Sabers sack Holy Cross

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A pack of Sabers defenders wrap up a Holy Cross runner in their game on Saturday afternoon. PHOTO COURTESY OF KARIN DORMAN

Susquehanna turned mistakes into points to cruise to a 41-7 win over Holy Cross Saturday in a Division III game at Monsignor Crotti Field at St. Anthony’s Playground.

The Sabers forced five first-half turnovers as a steady rain fell to build a 41-0 halftime lead.

“That was big,” Susquehanna coach Kyle Cook said. “We knew with the rain that if we hung onto the ball we’d have a chance to win the game. If we hit people and caused some fumbles, we would be on the better end of that.”

Susquehanna had a short field on its first drive after forcing a Holy Cross punt and returning it to the Crusaders’ 30. Two players later, Brett Hepler scored on a 28-yard run to give the Sabers a 7-0 lead.

The Sabers recovered a fumble on the next Holy Cross drive but were forced to punt. On the Crusaders’ possession after that, Lewis Esposito intercepted a pass and returned it to the 9. Austin White scored on the next play on 9-yard run to give Susquehanna a 14-0 lead.

Another fumble on the Crusaders’ next possession gave the Sabers the ball at midfield. Two plays later, Austin Felter rushed 35 yards for the score and a 20-7 lead. Holy Cross fumbled away its next possession and its own 13. White scored on the next play on a 13-yard run.

“It’s play by play,” White said. “You have to get a first down and march down the field whether you’re on the 20-yard-line or their 20-yard-line.”
“I wanted to throw it because I thought we could throw on them with some slants,” Cook said. “But when the weather started coming down like that we just wanted to keep the ball on the ground, keep it in our possession and the kids made touchdowns.”

Holy Cross coach Josh Watters was ejected in the fourth quarter after a second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was assessed to his bench. The first penalty came in the second quarter following a Susquehanna touchdown.

Susquehanna will host rival Montrose under the lights this Friday in the second annual Battle of the Bluestone game. The game features four Susquehanna county schools on one field, as Susquehanna fields players from Blue Ridge and Montrose from Elk Lake.

Susquehanna 14 27 0 0 – 41
Holy Cross 0 0 7 0 – 7

First quarter
SUS – Hepler 28 run (Jesse kick), 9:18.
SUS – White 9 run (Jesse kick), 2:07.
Second quarter
SUS – Felter 35 run (bad snap), 11:50.
SUS White 13 run (Jesse kick), 11:26.
SUS – White 13 run (Jesse kick), 0:27.
SUS – Monks 39 interceptions return (Jesse kick), 0:04.
Third quarter

HC – Gatto 1 run (Nelson kick), 7:55.

SUS HC

First downs 7 13
Rushing yards 248 150
Comp-Att-Int 0-0-0 8-19-2
Passing 0 66
Total Yards 248 216
Fumbles-Lost 5-2 7-5
Penalties-Yards 5-35 5-55

Individual statistics
Rushing: SUS – L. Brinton 6-72; A. Felter 4-61, 1 TD; B. Hepler 4-44, 1 TD; A. White 6-36, 3 TDs; J. Murnock 3-22; K. Rivenburgh 5-19; B. Towner 2-(-6). HC – R. Torre 22-98; T. Ware 6-31; E. Gatto 5-15, 1 TD; T. Krupski 5-6.
Passing: HC – E. Gatto 8-19-2, 66.
Receiving: HC – R. Klein 3-31; R. Torre 3-32; M. Purdy 1-3; T. Krupski 1-0.