Nov. 22, 2008

BLOOMSBURG --Jesse Cooper's 62-yard interception return broke a 14-14 tie and lifted Bloomsburg University past West Chester University 28-21 in an NCAA Division II second round playoff game. The Huskies (11-1) will now face California (PA) in a Super Regional One final next Saturday at Redman Stadium at noon.

With the score tied at 14-all early in the fourth period, Cooper, who helped beat West Chester two years in the playoffs with a blocked field goal in the final minute, stepped in front of a Joe Wright pass and ran untouched into the end zone putting the Huskies in front for good. The return for a touchdown was the second of the season for Cooper.

Bloomsburg opened the game's scoring on its first drive of the game marching 70 yards in 11 plays with Stefan Adams going the final seven yards for the final seven yards for the score.

West Chester (9-4) though answered back on its next drive with Wright pushing his way in for a score on a fourth and goal play from the one-yard line.

In the second period, both teams had turnovers stop potential scoring drive. The Huskies were driving for a go-ahead score when quarterback Dan Latorre was sacked and fumbled the ball with the Golden Rams recovering at their own 18 yard line. Later, West Chester was in Bloomsburg territory when it too fumbled with the Huskies recovering.

Bloomsburg finally took the lead in the third period following a short punt from the Golden Rams. Taking over at the West Chester 46-yard line, the Huskies moved downfield with Latorre connecting on 3 of 3 passes with Adams going the final three yards for the score.

However, following a 52-yard kickoff return by Dan DePalma, which gave the Golden Rams the ball at the Bloomsburg 31-yard line, the Golden Rams needed just six plays to tie the game with Jackson Fagan scoring on a six-yard run with 5:12 left in the third.

In the fourth period the Golden Rams started a drive at their own five yard line and had moved down to the Bloomsburg 47. On a third and six play, Wright went back to throw, but Cooper came up and intercepted the pass on the run and went 62-yards for the score.

Following a three-out from West Chester, the Huskies marked 77 yards in 11 plays with Latorre hitting Kyle Ream, who was double-covered, with a 28-yard scoring pass for a 28-14 lead. The drive ate up nearly six and a half minutes of time leaving the Golden Rams just 3:36 to work with.

West Chester, though, wasted little time and needed just 1:37 to go 56 yards with Wright hitting Mike Washington with an 18-yard touchdown pass and making it a one-score game.

Bloomsburg recovered the on-side kick attempt and when Latorre hit Ream with a 32-yard completion on a third down play the win was sealed.

Latorre finished 11 of 15 for 129 yards and one score, while Wright was 20-39 for 262 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

The Huskies will face the Vulcans for the second time this season after beating them in week two at Bloomsburg. The winner of the game will advance to the national semifinals in two weeks.