BY AMANDA MILES, STAFF WRITER
The Susquehanna football team earned its first victory of the season on Saturday afternoon over the Moravian Greyhounds in front of a packed homecoming crowd, derailing a 0-4 start and refreshing a hungry team.
Both sides of the ball played well. On the offensive side, junior red-shirt quarterback Mark Rosenbaum returned and sophomore running back Tim Wade led and impressive running game. On the defensive side, the line had a good overall performance.
While Wade accounted for 166 of Susquehanna’s 182 yards, junior defensive back Cody Miller led the defense and was named Conference Defensive Player of the Week.
“We were coming off a bye week, so we had two weeks of preparation for Moravian, and we got a bunch of guys back that had been injured-namely Rosenbaum, Martin Horn back at tight end, and a couple linemen on both sides of the ball,” Head Coach Steve Briggs said after the game.
Briggs also said the homecoming atmosphere and the fact that the team was closer to full strength played a role in the team’s 27-17 victory.
Forced to punt on their first possession, junior punter T.J. Morton punished the Greyhounds to their own 1-yard line with a 65-yard punt — the fifth longest in Susquehanna history.
On their second offensive possession, the Crusaders regained the ball at the Moravian 37-yard line with 11:19 on the clock and soaked up the next four minutes with a nine-play drive, ending with a 29-yard field goal by junior kicker Spencer Hotaling.
Starting from the Moravian 40-yard line on their third possession, Rosenbaum exclusively used Wade to move the ball up to the 1-yard-line over the next six plays, and touched the ball in himself to inspire a 10-0 lead, leaving 1:37 on the clock. Moravian was unable to respond before the end of the quarter.
After both teams scored three points in the second quarter and neither put any up in the third, the Crusaders and Greyhounds returned in the fourth quarter to provoke an animated finale.
The Crusaders finished their offensive onslaught with an interception and 56-yard touchdown return by Miller from Susquehanna’s 44-yard line. The Crusaders also converted on the second fumble forced by senior defensive lineman Bill Mancini.
Mancini gained seven yards on the recovery to put the Crusaders at the Moravian 37-yard line. Wade rushed the following seven yards to set up Rosenbaum’s 35-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Denzell Walker. This capped off a Susquehanna tally that would stand to overshadow the 14 points Moravian futilely scored in the remaining 6:14 of the game.
The Crusaders will continue their season at home Saturday against Ursinus at 6 p.m..
“I think we left a lot of points on the field [on Saturday],” Briggs said, adding how competitive of a team Ursinus is..
He said: “I like the momentum. I think winning is contagious. Ursinus also is experiencing some things we experienced earlier in the season-their quarterback is down, they’re using a lot of different guys both on the offensive and defensive line. We just have to tak care of business.”