Kutztown U. football squad ruins Shippensburg’s Homecoming, 29-10


SHIPPENSBURG — The Shippensburg University football team did not have time on its side during a 29-10 Homecoming loss to the Kutztown Golden Bears in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division battle Saturday.

Shippensburg (3-4, 2-2 PSAC East) faced just a six-point deficit against the reigning PSAC champs Kutztown (5-2, 3-1 PSAC East) after a competitive first half, but only maintained possession for 4:14 in a second half in which they were outscored 13-0.

Kutztown kept the ball thanks to the rushing tandem of Daryl Davis-McNeil (136 yards, 1 TD) and Jordan Davis (55 yards), who combined for 191 yards rushing on 43 carries in the contest. Kicker Dawson Evitts also went 5-for-5 on field goal attempts, including a 41-yard attempt in the first half.

Kutztown drew first blood with a touchdown on the game’s opening possession. A blown defensive assignment left KU receiver Jerome Kapp wide open downfield, with QB Donny Blaine completing the easy throw and catch for a 54-yard touchdown.

A key stop by Raiders junior Brandon Holt (Bloomfield, N.J./Bloomfield (Pace)) and redshirt freshman Jeremiah Carothers (Carlisle/Carlisle Area) on a subsequent fourth down kept the Golden Bears from adding to their lead. The turnover on downs later set up a flea-flicker 49-yard TD toss from redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Johnson III (Detroit, Mich./Walled Lake Western (Boston College) to sophomore wideout Ian Sheehan (Feasterville/Neshaminy) that evened the score and ignited the large home crowd.

Davis-McNeil broke runs of 19 and 25 yards to set up the first of Evitts’s five field goals, which gave the Golden Bears the lead once again with 12:58 remaining in the second quarter, 10-7.

A fumbled snap set the Raiders back on their next possession and gave the Golden Bears a short field that resulted in another Evitts field goal.

Raider sophomore kicker Jaxson Montross (Tunkhannock/Tunkhannock Area) split the uprights from 39 yards out to get the hosts back to within three, 13-10, with 4:12 left in the first half. But Evitts added his third field goal on the final play before halftime to regain the six-point margin.

The Raiders received the ball to begin the second half, but their first two possessions both resulted in quick three and outs.

Sophomore wide receiver/kick returner Redd Douglas (Youngstown, Ohio/Chaney (Wooster)) broke a 37-yard return following a yet another Evitts field goal, but Kutztown forced a fumble at the end of the run, resulting in a Ship turnover.

The fumble turned into Evitts’s fifth field goal and a 22-10 KU advantage.

Meanwhile, the Raiders accumulated just 16 yards after halftime, and zero yards in the fourth quarter against Kutztown’s senior-laden defense.

Davis-McNeil provided the final dagger, tallying a 1-yard TD run with 6:05 remaining.

Johnson finished 13-of-25 passing for 113 yards and a touchdown for Shippensburg. Sheehan grabbed six passes for a total of 68 yards.

For the Raiders, many of their bright spots came on the defensive side of the ball. Redshirt sophomore Terrance Peterson Jr. (Hopewell, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) had a breakout game in his first ever start. The linebacker set a new career high with a team-best 12 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss.

Redshirt sophomore linebacker Matt Feeney (Reading/Exeter Township) also reached double digits with 10 tackles Saturday. Redshirt freshman Rynell Gantt (Harrisburg/Sci-Tech) made his season debut in the defensive backfield after suffering an injury in preseason. Gantt made his mark, totaling 6 tackles and 2 pass breakups.

The Raiders hit the road Saturday to take on Millersville (2-5, 2-2 PSAC East). Kick-off is set for 2 p.m.

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