Sabers handle Lakeland
BY HERB SMITH
Austin White took what the defense gave him.
Susquehanna’s junior quarterback rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns and also threw for a score to lead the Sabers to a 28-7 win over Lakeland in a Division II-III crossover game Saturday at William Emminger Memorial Field.
“We did some things differently that we thought might work against this team with the defense they ran,” Susquehanna coach Kyle Cook said. “Austin played really well. He read the ball and when he did keep it, he hung on to the ball and got to the outside and made plays.”
The Sabers (2-3) received the opening kickoff and drove 73 yards in 12 plays, taking nearly six minutes off the clock. White capped the drive with a 1-yard sneak to give Susquehanna a 6-0 lead.
Lakeland (3-2) put together a long drive on its first possession, driving 75 yards in 10 plays. But the Chiefs fumbled at the goal line and Susquehanna recovered in the endzone.
“That was huge,” Cook said. “Because in the past, we’ve given up a touchdown and the heads went down and I already saw it happening and then out of nowhere I see it’s our ball and it just pumped up everything. It set the tone and got something going from the get-go.”
The Sabers took possession on the 20 after the touchback and put together another long drive covering 10 plays. Brett Hepler scored on a 24-yard run to give Susquehanna a 14-0 lead after the 2-point conversion.
White then hit James Murnock for a 40-yard touchdown pass late in the first half to give the Sabers a 20-0 halftime lead.
“We practiced really focusing on the free safety,” White said. “With their defense, it makes it hard to throw slants and anything over the middle but we looked to expose the free safety and make him decide what he was doing and it made my job easier when we saw what he was going to do.”
Lakeland cut the lead to 20-7 in the third quarter on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Chet Anuszewski to Josh Natale. The Chiefs forced Susquehanna to punt on its next possession but the Sabers’ defense responded and stopped Lakeland on fourth down. Four plays later, White scored on a 5-yard run.
“Their defense was open in the middle with the two linebackers and we felt like our guys could get a push up the middle and open holes for us and they did exactly that,” White said.
Susquehanna’s defense held for the remainder of the game, stopping Lakeland twice more on fourth down in the fourth quarter.
“We had a good plan coming in,” Cook said. “We were around the ball, we attacked the ball. They had a couple of plays on us but nothing huge like we’ve been giving up. It kept our focus and we were excited. If you give up big plays the kids get down on themselves but we didn’t have that and it really helped.”
Lakeland 0 0 7 0 – 7
SUS 6 14 0 8 – 28
SUS – White 1 run (kick blocked), 6:23.
SUS – Hepler 24 run (Murnock run), 9:46.
SUS – Murnock 40 pass from White (kick failed), 1:57.
LAK – Natale 28 pass from Anuszewski (Natale kick), 4:53.
SUS – White 5 run (Felter run), 11:53.
First Downs 13 16
Rushing-Att-Yards 24-150 52-276
Comp-Att-Int 12-27-0 2-6-0
Passing Yards 130 76
Total Yards 280 352
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 3-0
Penalties-Yards 10-58 3-15
Rushing: LAK – C. Roche 12-83; C. Anuszewski 3-36; C. Selvenis 8-32; M. Didato 1-(-1). SUS – A. White 21-129, 2 TDs; B. Hepler 10-82, 1 TD; A. Felter 7-32; J. Murnock 8-14; L. Brinton 3-13; K. Rivenburgh 2-7; Team 1-(-1).
Passing: LAK – C. Anuszewski 12-27-0, 130, 1 TD. SUS – A. White 2-6-0, 76, 1 TD.
Receiving: LAK – J. Natale 4-52, 1 TD; G. O’Donnell 3-23; C. Roche 2-15; B. Bylotas 1-5; J. Burton 1-5; G. Estadt 1-30. SUS – J. Murnock 1-40, 1 TD; A. Felter 1-36.