Nov. 6, 2010

Courtesy of Kutztown Athletics

The Kutztown University football team found its scoring touch after intermission, but it was too late as the Golden Bears suffered their first defeat of the season, 61-35, to Bloomsburg University at Redman Stadium in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division game Saturday afternoon. (BOXSCORE)

Kutztown sophomore quarterback Kevin Morton finished with 302 passing yards and three touchdown passes. It was the 15th straight game in which Morton has fired at least one touchdown pass. He has 32 touchdown passes this season. Morton has thrown at least two touchdown passes in 13 of KU's last 14 games.

The Golden Bears (9-1 overall, 6-1 PSAC East) became the first team this season to score over 30 points against the Huskies (9-1, 7-0). Kutztown has scored 30 or more points in 11 straight games.

Erik Frazier led the Golden Bears with seven catches. Two of Chris McCormick's three catches went for touchdowns passes. McCormick hauled in a 44-yarder and a 4-yarder during a 21-point KU third quarter. Josh Smith also caught a touchdown pass for Kutztown, ranked 15th in the American Football Coaches' Association (AFCA) and top 25 polls. Kendell Coleman led Kutztown with 71 yards on nine carries.

The Golden Bears' Khalief Evans had a game-high 12 tackles. Joel Irwin contributed 10 stops for Kutztown.

The game changed in Bloomsburg's favor for good during a 55-second stretch of the third quarter.

McCormick had just caught a 4-yard touchdown pass to cut Bloomsburg's advantage to 44-28 with 7 minutes, 21 remaining. On the Huskies' next play from scrimmage, Evans recovered a fumble at the Bloomsburg 22-yard line. With a chance to get closer, BU's Vince Browning intercepted a pass in the end zone on Kutztown's next snap. Three plays later, Bloomsburg's Codie Butler went 63 yards for a score that expanded the Huskies' lead to 51-28.

In securing its first PSAC East title since 2006, Bloomsburg had two running backs run for over 100 yards. Franklyn Quiteh, the nation's leading rusher, gained 145 of his 194 yards in the first half as the Huskies led 30-7 at intermission. Codie Butler added 177 yards. Overall, the Huskies gained 685 yards of total offense.

The highlight of the first half for the Golden Bears was Kendell Coleman's 27-yard run up the middle that set up Morton's 1-yard touchdown run that tied the game, 7-7, with 9:26 remaining in the first quarter. The Huskies had 342 yards in the opening 30 minutes and forced a pair of Kutztown turnovers.

When the disappointment of this defeat dissipates, the Golden Bears can still take pride in what they've accomplished in this, the finest year in the 95-season history of the football program. Kutztown has set a school record for wins in a season, conference victories in a year, earned its highest national-ranking in school history and set a program mark for most home triumphs.

More importantly, the Golden Bears are still in contention for one of the six Super Region I berths in the NCAA Division II playoffs. Kutztown started the game ranked second in the regional poll. A win this weekend against Gannon would go a long way in helping KU potentially secure its first trip in school history to the NCAA Division II playoffs

Kickoff against Gannon in Erie will be at noon. Meanwhile, Bloomsburg plays Mercyhurst for the PSAC championship, also in Erie starting at 1 p.m.