Nov. 20, 2010

Courtesy of Bloomsburg

CALIFORNIA, PA.
—Franklyn Quiteh (Tobyhanna, Pocono Mountain West) rushed for 141 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead Bloomsburg University to a 28-26 win over California, Pa University in an NCAA Division II first round playoff game.

With the win the Huskies, 10-2, advance to face Mercyhurst in the regional semi-finals on Saturday, Nov. 27 at Mercyhurst. California ends its season with a mark of 10-2.

After the first three games of the game resulted in punts, the Huskies put together an eight play, 80-yard scoring drive late in the first period capped by a 15-yard run from Quiteh early in the second period putting the Huskies up 7-0 after the Daniel Fisher (Liverpool, Central Dauphin) extra point. Quiteh also had a 34-yard run in the drive that moved the ball from the Huskies 21-yard line to the Cal 45. However, on the scoring drive, the Huskies lost wide receiver Chris Tressler (Lewistown, Lewistown) to an injury. Tressler left the game with an undisclosed injury and did not return.

The Vulcans answered on their next possession going 63 yards with quarterback Josh Portis throwing a 27-yard TD pass to Chedrick Cherry with 9:32 to go before halftime to tie the game at 7-7.

Later in the period the Vulcans took over at their own 44-yard line with 1:18 to play before half and moved to the Huskies six yard line with 21 seconds to go. But on third and goal Portis was sacked by Bloomsburgs Mike Pecot (Hershey, Hershey) back to the Bloom 12-yard. That forced Cal to settle for a 30-yard field goal from Marc Domonkos as time expired giving them a 10-7 lead at the break.

In the third period the Vulcans Tommie Campbell intercepted BU quarterback Pat Carey (Loyalsock, Loyalsock Twp.) deep in Cal territory. That would later lead to a Cal 46-yard field goal from Domonkos giving the home team a 13-7 lead with 6:57 to go in third period.

Bloomsburg though responded and regained the lead on its next drive. Carey directed the Huskies on a 65-yard scoring drive. Along the way he hit Tyler Guise for gains of 11 and 22 yards before connecting with Ryan Dickerson on a 33-yard scoring pass to make it 14-13 with 3:56 in the third.

But, once again, Cal had an answer for the Huskies and came back with its own 63-yard scoring drive capped by Portis hitting Terrance Moore with a 29-yard scoring pass with 35 seconds left in the third making it 20-14.
The Huskies took the lead for the third time in the game on its next series. Taking over on its own 12-yard line, Bloomsburg moved to its own 37-yard line where it faced a fourth and one and the game on the line. But the Vulcans were called for off-sides giving the Huskies new life at their own 42. After a run from Quiteh, Bloomsburg tight end Ben Weaber (Lebanon, Cedar Crest) took a pass behind the line of scrimmage and threw a 57-yard TD pass to Kyle Fisher (Denver, Cocalico) putting the Huskies on top 21-20. It was the second completion of the season for Weaber with both throws going over 50-yards.

On the kickoff a penalty by the Vulcans put them back at their own 15-yard line to start the drive. After Portis was sacked on consecutive plays Cal was forced to punt from its own end zone giving the Huskies the ball at the Vulcan 38-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Quiteh broke the line and ran 38-yards for a score putting the Huskies on top 28-20 with 5:32 to play.

On the next kickoff, Cal was again penalized and forced to start the drive at its own seven-yard line. The Vulcans used the passing of Portis to move the ball to the Huskies 42-yard line. On a fourth and 10 play, Portis pass was incomplete, but the Huskies were called for pass interference giving the Vulcans new life. On the next play Portis hit Cherry with a 28-yard scoring pass to pull the Vulcans within two at 28-26. Portis though could not complete the two-point conversion keeping it a two-point game. Bloomsburg then recovered the on-side kick and ran out the clock.

Quiteh, a regional finalist for the Harlon Hill Award as D-IIs top player, finished 141 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. He now has 1,883 yards rushing on the season, third best single season mark in school history and needs 117 next week to become just the third player in school history to top 2,000 rushing in a season.

Defensively, Oscar Rivera (Bethlehem, Liberty) finished with 11 tackles, nine solo, while Jarrett Pidgeon (Barnegat, NJ, Southern Regional)n, Mike Varanavage (Philadelphia, Archbishop Ryan) and D. Solomon Oliver (Cheltenham, Cheltenham)each had eight.

Cal was led by Portis who was 26-48 for 300 yards and three scores, but was sacked four times.

The NCAA playoff win was the eighth in school history and the fifth time in eight NCAA appearances that the Huskies has advanced past the first round.