Susquehanna stopped by Lakeland

BY MARTY MYERS, Times-Shamrock Writer

Susquehanna battled through heavy rains and injury on Friday night and fell short to Lakeland’s Chiefs, 32-8.

Starting Susquehanna (2-2) quarterback Sean Stanley was knocked out of the game with a neck sprain when he was wrestled to the ground on a keeper. That thrust sophomore Curtis Mill into the role.

“We can’t do what we do,” Susquehanna coach Dick Bagnall said. “When your starting quarterback gets hurt and (Mill) is limited in his reps, we’ve had short weeks of practice, so we’re limited to what we can do.

“The field got to be really bad. And I didn’t have my starting tailback (Greg Price), he was sick. You take two starters out of the lineup, both sides of the ball, bad things happen.”

The Chiefs got a 40-yard interception return from Alex Filarsky forone scoreand Kyle Kiehart hit Filarsky for a 22-yard touchdown in a span of1:39in the second quarter, carrying the 10th-ranked Chiefs past Susquehanna, 32-8, in a nonleague game Friday night.

“We’re used to this up atLakeland, the changing weather, the rain, the sleet, so it really wasn’t a factor today,” Filarsky said. “We’re used to practicing in everything, the rain, the fog, the mud. It’s definitely a game-changer when you play in the conditions you are used to practicing in.”

While Filarsky’s two scoring plays gave the Chiefs (3-1 overall) a comfortable 25-0 cushion,Lakeland’s defense made a key plan on the second snap of the game.

Lakeland’s Ryan Nichols made sure that happened quickly, returning Jeff Wayman’s punt 32 yards to the Sabers 18. Three plays later, Tyler Brady pounded into the end zone on a 7-yard run for a 6-0 lead.

“It’s huge because field position in this stuff is very important,”Lakelandcoach Jeff Wasilchak said of the punt return. “You can’t even walk out here.”

Another good punt return by Nichols and a roughing the punter penalty on fourth down set up a score onLakeland’s next possession, this time with Nichols bolting off left tackle on a 14-yard run with4:49left in the first.

Lakelandwas driving again when Susquehanna’s Jagr Briar recovered a fumble at the Sabers 26, but it was a momentary shift in momentum.

Filarsky stepped in front of Mill’s throw and bolted 40 yards to make it 19-0 with9:59left in the half.

“It’s just scouting report stuff,” Wasilchak said. “He pays attention to that and learns and makes all our checks for us, recognizes things and gets rewarded for it, too.”

Filarsky’s 22-yard catch followed one of eight Susquehanna fumbles and the Chiefs added their final score with1:50left in the third. Quarterback J.J. Rojenches capped an 83-yard march, 51 of it courtesy of a dash off tackle by Nichols, with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Susquehanna put its touchdown on the board with1:57left in the game on Mill’s 1-yard run, climaxing an 11-play, 77-yard drive.

Lakeland        12   13   7   0 – 32

Susquehanna   0    0    0   8 –   8

Team Statistics

                               LAK      SUS

First Downs             13          7

Rushing-Yards    40-188   35-159

Comp-Att-Int        5-7-1     1-6-2

Passing Yards          57         24

Total Yards             245      183

Punts-Average      1-28.0  4-24.0

Fumbles-Lost          2-2       8-3

Penalties-Yards      4-26     5-58

Individual Statistics

Rushing: SUSJ. Murnock 12-91; J. Pruitt 15-87; D. Fowler 1-6;S. Stanley 1-(-2); C. Mills 6-(-23), 1 TD.

Passing: SUSC. Mills 1-6-2, 24.

Receiving: SUSA. Cowperthwait, 1-24.