Monday, October 30, 2017

Bloomsburg Football Upset By Lock Haven Saturday Afternoon, 27-24

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BLOOMSBURG, Pa. - The Bloomsburg University football team was outscored, 20-7, in the second half and was stunned by visiting Lock Haven University, 27-24, on Saturday afternoon at Danny Hale Field at Redman Stadium. While the Huskies have not mathematically been eliminated from playing for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship, the loss to the Bald Eagles put a serious damper on their title game chances. The Huskies would need to win on the road next Saturday at Shippensburg and then would need West Chester to lose at Millersville and Kutztown to lose at Cheyney to secure a spot in the State Game.


Bloomsburg dropped to 6-3 overall on the season with a 4-2 record in divisional action. The Bald Eagles improved to 2-7 with a 1-4 mark in the PSAC Eastern Division. The Huskies still own the all-time series advantage over the Bald Eagles, 47-40-3, but it marks the second straight year in which Lock Haven has upset Bloomsburg late in the season.

As a unit, the Bloomsburg defense allowed 306 rushing yards, including 174 yards to quarterback Kyle Knight. Knight carried the ball 20 times and scored three rushing touchdowns from 38, 49, and five yards. The bleeding did not stop there, as running back John Ford added 132 net yards and a seven-yard touchdown on 22 carries. The Huskies did not have an answer for the Lock Haven rushing attack, as the Bald Eagles' last three scores came on runs by Knight.

The Huskies got on the scoreboard first and went into halftime with a 17-7 lead, but Lock Haven outscored Bloomsburg 20-7 in the final 30 minutes. The Huskies did possess a 24-20 lead late in the fourth quarter, but Knight's final rushing touchdown put Lock Haven up by three with 52 seconds left. The Huskies did get the ball back, but could not make it into field goal range to attempt a game-tying kick.

Despite the final outcome, milestones were reached on Saturday. Midway through the second quarter, redshirt senior quarterback Chris Palubinsky (Ringtown, Pa./Shenandoah Valley) scored his ninth rushing touchdown of the season, which broke Bloomsburg's school record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a single season. Dan Latorre previously held that record with his eight rushing touchdowns set during the 2008 season. Palubinsky added to his record-breaking feat in the fourth quarter with another rushing score. Both touchdowns by Palubinsky on Saturday came on one-yard quarterback sneaks.

Lock Haven won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. The Huskies and the Bald Eagles both punted on their first acts on offense, but Bloomsburg got things going on their second drive. The Huskies put together a 13-play, 80-yard drive that featured a 29-yard run by redshirt sophomore running back Alex Gooden (Parkesburg, Pa./Octorara). Palubinsky completed passes of 12 and 14 yards to sophomore Ethan Price(Coopersburg, Pa./Southern Lehigh), and finished the drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to redshirt sophomore Michael Allen(Oley, Pa./Oley Valley). The touchdown reception marked Allen's sixth of the year, which leads Bloomsburg receivers.

The Bald Eagles wasted little time on their next possession, putting together an eight-play drive that went 85 yards and tied the game on a seven-yard run by Ford. During the drive, Knight found receiver Cole Renniger for gain of 47 yards. Ford caught just two passes from Knight, who completed just nine passes on Saturday. However, the 47-yard reception helped Renniger lead Lock Haven receivers with 59 yards on two catches.

In the final 14:54 of the second quarter, Bloomsburg added 10 points to their lead. After Lock Haven's first touchdown, the Huskies put together a 10-play drive that also resulted in a touchdown. Redshirt sophomore running back Qmac Quiteh(Tobyhanna, Pa./Pocono Mountain West) led the way, rushing six times for 31 yards. Palubinsky also found senior tight end Aaron Allison (Philadelphia, Pa./Frankford) for on an 18-yard connection, and Allen for a 10-yard gain. With the ball on Lock Haven's one-yard line, Palubinsky got behind the line and into the endzone for Bloomsburg's second touchdown of the day. The Huskies then forced the Bald Eagles into a punt situation on Lock Haven's ensuing drive and were aided by a punt of just seven yards by Nick Boumerhi as redshirt sophomore Marshall Rizzuto (Port Matilda, Pa./Williston Northampton (Mass.)) got a piece of the kick attempt. The result gave the Huskies the ball at their own 49-yard line, and Bloomsburg got into field goal range and added three more points on a 31-yard kick by redshirt junior kicker Ryan Abbott (Hagerstown, Md./Saint James School). With 1:45 to go in the half, Lock Haven got into Bloomsburg territory, but could not get close enough to attempt a field goal before halftime. After the opening 30 minutes, the Huskies went into the locker room with a 17-7 advantage.

Just like the first half, both teams punted on their first offensive possessions. On Lock Haven's second possession of the third quarter, a 15-yard personal foul penalty pushed the Bald Eagles to their own 43-yard line. After two rushes by Ford that picked up 19 combined yards, Knight shredded the Bloomsburg defense on his way to a 38-yard touchdown run. With Bloomsburg's lead cut to three, neither team put more points on the board before the third quarter ended. But, the Bald Eagles found the endzone again on the third play of the fourth quarter on another touchdown run by Knight, this time a 49-yard dash. Knight's second touchdown of the game meant that the Bald Eagles had scored 14 unanswered points, and led 21-17, after the 31-yard field goal by Abbott in the second quarter.

With over 14 minutes to play in regulation, the Huskies took the lead back when Palubinsky scored his second one-yard rushing touchdown of the afternoon with 6:43 remaining. Palubinsky's one-yard touchdown finished a 13-play, 67-yard drive that featured a 14-yard run by Quiteh, and an 11-yard dash by Palubinsky himself. Palubinsky finished the game with 23 rushing yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.

With over six and a half minutes to work with, 75 yards separated the Bald Eagles from their second win of the 2017 season. On a first-and-10 play, Knight escaped the pocket and sprinted for a 29-yard pickup. Then, after a penalty, Knight found Jalen Jackson for a 19 yards to get the ball to the Bloomsburg 17-yard line. Ford carried for 12 yards, and then Knight reached the endzone for the third time. The touchdown gave Lock Haven a 27-24 lead and left 52 seconds for Bloomsburg to score. Palubinsky completed passes of 10 and 21 yards, but the game ended with the Huskies stalled on their own 41-yard line. The senior quarterback gave one final heave into the endzone but the Huskies could not come down with the hail mary.

Overall, Palubinsky completed 17-of-31 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown. Knight completed 9-of-13 passes for 137 yards. Quiteh led Bloomsburg with 63 rushing yards on 13 carries. Gooden followed with 52 yards on 11 carries. Allen and Allison each caught four passes: Allen recorded 55 receiving yards and a touchdown, Allison registered 52 yards. Jackson led Lock Haven with 51 yards on four receptions.

On defense, senior Eric Schwartz (York, Pa./Central York) and redshirt junior Jake Klinger (Berwick, Pa./Central Columbia) led Bloomsburg with 10 total tackles. Schwartz totaled four solo tackles and half a sack. Klinger assisted on nine stops. For Lock Haven, Obadiah Asare and Alex Welch tallied seven tackles.

The Huskies will play their final road game of the 2017 regular season when they head to Shippensburg University to square off against the Red Raiders. Shippensburg, which defeated Kutztown on Saturday, is tied for the divisional lead. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.




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