The storylines were all written: Two undefeated teams looking to remain perfect. Two high-powered offenses going head to head. The game even featured the eleventh ranked team in the country, the Bloomsburg Huskies.
The Huskies were looking for revenge on the Pioneers for their upset late last season. In October of last year, the Pioneers shocked the Huskies, who were ranked second in the country at the time. However, the game played this past Saturday did not go according to the Pioneers’ plans. The final score resulted in a 42-27 win for the Huskies (4-0). With the loss, the Pioneers dropped to 2-1.
Despite winning the turnover the battle for the third consecutive week, the Pioneers were unable to capitalize on the Huskies mistakes. The Pioneers defense forced Huskies freshman quarterback Tim Kelly into his first two interceptions of the season. Pioneers junior defensive back Donovan Edwards was the beneficiary of both of Kelly’s mistakes.
Although the Pioneers forced the Huskies into four turnovers, the Pioneers could not stop the connection between Kelly and senior wide receiver Kyle Fisher through the air. Fisher had six catches for 196 yards and three touchdowns. The Kelly-Fisher duo accounted for more than 80 percent of the Huskies total yardage through the passing attack.
The defense of the Pioneers also had a difficult time stopping one of the most powerful running games in the country. Led by junior running backs Eddie Mateo and Franklyn Quiteh, the Huskies totaled nearly 300 yards on the ground against the Pioneers. Mateo had 17 carries for 118 yards and one touchdown, and Quiteh ran the ball 18 times for 115 yards.
At the end of the first quarter, the score was knotted up 7-7 after a two-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Steven Laurino. The Huskies would add 14 points in the second quarter, highlighted by a 73-yard pass from Kelly to Fisher. However, as the first half came to a close, the Pioneers would strike and make it a one-score game. Battling a broken thumb on his throwing hand, Laurino fired a strike to senior wide receiver Ryan Derham for a 47-yard touchdown. Der¬ham now has a touchdown in every game to start of the season. At the half, the Huskies led 21-14 in a competitive matchup.
The third quarter was dominated by the Pioneers; mainly by junior running back Anthony Brunetti. He evened up the score at 21 on a five-yard touchdown run. On the following Pioneers drive, Brunetti caught a 21-yard pass from Laurino, and somehow juked, spun, found a way into the end zone to give the Pioneers a 27-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately for the Pioneers, Brunetti’s two touchdowns were the last plays to get excited about during the game. The Huskies showed why the team is ranked eleventh in the country with their fourth quarter performance. The Huskies scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, including two big plays that shifted the momentum. The Kelly-Fisher connection was seen again, this time a 60-yard strike for a touchdown. Following that score, Mateo broke off a 42-yard touchdown run that deflated the Pioneers. The Pioneers offense could not muster any solid drives together in the final 15 minutes of play as there were multiple three-and-outs for the normally high-powered offense. The Huskies ended up handing the Pioneers their first loss of the season by a score of 42-27.
The Pioneers next game is at home on Saturday, September 29, against Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (1-2). Tune into 88.1 FM or WCWP.org to hear all the game coverage. Pregame is at 12:30 p.m. and kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.