BY AMANDA MILES, STAFF WRITER
Susquehanna (0-3) had another chance to convert the majority of a three-quarter-lead to the season’s first victory against Dickinson (1-2), but failed to control the end of the game as the Red Devils starved aspirations for the Crusaders’ first win in a 24-21 late-game defeat.
The Crusaders started strong, opening the competition with a threatening 12-play, 58-yard touchdown drive, facilitated by a 19-yard rush by junior quarterback Taylor Kolmer, a 12-yard pass to freshman Devon Pascoe, which was then finished with a one-yard dash from Kolmer for the opening score of the game.
After a fumble from Dickinson and a stalemate on Susquehanna’s next drive, the quarter ended without another score.
At 8:41 into the second quarter, the Red Devils knotted the game with a 14-play, 93-yard touchdown drive. Neither team was able to score for the rest of the half.
In the first possession of the second half, senior running back Duke Hyacinthe was able to block Dickinson’s punt and give possession to the Crusaders at the Dickinson 25-yard line. Junior Ian Richardson converted the turnover into a touchdown with a five-yard rush to put Susquehanna back in the lead at 14-7 for the remainder of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Red Devils put on the pressure, scoring a touchdown on their first drive. After pushing Susquehanna to punt, the Devils scored on their second drive, using 10 plays for 80 yards, burning 6:21 off the clock and branding 21- 14 on the scoreboard.
A Dickinson field goal with 1:34 left gave the Red Devils a 10-point lead.
Kolmer sifted through the pressure to execute a 67-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Kwane Hayle to create a one-score game with 1:03 left.
Susquehanna brought out junior kicker Spencer Hotaling for an on-side kick and a last chance, but failed to recover the kick, sealing the Red Devils’ win.
“We had seven penalties, four of them directly resulted in positive plays for Dickinson and one took a touchdown off the board for us. We lost by three,” head coach Steve Briggs said. “We’re 0-3. We’ve had chances in the fourth quarter to win all three games-of which we were ahead in two of them. Discipline is what’s keeping us from winning games.”
Hyacinthe agreed: “We’re killing ourselves with mental errors and silly penalties. We have to be able to keep our composure in adverse situations. When we can do that, I think we can be unstoppable.”
Richardson sported the bulk of Susquehanna’s carries, rushing the ball 19 times for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Briggs reinforced his value on the mental toughness of athletes and its relationship to Susquehanna’s season thus-far.
“Everybody’s big, everybody’s strong, that’s college football,” Briggs said. “[Mental toughness is] the separation of the winners and losers, and unfortunately, that’s [where we are]. We have a lot of work to do.”