No. 12 Bloomsburg stays undefeated against rival No. 21 Kutztown
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Saturday's Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division-opening matchup between Bloomsburg and Kutztown saw Bloomsburg prevail and remain undefeated on the season with a 44-37 victory.
The 12th-ranked Huskies (3-0) handed out some payback to the 21st-ranked Golden Bears (1-2, 0-1) from last season while earning a momentum-building victory.
Bloomsburg's conference-leading rushing offense put together its third consecutive 300-yard performance with 309 yards on 56 carries. Heading the Husky charge was junior running back Franklyn Quiteh. He rushed for 152 yards, moving him into third on the BU all-time rushing list with 3,710. Quiteh eclipsed Mike Morrucci's mark set of 3,586 in 1979 on his fourth carry of the game.
Quiteh had a game-high three touchdowns, including a 65-yard catch in the second quarter. He led the team with career-high 75 receiving yards, 65 of which came on a screen pass down the sideline that he stretched for a touchdown in the second quarter. The last time he led BU in rushing and receiving was against West Chester last season.
Kutztown entered the game with the top scoring and passing offense in the conference, but were held to below-average figures. Bloomsburg's defense limited Kutztown to its lowest scoring output of the season.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Tim Kelly played the best game of his career. He threw for a career-high 246 yards on 16-for-28 passing and a pair of scores.
The Huskies had a pair of senior receivers turn in season-high performances. Kyle Fisher was Kelly's top target in the passing game. He brought in six passes for 71 yards. Ryan Dickerson was also highly-involved in the offense and special teams with four catches for 65 yards.
Kutztown senior quarterback Kevin Morton marched his troops down the field on the opening drive, capped off with a six-yard touchdown run to take the early lead. It was the first score the Bloomsburg defense allowed to an opposing offense in the first half this season.
The Huskies had their first drive end off a lost fumble, one of five lost and seven total for the game. However, the defense picked up the offense with three forced fumbles and two interceptions on the day.
Senior linebacker Jarrett Pidgeon tallied his second consecutive double-digit tackle game with 13. He deflected a Morton pass in the opening quarter which fellow linebacker Sean Clift picked off to set up Bloomsburg's first score. Eddie Mateo rushed ten yards up the middle to tie the game at seven after a quarter of play.
The first half featured five lead changes with each team responding with a touchdown after seeing its opponent find the endzone. Bloomsburg gained its first lead early in the second quarter with an 18-yard, Kelly-to-Ryan Maggs connection. The extra point was missed though to hinder the BU lead to six.
Junior Dan Fisher gave Bloomsburg a 23-21 lead with a 42-yard kick in the final seconds. It was his only field goal of the game.
Morton finished the day with 182 passing yards, but left the game early in the third quarter with an apparent shoulder injury.
Quiteh extended the Husky lead to 30-21 with a two-yard run on their opening second-half possession. Bloomsburg succeeded in keeping Kutztown's high-powered offense off the field and held the ball for 33 minutes, 40 seconds.
After Kutztown brought it to within two with a Josh Luckenbaugh pass to Kodi Reed, Dan Fisher and the BU defense stepped up to put the Golden Bears in a tough situation. Fisher booted a 62-yard punt that was downed at the four-yardline by Eric Thomas late in the fourth quarter. Two plays later, Tony David stayed active on the defensive line to pick up a KU fumble in the endzone for a BU touchdown.
Despite a double-digit lead late in the fourth quarter, Bloomsburg nearly let Kutztown fight its way back. BU fumbled on two of its final three possessions, including one at KU's one-yardline. KU turned the first fumble into a field goal to bring the game to 44-37, but was stopped on its potential game-tying drive on a Terrell Oglesby interception.