CRUSADERS FALL TO SUSQUEHANNA TWP, 34-28

September 25- The 2010 roller coaster ride continued for the Bishop McDevitt Crusaders this morning, as the Susquehanna Township Indians earned a 34-28 victory at McDevitt Field. The Crusaders were hounded by mistakes, penalties and turnovers, falling behind early and never managing to get the lead. As a result McDevitt dropped game #1 in the new Mid Penn Keystone Conference and stand at 2-2 overall.

McDevitt to0k the opening kickoff and went nowhere, leading to a short punt by Connor Maloney (regular punter Ted Deily was injured). The Tribe managed a first down before consecutive sacks by junior Noah Spence forced a 'Hanna punt, to the McD 13. A short pass from junior quarterback Matt Johnson to sophomore receiver Brain Lemelle earned a first down, but a motion penalty forced another Maloney punt. After yet another Spence sack 'Hanna returned the favor, punting to the McD 44. Senior tailback Jameel Poteat looked like he was getting in a rhythm, pairing a couple of carries for a 12 yard gain, but consecutive penalties stalled the drive and Maloney ended the listless quarter with his 3rd punt of the morning.

Susquehanna got on the scoreboard first, using two long Brandon Wallace runs to advance to the McD 30. A 9 yard scoring pass from Anthony Gelbaugh to Rodney Watkins on 4th down gave the Tribe a 7-0 lead, with 8:58 left in the first half. McDevitt wasted no time in answering the score. Lemelle took the ensuing kickoff and streaked down the left sideline, appearing to avoid a desperate tackle attempt to cross the goal line, but the official spotted the ball on the ST 1. No matter; Poteat strolled in for the score on the next play and, after the first of Maloney's 4 perfect PAT's, the score was knotted at 7. Another long Wallace run had 'Hanna threatening again on the next series. After advancing to the McD 9 the Gelbaugh-Watkins connection clicked again, this time for a 9 yard score at the 6:15 mark in the second quarter. The next McDevitt series included tough running by Poteat and completions from Johnson to Spence and senior Courtney Mack, but it also included 2 penalties and a 13 yard sack, so Maloney booted his 4th punt of the game to the ST 34. Two Susquehanna plays bled out the rest of the half and the Crusaders went to the locker room down a touchdown.

The second half started with a personal foul penalty against the Indians on the kickoff, followed by another thunderous Spence sack. The short punt that followed rolled out of bounds at the McD 31, leading to the tying touchdown. Poteat ran for 3 before Johnson scrambled for 13 more, to the ST 15. After a 2 yard Poteat run Johnson threw a laser pass to a slanting Lemelle, who gathered in the pigskin as he was crossing the goal line. With the score now tied at 14 momentum seemed to be moving toward the home team, especially after the Crusader defense forced another 3-and-out. McDevitt took over at the McD 33 but two plays later a Johnson pass was tipped, and then intercepted at the McD 34. This time Gelbaugh twice targeted Trent Daniels, the second time for a 16 yard touchdown pass that gave 'Hanna a 21-14 lead, with 3:16 left in the 3rd quarter. The kickoff that followed traveled to the McD 15, and junior Sean Seif returned it to the 33. A 5 yard pass to Seif followed, and then Poteat ripped through a big hole in the Tribe defensive line and broke into the clear. The rugged senior stiff armed one would-be tackler to the ground and raced away to finish the 62 yard scoring jaunt that tied the score, 21-21, only 23 seconds after the 'Hanna score. On the play after the McDevitt kickoff Gelbaugh flipped a pass to tight end Christian Betz, who was all alone and raced toward the end zone. Only a last-second tackle by junior Anthony Shingara prevented the score, as Betz was finally tackled at the McD 4. One play later Brandon Baltimore ran for the touchdown, but the PAT attempt was blocked by senior Sean Barowski. With the lead at 27-21, McDevitt went into the 4th quarter needing a score to take the lead.

The final quarter began with a punting duel, as the 2 teams combined for 4 punts before McDevitt regained possession at the McD 10. Runs of 15 and 28 yards by Barowski moved the Crusaders into 'Hasnna territory before 3 short running plays left McDevitt facing a 4th-and-3, at the ST 41. Johnson tried to connect to Mack, running a slant pattern, but the senior couldn't hold on the the ball turned over on downs. With time running out the McDevitt defense forced another punt, which rolled to a stop on the McD 23. On the next play Johnson, running an option play, tried to pitch to junior Darnell Holland. Johnson was hit as he pitched and the ball bounced crazily toward the McDevitt goal line. Holland recovered the ball and was fighting for yardage when he fumbled, and 'Hanna recovered at the McD 5. Baltimore scored on the next play and Susquehanna had stretched its lead to 34-21, with only 2:26 left to play. Poteat took the following kickoff and weaved his way to the ST 45. Johnson then hooked up with Seif for a 22 yard gain before scrambling for 12 more yards, to the ST 11. A 7 yard pass to Lemelle was followed by 2 Johnson keepers, the second one being a 3 yard touchdown run at the 1:28 mark. Now trailing 34-28, Maloney attempted an on side kick but the ball didn't travel the necessary 10 yards and the Tribe took possession. 'Hanna kept the ball on the ground as McDevitt burned up the last of its time outs and the visitors commenced the celebration. Next Friday, October 1st, the Crusaders travel to Hersheypark Stadium to meet the winless Lower Dauphin Falcons. Game time is 7:00 PM.

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