Sunday, September 8, 2013

MAC Football: Gettysburg Survives Puckett's Charge from Misericordia

Jeff Puckett ran for 301 yards and accounted
for six touchdowns in MU's season opener.
What a difference a year makes.
Sophomore Jeff Puckett rushed for 301 yards and five touchdowns as the Misericordia University football team opened its second season with a hard-fought 62-40 loss to Gettysburg in Saturday's season opener at Mangelsdorf Field.

Puckett carried 36 times and Frank Santarsiero, Ryan Kurtz, Tosin Adeyemoand Robin Custodio combined for 587 yards on the ground as the Cougars found themselves trailing by just two points, 42-40, with less than five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The Bullets responded with two Matt Perkins' field goals in the next six minutes and tacked on a pair of touchdowns in the final eight minutes to pull away.Despite going three-and-out on their first possession, this year's game certainly got off to a better start than last year's opener for MU when they found themselves down 8-0 after the opening kickoff in 2012.

After an MU punt, Gettysburg went 70 yards in just seven plays to take a 7-0 lead with 12:03 to go in the opening quarter. Thanks to Puckett and Santarsiero, the Cougars answered with a 10-play, 72 –yard drive to tie the score, 7-7, with 6:17 left in the stanza.

Santarsiero picked up 13 yards on first down and Puckett converted fourth-and-inches at midfield and followed with a 14-yard scamper for a first down at Gettysburg's 33-yard line.

Puckett and Santarsiero combined for 15 yards on two carries before Puckett tallied MU's first TD of the season on another 14-yard run.

Gettysburg responded with another quick seven-play scoring drive and recovered from a bad snap on the extra point attempt to take a 15-7 lead midway through the quarter.

Adeyemo and Custodio carried the load early on the ensuing drive as the Cougars moved deep into Gettysburg territory.
Puckett picked up three yards on a critical third down play and went nine yards on first goal to make it 15-13 after a blocked PAT with 1:14 remaining in the period.

The Bullets went ahead 22-13 on a 55-yard scoring strike from Zach Miller to Fred Caruso less than a minute into the second quarter.

After the teams exchange rare punts, Adeyemo picked up 33 yards on three carries to get the Cougars across midfield and Puckett carried five straight five times over the final 29 yards to get MU within two, 22-20, with 8:03 to play before halftime.

Gettysburg went 65 yards in less than two minutes to go ahead 29-20, and the Cougars punted again but got the ball back on Ben Camacho's interception.

Santasiero gained 26 yards on two carries to move the Cougars across midfield and Puckett converted another fourth-and-one for a first down at the Gettysburg 37 yard line.

Puckett went 14 yards to the Bullets' two yard line and punched it in on the next play to make it 29-26 with 24 seconds remaining in the second half.

Gettysburg's Tommy LeNoir took the ensuing kickoff 64 yards and Miller completed an 11-yard pass to the MU 21 yard line, but the Bullets missed a field goal as time expired.

Gettysburg went ahead 36-26 on the opening drive off the second half, but the Cougars wouldn't go away.

After backup quarterback Ryan Kurtz scampered 38 yards deep into Gettysburg territory, Puckett followed with a 29-yard run and finished it off with a three-yard scoring run to make it 36-33 with 9:59 to play in the third period.

Gettysburg followed with an 89-yard scoring drive for a 42-33 lead with 6:44 to go in the stanza.

Adeyemo picked up six yards to give MU a first down near midfield and Puckett found Chris Kirkland on a quick strike across the middle and he outraced the defense for a 43-yard TD to make it a two-point game, 42-40, with less five minutes to play in the quarter.

Perkins made it 45-40 with a 20-yard field goal and the Bullets blocked MU's field goal attempt on the next series.
Perkins connected on a 30-yard field goal for a 48-40 G-Burg lead with 12:01 remaining in the game and the Bullets defense stiffened the rest of the way.

Camacho led the MU defense with 13 tackles to go with his interception andHunter Pates and Sean Weg added 12 and 10 tackles, respectively.

Brandon Salazar added seven tackles while Omar Clark, Rob Hart and Anthony Rand-Willever all had six stops.
Misericordia will open its 2013 MAC schedule when the Cougars host Delaware Valley, Saturday, September 14.