Friday, November 3, 2017

Bloomsburg University Football Wraps Up Divisional Play Saturday At Shippensburg

- The game with Shippensburg is the 82nd in the series between the two schools, dating back to the first meeting in 1917. Bloomsburg has a 36-45 record in the series, with a mark of 23-18 at home and 13-27 on the road. The Huskies record in the last eight meetings at Shippensburg since 2002 is 5-3, with the only losses occurring in 2004 and twice in 2012.

- Redshirt sophomore Qmac Quiteh needs 149 rushing yards to give him 1,000 for the season. The Huskies have had at least one 1,000-yard rusher in each of the last seven seasons, in 13 of the last 14, and in 15 of the last 17 years.

- The victory at East Stroudsburg on October 21 clinched Bloomsburg's 19th consecutive winning season dating back to 1999. It is the third-longest streak in PSAC history, behind West Chester's 31 (1940-42, 1945-72) and Clarion's 22 (1964-85). The 19 straight seasons with at least six victories continues a PSAC record. Bloomsburg has now posted a winning record in 23 of the last 24 years.

- The Huskies have scored at least one point in 170 consecutive games and have recorded at least one touchdown in 125 straight contests. On the road, the Huskies have scored at least one point in 113 straight and have reached double figures in 62 consecutive games.

- IUP has clinched the PSAC West but plenty of playoff scenarios come into play in the East on Saturday. With a win by West Chester against Millersville, the Golden Rams will represent the East. Shippensburg would play for the title with a win AND a West Chester loss. Bloomsburg can still win the East but would need a win AND losses by both West Chester and Kutztown.

Bloomsburg 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. One week after allowing a season-low four rushing yards at East Stroudsburg, the Huskies gave up a season-high 306 yards to the Bald Eagles, including 174 yards to quarterback Kyle Knight. On offense, redshirt sophomore Qmac Quiteh led Bloomsburg with 63 yards rushing on 13 carries. Redshirt senior Chris Palubinsky completed 17-of-31 passes for 211 yards and one score. Defensively, senior Eric Schwartz and redshirt junior Jake Klinger each posted ten total tackles - new career-highs for both.

Shippensburg registered a 27-13 win at Kutztown on Saturday to finish the season with an undefeated record on the road for the first time since 1981. The Red Raiders forced three turnovers and limited the Golden Bears to just 220 yards of total offense - Kutztown's lowest total in eight years. Quarterback Ryan Zapoticky completed 16-of-21 passes for 137 yards and two scores - both to Winston Eubanks. Zapoticky also ran for another touchdown. Cole Chiappialle led the ground attack with 101 yards on 23 carries and also caught four passes for another 31 yards. Richard Sheler was named the PSAC East Defensive Player of the Week after picking off a pair of passes including one in the endzone.

Redshirt senior quarterback Chris Palubinsky ran for a pair of touchdowns during Saturday's 27-24 loss to Lock Haven. The scores gave him ten rushing touchdowns on the season - most by a Bloomsburg quarterback in a single season in school history. The previous record was eight held by both Dan Latorre in 2008 and Tim Kelly in 2015. Latorre also rushed for seven in 2007 while Kelly (2013 and 2014) and Eric Miller (1999) each rushed for six in a single season.

Also on Saturday, Palubinsky became the tenth quarterback in school history to throw for at least 3,000 in his career as he accomplished the feat with his final completion of the day - a 10-yard connection with redshirt sophomore Jay Popson on the game's final drive. Palubinsky has thrown for exactly 3,000 yards in his career and trails Pat Carey (2009-11) by 648 yards to move into ninth on the school's all-time list.

Bloomsburg has struggled at Redman Stadium this season as the loss to Lock Haven last Saturday dropped the Huskies to 2-3 on their home turf. Prior to this season, the Huskies had not lost three home games in a single season since 1999, when they finished 3-3 at Redman Stadium. The last losing season at home was in 1993 (2-3) and the last four-loss season came in 1992 when the team was 0-4. Bloomsburg will be home for the final game of the season next Saturday.

Bloomsburg scored 17 points in the first half of Saturday's loss to Lock Haven and built up a ten-point lead (17-7). It marked only the fifth time in 427 home games, since the 1923 season, that the Huskies have led by ten or more at the half and lost. The Huskies' record with those scenarios over that period of time is now 129-5. The only two losses with leads greater than ten came in 1989 when Bloomsburg led Cheney at the half 21-0 and lost 31-28, and in 1969 against Adelphi when a 14-0 lead at the break ended in a 16-14 defeat. Bloomsburg's record in home games since 1923 when scoring 17 or more in the first half is now 118-8.

Bloomsburg's victory over Cheyney earlier this season 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, with the win the following week at Millersville, the Huskies have now won 18 consecutive contests against the Marauders dating back to a 31-21 loss at home during the 1999 campaign. The Huskies also clinched their 19th consecutive winning season with last Saturday's victory at East Stroudsburg. Bloomsburg's last losing season came in 1998 when the Huskies went 5-6. It is the third longest streak in PSAC history, behind West Chester's 31 (1940-42, 1945-72) and Clarion's 22 (1964-85). The 19 straight seasons with at least six victories continues a PSAC record. Bloomsburg has now posted a winning record in 23 of the last 24 seasons.

300 GAME
Bloomsburg rushed for a season-high 300 yards at East Stroudsburg, averaging 6.1 yards on 49 carries. It marked the most rushing yards in a game by the Huskies since running for 309 yards in a double-overtime victory over Lock Haven on November 7, 2015 and the team improved to 11-0 under head coach Paul Darragh when rushing for at least 300 yards in a game.

At East Stroudsburg, redshirt sophomore Qmac Quiteh established a new career-high with 168 yards and two scores on 24 carries. Redshirt sophomore Alex Gooden also got over the century mark with 108 yards on 19 carries. The duo became the first pair of Bloomsburg backs to rush for more than 100 yards in the same game since Eddie Mateo (269) and Dai'Shon Munger (143) accomplished the feat in a 41-10 win over then-#7 West Chester on October 25, 2014.

Bloomsburg tied a season-high with six sacks at East Stroudsburg and has now recorded 24 sacks over the last seven games after collecting only two through the first two weeks. Bloomsburg is tied for second (Shippensburg) with 26 sacks and trails only West Chester (27). Individually, redshirt junior Jake Klinger ranks second in the PSAC with 6.5 sacks on the season. Redshirt junior Chris Gary is tied for eighth with five while redshirt senior Scott Beltz has 3.5 sacks to put him in a tie for 19th in the conference.

Redshirt junior Jake Klinger is enjoying a breakout campaign in 2017 as he has become has force to be reckoned with for opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks. At East Stroudsburg, he collected a career-high three sacks and had three tackles for a loss against the Warriors. Klinger has moved into second in the PSAC in both categories as he has 15.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 quarterback sacks on the season. He trails only Slippery Rock's Marcus Martin in both categories. He has 12 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks over the course of the last five weeks.


Redshirt sophomore Qmac Quiteh rushed for a career-high 168 yards during the 38-28 win at East Stroudsburg. It was his fourth 100-yard game of the season - he picked up his first collegiate 100-yard rushing effort as he carried the ball 29 times for 118 yards in the victory at Clarion on September 9, while also hitting the century mark against Cheyney and West Chester. Through nine games this season, Quiteh leads the Huskies with 849 yards rushing and seven touchdowns on 174 carries. He ranks fifth in the PSAC in rushing yards per game (95.1) and he has led the Huskies in rushing in eight of the first nine games. 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.

Bloomsburg totaled only 332 total yards on the ground during the first three contests of the season (110.7 per game) but has combined to rush for 1,298 yards (216.3 per game) in the last six contests. With 200-plus rushing yards in four of the last six games, Bloomsburg has now totaled at least 200 rushing yards in a game 34 times in 56 career games under head coach Paul Darragh. Bloomsburg is 31-3 in those contests.

Bloomsburg is averaging only 179.6 passing yards per game - 14th fewest in the conference. Only Clarion (164.1) and Lock Haven (153.8) average fewer than the Huskies. However, the duo of redshirt sophomore Michael Allen and redshirt sophomore Jay Popson have emerged as one of the top receiving tandoms in the conference. Allen leads in both receptions (40) and yards (509) while Popson has hauled in 30 passes for 473 yards. The duo have combined for 70 of the team's 126 receptions (55.6%) and 982 of the team's 1,616 receiving yards (60.8%). Popson caught seven passes for 121 yards in the season opener against Stonehill - 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. Meanwhile, Allen caught seven passes for a career-high 91 yards against Kutztown. As a team, the Huskies only had 10 catches for 104 yards against the Golden Bears.

Redshirt junior linebacker Nate Monroe was named the PSAC East Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts during Saturday's 20-19 victory at West Chester. It marks the first time in his collegiate career that he has been honored with a weekly accolade from the conference and he became the fourth different Huskies' player to earn a weekly honor this season. Monroe blocked an extra point attempt late in the second quarter which proved to be the difference as the Huskies earned a one-point victory on the road at West Chester to knock the Golden Rams from the ranks of the unbeaten in divisional play on Saturday. Monroe was also involved in a tackle of West Chester quarterback Paul Dooley short of the goal line on a two-point conversion midway through the fourth quarter. That play kept the Golden Rams' lead at five points and enabled the Huskies to pick up the go-ahead score with 1:39 left in regulation. Monroe also led the Huskies with seven total tackles and had a half a tackle for a loss during the win.

Redshirt junior Chris Gary was named the PSAC East Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts during the Huskies' 48-19 victory over Cheyney. 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.

Senior Eric Schwartz was named the PSAC East Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the Huskies' 27-10 win over Gannon. Schwartz, arguably, had the best game of his collegiate career as he led the Huskies with nine total tackles (seven solo), a sack, and an interception during the Huskies' 17-point win. He was also an integral part in limiting Gannon's offense to only 10 points (34 below Gannon's season average) and 321 yards of total offense (176.5 below Gannon's season average). The nine tackles established a new career-high for Schwartz and the sack was the first of his collegiate career (37 career games). His interception came late in the fourth quarter - at the Bloomsburg 37-yard line - and led to an Abbott field goal with under a minute remaining to put the game out of reach. It was Schwartz' first interception since November 8, 2014 during a victory at Lock Haven.

Redshirt junior placekicker Ryan Abbott was named the PSAC East Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts in the Huskies' 29-20 victory at Clarion. Abbott was a perfect 3-of-3 on field goals and 2-of-2 on extra points as he helped the Huskies to their first win of the 2017 campaign. It marked a new career-high in field goals made in a game for Abbott - his previous high was two set on two different occasions last season (at Cheyney on September 24 and at IUP on November 12). He connected on a 30-yard field goal late in the first half which, at the time, gave the Huskies a 17-13 lead over the Golden Eagles. His 35-yarder on the Huskies' first drive of the second half tied the game at 20-20 and then his 33-yard boot late in the third quarter gave Bloomsburg the lead for good at 23-20.

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 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.

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.

Former Husky great Eric Jonassen was 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. 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 were 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).

Shippensburg comes in with an 8-1 overall record and a 5-1 mark in the PSAC Eastern Division. The Red Raiders need a victory on Saturday AND a West Chester loss to Millersville to secure a spot in the PSAC Championship game next week. The Red Raiders seemingly do everything very well on paper. Shippensburg is tops in the PSAC and fifth in the country in points allowed per game (12.2) while ranking second in the league and 18th in the country in points scored per game (39.0). The Red Raiders are also first in the league in total defense (third in the country), rushing defense, passing defense, turnover margin (fifth in the country), opponent third down percentage (fourth in the country), and red zone defense (tops in the country). In fact, Shippensburg has allowed opponents into its red zone only 19 times all season with opposing teams coming away with points only ten times.

Cole Chiappialle leads Shippensburg with 519 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. Colin McDermott is right behind with 510 rushing yards and eight scores. Quarterback Ryan Zapoticky is a dual-threat as he has rushed for 266 yards and three scores while completing 61% of his passes for 2,298 yards and 20 touchdowns. Zapoticky has only been picked off twice through the first nine games. Winston Eubanks is the go-to target as he has hauled in 39 passes for 953 yards and 10 touchdowns. Kyle Haines has 32 receptions for 413 yards and another five scores.

Defensively, the Red Raiders have 85 tackles for a loss, 26 sacks, 14 interceptions, and eight fumble recoveries - all at the top, or near the top, of the PSAC. Dennis Robinson leads with 47 total tackles. Dakota Thompson has six sacks and 11 tackles for a loss to lead the team in both categories. Kevin Taylor II (5) and Eric Dzieniszewski (4) have combined for nine of the team's interceptions.

The Huskies will return home for the final regular season game of the season on Saturday, November 11, against an opponent to be determined. If West Chester wins the east, the Huskies will host Clarion; if Shippensburg wins the east, Bloomsburg will host Seton Hill; or, if Bloomsburg wins the east, the Huskies will host IUP in the State Game. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 p.m.

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