Friday, September 29, 2017

Bloomsburg Football Looks To Extend Winning Streak Saturday At Millersville

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
- This will mark the 80th meeting between the two schools in the all-time series with the Huskies leading the Marauders, 44-30-5. Bloomsburg has won 17 consecutive meetings dating back to Millersville's last victory over the Huskies - a 31-21 decision in Bloomsburg during the 1999 campaign. During the winning streak, the Huskies have outscored Millersville by an average of 40-15.

- Keep an eye on Bloomsburg's defensive front against the offensive line of Millersville on Saturday. The Huskies currently lead the PSAC with 13 quarterback sacks (11 over the last two games) while Millersville ranks last in the conference in allowing 13 quarterback sacks through the first four games.

- 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 166 consecutive games and have recorded at least one touchdown in 121 straight contests. Bloomsburg has scored at least 10 points in 60 consecutive road games and have scored at least one point in 109 consecutive road games dating back to a 30-0 loss at Millersville on October 10, 1998.


- The Huskies have earned PSAC East Players of the Week three straight weeks - Ryan Abbott (Hagerstown, Md./Saint James School) (Special Teams after win at Clarion), Eric Schwartz (York, Pa./Central York) (Defensive after win over Gannon), and Chris Gary (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Wood) (Defensive after win over Cheyney). Collin Shank and Sean Dugan earned PSAC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors after the Marauders' win over Seton Hill.

LAST WEEK
Bloomsburg scored four times on the ground and added a pair of defensive touchdowns as the Huskies opened PSAC Eastern Division action with a 48-19 victory over Cheyney. Marquis Seamon (Philadelphia, Pa./Father Judge) collected his first collegiate touchdown with a 37-yard interception return for a score late in the first quarter while Aaron Trumino (Binghamton, N.Y./Chenango Valley) also added his first career touchdown on a 51-yard fumble return to the house early in the fourth quarter. The Huskies' defense added five sacks on the afternoon - three from Chris Gary (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Wood). Gary's second sack of the day led to Trumino's fumble recovery. Offensively, the Huskies rushed for 277 yards on only 36 carries - an average of 7.7 yards per carry. Qmac Quiteh (Tobyhanna, Pa./Pocono Mountain West) paced the Huskies with 108 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries while Alex Gooden (Parkesburg, Pa./Octorara) added a season-high 91 yards and a score on only nine carries. Chris Palubinsky (Ringtown, Pa./Shenandoah Valley)added the Huskies' fourth rushing score of the day with a one-yard plunge late in the third quarter.

Millersville allowed 35 points in the second quarter at Kutztown last Saturday and dropped a 41-21 decision to the Golden Bears to open conference play. Millersville totaled 265 yards of total offense with Stephen Flanagan making his first career start under center. He completed 18-of-26 for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Tyrone Gibson led the Marauders with 62 rushing yards on 16 carries while Flanagan also toted the ball 16 times for 33 yards. Kevin Wiggins caught six passes for 56 yards to become the sixth player in school history to reach 2,000 career receiving yards. Kutztown finished with 380 yards of offense but only 52 yards in the second half against the Marauder defense.

GARY EARNS DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONOR
Redshirt junior Chris Gary (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Wood)was named the PSAC East Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts during Saturday afternoon's 48-19 victory over visiting Cheyney University. Gary, the PSAC leader in sacks a season ago, was up to his old tricks on Saturday as he finished the day with five total tackles, four tackles for a loss, three sacks, a forced fumble, and a quarterback hurry. Gary's three sacks tied a career high and his four tackles for a loss established a new career best. His second sack of the game also proved to be his second forced fumble of the season and led to a 51-yard fumble return for a touchdown by freshman Aaron Trumino (Binghamton, N.Y./Chenango Valley).

GOING STREAKING
Bloomsburg's victory over Cheyney last Saturday marked the 28th consecutive win over the Wolves in the all-time series. Bloomsburg has not lost to Cheyney since a 31-28 setback, in Bloomsburg, on October 14, 1989. The winning streak represents a school-record against a single opponent. Meanwhile, the Huskies have won 17 consecutive contests against Millersville dating back to a 31-21 loss at home during the 1999 campaign.

GROUND GAME
The Huskies rushed for a season-high 277 yards last Saturday in the win over Cheyney. Bloomsburg entered with only 332 total yards on the ground during the first three contests of the season. The 277 yards on the ground marked the 31st time in 51 career games under head coach Paul Darragh that a Huskies' team has rushed for at least 200 yards in a game. Bloomsburg is 28-3 in those contests.

SACK ATTACK
Bloomsburg recorded a season-high six sacks last Saturday and have now recorded 11 sacks over the last two games, and 13 overall on the season. The Huskies now lead the PSAC in quarterback sacks by one over Slippery Rock and two over Kutztown. Redshirt junior Chris Gary (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Wood) recorded three sacks for the second time in his career while senior Scott Beltz (Pen Argyl, Pa./Pen Argyl)had two sacks for the second time in his career. Redshirt freshman Jelil Norman (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville) recorded his first collegiate sack in the win. Saturday's opponent, Millersville, has allowed a PSAC-high 13 sacks on the season.

GETTING OFF THE FIELD
Bloomsburg's defense has done a tremendous of stalling opponent drives this season. The Huskies enter Saturday's contest having allowed only 16 first downs on 55 opponent third-down opportunities (29.1%) through the first four games of the season. That figure is second in the PSAC and ranks 16th in the country. After allowing Stonehill to go 7-of-18 on third downs in the opener, Clarion and Gannon combined to go 3-of-24 (12.5%) on third down chances in weeks two and three. Cheyney was 6-of-13 last Saturday.

WORKING AHEAD
The Huskies have been tremendous when scoring first and while working with a lead under head coach Paul Darragh. Last Saturday, the Huskies scored first and led after each of the first three quarters en route to the 48-19 victory over the Wolves. It marked the second time this season that Bloomsburg scored first, improving its record to 24-2 since Darragh took over in 2013. Meanwhile, during the Darragh era, the Huskies are 24-1 when leading after one quarter, 30-1 when leading at halftime, and 32-2 when leading after three quarters.

POPSON CONTINUES BREAKOUT
Redshirt sophomore Jay Popson (Mountain Top, Pa./Crestwood)made his first collegiate start at wide receiver against Stonehill 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 has quickly emerged as redshirt senior Chris Palubinsky (Ringtown, Pa./Shenandoah Valley)'s main target. 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. He has led the Huskies in receiving yards in each of the first four games and currently ranks eighth in the PSAC in receiving yards per game (85.0).

ANOTHER QUITEH LEADS THEM
Following in his older brother's footsteps, redshirt sophomore Qmac Quiteh (Tobyhanna, Pa./Pocono Mountain West) picked up his first collegiate 100-yard rushing effort as he carried the ball 29 times for 118 yards in the 29-20 victory at Clarion on September 9. He added his second career 100-yard game last Saturday with 108 yards and two scores against Cheyney. Through four games this season, Quiteh leads the Huskies with 367 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 84 carries. He entered the season with 14 career carries for 99 yards and two scores. Quiteh ranks fifth in the PSAC in rushing yards per game (91.8) and he has led the Huskies in rushing in all four games to date.

Quiteh is the younger brother of Bloomsburg's - and the PSAC's - all-time leading rusher, Franklyn Quiteh who compiled 7,523 rushing yards from 2010-13. Franklyn won the Harlon Hill Trophy as the nation's top player in Division II during his senior season of 2013 after rushing for 2,195 yards and 29 scores. He was a three-time Harlon Hill finalist.

DIRTY LAUNDRY
In the 29-20 victory at Clarion, the teams combined for 28 penalties and 297 penalty yards with the Huskies getting flagged 15 times for 145 yards in the victory. Last season, Bloomsburg was penalized only 61 times for 553 yards (50.3 yards per game) and allowed only nine opponent first downs via penalty. In fact, the Huskies were the least penalized team in the conference last year. This season, Bloomsburg has been flagged 32 times for 331 yards (82.8 yards per game) and have allowed 12 opponent first downs via penalty. Things have calmed down for the Huskies over the last two weeks, but Bloomsburg still ranks 13th in the PSAC in fewest penalty yards per game and is 124th in Division II.

SELDOM HAPPENS
The Huskies rushed for only 79 yards in the season-opening 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 15 carries for 74 yards 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.

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. Findura's training and experience led him to become a member of an elite team called the Body Bearers, stationed in Washington D.C. As a part of the Body Bearers, Findura was tasked with aiding in the funerals of fallen soldiers.

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.

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 MILLERSVILLE
The Marauders enter Saturday's PSAC East showdown with a record of 1-3. After dropping its opening contest to Pace University 28-20, Millersville bounced back in Week two to defeat Seton Hill on the road by a score of 45-38. The Marauders have since lost two consecutive games to fifth-ranked California, 29-13, and at Kutztown last Saturday, 41-21.

On offense, Collin Shank has led the aerial attack for the Marauders. Shank has posted a team-leading 121.56 passer rating while completing 45 passes for 681 yards and four touchdowns. Stephen Flanagan has also appeared in three games under center and has completed 28 passes for 212 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Kevin Wiggins is at the forefront of the Marauders' receiving core, leading the team with 26 catches for 319 yards and two touchdowns. Last Saturday, he became the sixth player in school history to eclipse 2,000 career receiving yards. Xavier Jenkins (157 yards) and Nii Kotei Nikoi (108 yards) both have eclipsed the 100-yard mark in receiving for Millersville this season. On the ground, Kobe Miranda has led Millersville with 144 yards on 37 carries while scoring two touchdowns. Tyrone Gibson has also added 108 yards on 24 attempts rushing. Shank leads the team in rushing touchdowns with four.

On defense, Sean Dugan is the focal point. Dugan leads the Marauders, and is second, in the conference in tackles with 48 (26 solo). He also has 3.5 tackles for a loss and a sack on the season. Cameron Boykin has contributed 28 tackles (7 solo) while Trejon Dinkins has 25 stops (14 solo). Tommy Halloway has a team-high three sacks while five different players have an interception.

UP NEXT
Bloomsburg returns home next Saturday, October 7 for a meeting against Kutztown. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and will be the team's annual Homecoming contest. The Huskies will be looking to avenge last season's 31-21 loss to the Golden Bears.

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