Story and photo courtesy of Susquehanna Athletics
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Some may have feared that a bye week might ruin Susquehanna’s momentum from its shutout of Muhlenberg two weeks ago, but those worries were for naught as the Crusaders defeated Moravian 38-18 in Bethlehem on Saturday afternoon.
As a team, SU (2-4, 2-3) had 403 total offensive yards to just 264 from Moravian (3-3, 2-3). More than 220 of the Crusaders’ yards came on the ground as Connor McGrath (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional/Assumption) racked up 202 yards on 34 carries and had three touchdowns for Susquehanna.
Senior Mike Ritter (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) caught two touchdown passes as he clearly made the most of his three receptions and 83 yards.
On the other side of the ball, the SU defense held the Greyhounds to only 15 first downs, 91 yards on the ground and 173 passing yards. The Crusaders also racked up four sacks from five different players.
Jack McCarty (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) was the team’s leading tackler with 12 total tackles (6 solo, 6 asst.) and had one sack and one pass breakup. Adrian Bernard was just behind with 11 tackles (6 solo 5 asst.) and had 2.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one sack.
The game certainly started out on the right foot for the Crusaders as less than 90 seconds into the action, McGrath ran the ball 41 yards into the Moravian end zone for the quick 7-0 lead. Then, as time expired in the opening quarter, Ritter caught his first TD pass of the game for 14-0 Susquehanna advantage.
Kicker Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) opened the second quarter with a 41-yard field goal before the Greyhounds responded with a safety and a touchdown in a three-minute span. Fortunately for Susquehanna, offsetting penalties made Moravian’s two-point conversion attempt null and Ritter ended the half with a nine-yard touchdown reception with 26 ticks on the clock to hand SU the 24-8 halftime lead.
The second half saw the Greyhounds score only 10 points while SU added 14 points thanks to two McGrath rushing scores, one from seven yards out late in the third quarter and one early in the fourth quarter that made it 38-11.
Moravian was able to score the final touchdown of the afternoon but it came with only 52 seconds on the clock as SU easily held on the for the victory.
Next week, the Crusaders travel to Ursinus for a Friday night game with kickoff slated for 7 p.m.