Friday, September 21, 2018

Flashback 2009 - Lycoming Defends Stagg Hat Trophy 37-23 Over Susquehanna

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SELINSGROVE, Pa. --- Junior running back Josh Kleinfelter rushed for 175 yards in Lycoming College’s first football win of the season 37-23 over rival Susquehanna University on Saturday, Sept. 19. The Warriors successfully defended their title of the Amos Alonso Stagg Felt Hat trophy, part of the rivalry of the two schools.

Lycoming is now 1-1 on the season, while Susquehanna slips to 2-1.

Kleinfelter (Bellwood, Pa./Bellwood-Anits) took the ball 29 times, rushing for an average of 6.2 yards per carry and two touchdowns. Fellow running back Mark Rosa took one carry into the end zone and 80 yards, averaging 6.7 yards on his 12 carries.

As a team, Lycoming amassed 265 yards on the ground and totaled 392 yards on offense. The Warrior defense played well, forcing four turnovers and four passes defended. Senior defensive end Kyle Murren led the game in tackles for a loss, dropping the Susquehanna offense twice, including one sack.

In its first possession, Lycoming found the end zone. After taking several small passing plays to set up the running game, senior quarterback Colin Dwyer (Dalton, Pa./Lackawanna Trail) handed the ball off to Junior running back Josh Kleinfelter who took it to the house on a 53-yard run, stiff arming several Crusader defenders and catching a block from junior wide receiver Ryan Wagaman (Biglerville, Pa./Biglerville), capping an eight-play 95-yard series.

Lycoming went up 14-0 with 6:52 left in the first quarter after sophomore defensive tackle Anthony Marascio (Philadelphia, Pa./Father Judge) stripped the Susquehanna running back. Sophomore defensive back Ray Bierbach (Hunlock Creek, Pa./Northwest Area) recovered the fumble and ran untouched in the end zone.

Susquehanna took two minutes off the clock driving to the Warrior 22-yard line. On fourth and six, the Crusaders went for the first down, but were stopped by Chuck Bellitto (New Holland, Pa./Garden Spot) and Blake Barth (Swissdale, Pa./Central Mountain). On the next play, Dwyer was picked off on a one handed leap by safety Jalon Scott. After lining up in the shot gun, Susquehanna found the end zone on a 32-yard pass.

After fumbling on the kickoff return with a Crusader recovery, quarterback Rich Palazzi threw a touchdown pass for the second time in nine seconds to knot the score 14-14. On the ensuing kick, freshman returner Dre Purdy got the Warriors near Susquehanna terriotory on a 38-yard return, finally tackled at the Lycoming 46.

Lycoming took a risk and went for the first down on fourth and inches, but the offensive line was called for a false start, making the down markers fourth and five. Dwyer could not complete his attempted pass to Saylor. Junior defensive back Jim Daley (Warrington, Pa./Archbishop Wood) the ball back for Lycoming after grabbing an interception and returning it for six yards. Rosa was big in the running game at the start of the second quarter after springing loose for a 38-yard rush before being tackled at the Susquehanna five. Rosa’s long run was rewarded at 12:27 of the second with a touchdown, putting Lycoming up 21-14.

Midway through the second half, both defenses settled in, allowing each team a few plays before forcing the punters to see some action. Susquehanna found themselves knocking on Lycoming’s end zone, third and six before two straight pass attempts were knocked down by Kyle Murren (Hughesville, Pa./Hughesville) and Dan Cassidy (Downingtown, Pa./Biship Shannahan), forcing a field goal.

Purdy returned the kickoff for 21-yards, and the Warriors gained another 10-yard after a personal foul flag was thrown on Susquehanna. Lycoming quickly chewed up the field on a 24-yard connection between Dwyer and Wagaman. The Crusader defense held Lycoming still for several plays before Dwyer connected a 12-yard pass to Josh Dixon (Fleetville, Pa./Lackawanna Trail) with 49 seconds left in the half. Susquehanna narrowed the gap with a last second field goal sending the Warriors into the locker room up 28-20.

Using the first five minutes of the half, Lycoming drove down the field in 10 plays, 47-yards. Josh Kleinfelter gained 16 of those yards in one carry, setting up a TJ Chiarolanza field goal, giving Lycoming an early second-half lead 31-20.

The Crusaders got a kickoff return of 18 yards on a short kickoff. Susquehanna took its first drive of the second half eight plays, 38 yards down the field for a field goal.

Not wanting another big kickoff return from Purdy, Susquehanna opted to kick the ball out of the back of the Lycoming end zone for a touch back. After coming up short on a third and 10, Jake Lamphere (Towanda, Pa./Towanda) punted the ball away. The Susquehanna return man let the punt ball fall through his hands, and Brice Rickard (Honesdale, Pa./Honesdale) recovered the fumble. One play later, Dwyer threw an interception which the Crusaders returned for 30 yards. The Warrior defense backed up the offense, forcing Susquehanna to a three and out.

The Susquehanna defense held Lycoming to another three and out. Susquehanna tried for another fourth down conversion, but the Warriors answered the call and dropped the running back for three yards on a gang tackle. Susquehanna sent its pass rushers, dropping Dwyer for a loss before Lamphere punted the ball away.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Susquehanna quarterback tried to use a pump fake, but defensive end Murren wasn’t fooled and forced and recovered a fumble. With just over four minutes left in the game, Kleinfelter capped a six play, 47 yard drive with a touchdown, giving the Warriors a 37-23 lead.

Susquehanna took one last shot, but could not come up with the nessicery yards for a first down and turned the ball over to the Warriors, who only rushed the ball to keep the clock moving and seal the victory.

Lycoming continues its road schedule next week when the Warriors travel to Bridgewater, Va. for a Saturday, Sept. 26 game. Kickoff time is set for 1 p.m.