Story and photo courtesy of Shippensburg Athletics
SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. – The No. 15-ranked Shippensburg University football team scored 45 points in the second half on Saturday afternoon to erase a one-point intermission deficit and blow by No. 10 Bloomsburg, 58-20, in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs from SU Student Association Field at Seth Grove Stadium.
The Red Raiders (11-1) won their first NCAA playoff game since the 1991 season – when head coach Mark ‘Mac’ Maciejewski ‘92/’96M was a noseguard for the Red Raiders – and will travel to Super Region One No. 1 seed and No. 2-ranked Winston Salem State (11-0) next Saturday at noon for a second round matchup with the Rams from Bowman Gray Stadium.
The region’s No. 4 seed Raiders held the No. 5 seed Huskies to just 23 yards passing until the game’s final drive. Bloomsburg finishes the season 10-2, with both losses coming at Shippensburg (SU beat BU 49-42 three weeks ago to clinch the Eastern Division title).
Junior quarterback and PSAC East Offensive Player of the Year Zach Zulli went 26-of-35 passing for 469 yards, throwing for three touchdowns and running for another 1-yard score. Senior wide receiver Jacob Baskerville caught seven balls for a career-high 153 yards and two touchdowns, setting the school single-season record for 100-yard receiving games (his seventh of 2012).
Senior wide receiver Bryan Barley had three catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns – a 48-yarder from Zulli in the beginning of the third quarter that put SU up for good and another 28-yarder from senior fullback Kevin Herod on a trick play in the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Sophomore wide receiver Trevor Harman caught six balls for 117 yards while senior tailback Mike Frenette led Shippensburg with 71 yards rushing on 13 carries and ran in a 16-yard touchdown.
Shippensburg’s offense put up 673 yards of total offense, including 507 yards through the air. The Raider defense, meanwhile, forced five BU turnovers – two fumble recoveries and three interceptions – and has now recorded 10 turnovers total in its two victories over Bloomsburg this season.