limited to 146 yards of total offense.

- Bloomsburg enters the 2017 season having posted a winning record for 18 consecutive years dating back to a 5-6 mark in 1998. The Huskies have recorded a winning record in 22 of the last 23 seasons.

- The Huskies have scored at least one point in 163 consecutive games and have record at least one touchdown in 118 straight contests. On the road, the Huskies have scored at least one point in 110 consecutive contests dating back to a 30-0 loss at Millersville on October 10, 1999. Bloomsburg has scored at least 10 points on the road in 59 straight games.

- Since 1999, Bloomsburg has gone 48-18 against opponents from the PSAC Western Division which includes a 22-12 mark away from Redman Stadium.
SERIES HISTORY
Bloomsburg leads the all-time series, 7-4-1
Streak: Bloomsburg 5W

Last Meeting: September 10, 2016 at Bloomsburg (Bloomsburg 35, Clarion 20)
First Meeting: September 29, 1934 at Clarion (Bloomsburg 0, Clarion 0)
Largest Bloomsburg Win: September 22, 2007 at Clarion (52-10)
Largest Clarion Win: October 9, 1993 at Clarion (40-18)

LAST WEEK
Bloomsburg allowed 17 points in the opening nine minutes of the contest last Saturday as it fell to visiting Stonehill, 44-28. The Huskies managed 344 yards of total offense but were held to just 79 yards on the ground - just the fifth time in 48 games under head coach Paul Darragh that the team has been held to under 100 yards rushing. Qmac Quiteh (Tobyhanna, Pa./Pocono Mountain West) led the Huskies with 74 yards rushing and a score on 15 carries while Chris Palubinsky (Ringtown, Pa./Shenandoah Valley) completed 19-of-37 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns. Jay Popson (Mountain Top, Pa./Crestwood) and Michael Allen (Oley, Pa./Oley Valley) combined to catch 13 passes for 199 yards. Stonehill, meanwhile, amassed 439 yards of total offense in the victory. Brian Kearns, Jr. led the Skyhawks with 135 yards - 132 in the second half - on 24 carries while Matt Foltz completed 22-of-35 passes for 275 yards and three scores.

Clarion dropped a 36-0 decision at FCS opponent, Tennessee-Martin, last Thursday, August 31. The Golden Eagles mustered only nine first downs and 146 yards of total offense but did cause four Skyhawks' turnovers in the loss.

POPSON BREAKS OUT
Redshirt sophomore Jay Popson (Mountain Top, Pa./Crestwood)made his first collegiate start at wide receiver last Saturday and took advantage of the opportunity by catching seven passes for 121 yards. He entered the contest with two career catches and 27 career receiving yards but emerged as redshirt senior Chris Palubinsky (Ringtown, Pa./Shenandoah Valley)'s main target against Stonehill. His 121 receiving yards marked the first time a Bloomsburg receiver eclipsed 100 yards receiving yards in a game since Connor Gades hauled in 102 yards against Lock Haven on November 7, 2015.

SELDOM HAPPENS
The Huskies rushed for only 79 yards in Saturday's loss to Stonehill - just the fifth time in 48 games under head coach Paul Darragh that the team has been held to under 100 yards rushing. The Huskies are 1-4 in such games with the only victory coming against Shippensburg on November 5, 2016 when the ground game picked up 96 yards in a 22-19 win. Redshirt sophomore Qmac Quiteh (Tobyhanna, Pa./Pocono Mountain West) led the Huskies with career-highs in carries (15) and rushing yards (74) on Saturday while also scoring his third career rushing touchdown. The rest of the team accounted for 16 carries for five yards.

FOR OPENERS
The season-opening loss to Stonehill marked just the second time in the last 18 home openers, dating back to the 2000 season, that the Huskies found themselves on the wrong end on the scoreboard. The Skyhawks also earned a victory at Redman Stadium back in 2015. Meanwhile, the 44 points allowed by the Huskies were the most allowed by a Bloomsburg team in a season-opener since a 47-37 setback against New Haven to open the 1999 campaign. It also marked the most given up in a game since a 58-20 loss at Shippensburg in the 2012 NCAA playoffs on November 17, 2012.

STRONG OUTINGS
Redshirt senior Chris Palubinsky (Ringtown, Pa./Shenandoah Valley) had, arguably, his best day throwing the football on Saturday as he completed 19-of-37 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns. He established career-highs in completions (19), attempts (37), and touchdowns (2) while finishing two yards shy of tying his career-high of 267 yards at Kutztown on October 8, 2016. It marked the first time in his career that he threw for more than one touchdown in a game and it was the first time a Bloomsburg quarterback threw for multiple touchdowns since Tim Kelly had a pair of touchdown passes against Lock Haven on November 7, 2015.

In addition to Palubinsky, several other Huskies had career-high efforts in last Saturday's opener. Offensively, redshirt sophomore Qmac Quiteh (Tobyhanna, Pa./Pocono Mountain West) set career bests in rushing attempts (15) and rushing yards (74) and redshirt sophomore Jay Popson (Mountain Top, Pa./Crestwood) shattered his previous highs with seven catches for 121 yards. Defensively, redshirt seniors Ezra Ranco (Trappe, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) and Scott Beltz (Pen Argyl, Pa./Pen Argyl) posted new career-highs in tackles with eight and seven respectively. Redshirt junior Josh Salak (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) chipped in with six stops - also a career best. Redshirt junior Jake Klinger (Berwick, Pa./Central Columbia) tied a career-high with five tackles in the loss.

NEW FACES
Several freshman saw significant playing time on Saturday and appear to be ready to contribute. On defense, Jordan Villafane(East Stroudsburg, Pa./Stroudsburg) started at cornerback and posted five solo tackles while redshirt freshman Koran Jordan(Wernersville, Pa./Conrad Weiser) saw his first collegiate action and had six total stops (five assisted) and a pass break up. On special teams, Chris Monaco (Pocono Pines, Pa./Pocono Mountain West) led the Huskies with two kickoff returns for 48 yards.

CAPTAINS NAMED
Bloomsburg will go with a trio of captains this season - redshirt seniors Aaron Allison (Philadelphia, Pa./Frankford)Scott Beltz(Pen Argyl, Pa./Pen Argyl), and Eric Schwartz (York, Pa./Central York). Allison, a tight end from Philadelphia, has appeared in 36 games entering the 2017 season and has career 37 catches for 443 yards and five scores. Beltz, a defensive lineman from Pen Argyl, enters the season with 86 total tackles and 4.5 sacks in 32 career contests. Schwartz, a safety from York, has played in 32 career games and has 60 total tackles and an interception.

SERVICEMEN
Schwartz spent four years in the service, serving as a lance corporal before promotion to corporal. During his time in the Marines, Schwartz was deployed for nine months in Kunjak, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, where he worked as an infantry machine gunner. Deployed in 2009, he spent his days in a combat position on top of a truck, responsible for tactical employment of a heavy machine gun to provide direct fire in support of his unit. He also served a tour of duty in the Mediterranean Sea with an expeditionary unit. Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Alex Findura(Bloomsburg, Pa./Woodland (Ga.)) also served in the United States Marine Corps Infantry for four years.

PRESEASON POLL
The Huskies were picked to finish fourth in the PSAC preseason coaches poll released in early August. Bloomsburg finished in a tie for third last year with a 6-5 overall record and a 4-3 mark in divisional play. The six victories snapped a streak of 17 straight seasons of seven or more victories but extended the program's streak to 18 straight years of having a winning season. The Huskies have had a winning record in 22 of the last 23 seasons.

PSAC PRESEASON COACHES POLL
EASTERN DIVISION

1. West Chester (8)
2. Kutztown
3. Shippensburg
4. Bloomsburg
5. East Stroudsburg
6. Lock Haven
7. Millersville
8. Cheyney

WESTERN DIVISION
1. IUP (6)
2. California (2)
3. Slippery Rock
4. Edinboro
5. Gannon
6. Seton Hill
7. Clarion
8. Mercyhurst

JONASSEN TO ENTER BU HALL OF FAME
Former Husky great Eric Jonassen will be inducted into the Bloomsburg University Hall of Fame on October 27 as part of the Hall of Fame Class of 2017. Jonassen is the father of starting center, Seth Jonassen (Schwenksville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley).

Eric Jonassen was a dominant offensive lineman for two seasons on the Huskies' football team and earned a number of postseason accolades during his time at Bloomsburg. He was a two-time First Team All-PSAC selection and collected numerous All-American honors including being named Second Team AP All-American in 1990, First Team AP All-American in 1991, and First Team AFCA All-American in 1991. He was also tabbed a First Team Football Gazette All-American twice. After his collegiate career, Jonassen was drafted in the fifth round of the 1992 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers. He played three seasons in San Diego, participating in Super Bowl XXIX, and then played two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before retiring after the 1997 season.

Other members of this year's class are Michele Baylor Kane (women's lacrosse), Kathy Frick (field hockey, women's lacrosse coach), Chuck Laudermilch (women's soccer coach), Ralph Moerschbacher (men's swimming), and Michelle Wolyniec (women's cross country/track and field).

The ceremony will take place on Friday, October 27 and then the six individuals will be honored at halftime of Bloomsburg's home game against Lock Haven on Saturday, October 28.

SCOUTING CLARION
Clarion was picked to finish seventh in the PSAC West according to the preseason coaches poll. The Golden Eagles went 4-7 last season and posted a 3-4 mark in divisional play. Chris Weibel is in his third season coaching his alma mater and, after the season-opening loss at Tennesse-Martin last week, sports an 11-12 overall record.

Against the Skyhawks, Clarion was held to just 146 yards of total offense and nine first downs in the 36-0 loss. The defense did, however, force four turnovers (two fumbles, two interceptions). On the ground, Kyle Evans led Clarion with 24 carries for 50 yards while Mylique McGriff added 46 yards on 10 carries. Asiantii Woulard struggled throwing the football as he completed just 2-of-22 passes for 53 yards and two interceptions. Seneca Williams caught both passes. Defensively, Layne Skundrich led the Golden Eagles with 10 total tackles and a fumble recovery while Quinlin Lambert chipped in nine tackles and half a tackle for a loss. Avery Howsare and Myles Edmonds had the interceptions.

Clarion was outgained, 457-146, and allowed 265 yards on the ground to the Skyhawks.

UP NEXT
Bloomsburg will return home to Danny Hale Field at Redman Stadium next Saturday, September 16, when it hosts Gannon University. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

The Huskies will be looking to avenge last season's 30-27 overtime setback to the Golden Knights in Erie, Pennsylvania. Bloomsburg leads the all-time series against Gannon, 3-2.

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