Shippensburg University gets on a roll in second half, tops Bloomsburg 58-20
By STEVE PATTERSON, For Public Opinion
SHIPPENSBURG- Zach Zulli was the Shippensburg Red Raiders’ postseason star, too.
The PSAC Eastern Division Offensive Player of the Year threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score, powering No. 15 Shippensburg past the 10th-ranked Bloomsburg Huskies 58-20 in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Football Championship on Saturday afternoon inside Seth Grove Stadium.
The Red Raiders, who improved to 11-1, visit No. 2 Winston-Salem State (11-0) for a second-round matchup next Saturday.
“Bloomsburg is a very good football team,” Shippensburg coach Mark Maciejewski said. “The first half was a tight ballgame, but we were able to come back and do some things in the second half to help ourselves. It was also pretty impressive the way our kids were able to step up and put the hammer down today, especially after what happened last week at IUP.”
Zulli, who was coming off a sub-par performance in a 41-10 loss to the Crimson Hawks, completed 26 of 35 attempts for 479 yards with no interceptions. He also picked up 15 of the Red Raiders’ 166 rushing yards.
Zulli said, “I think the difference was pressure – IUP got a lot of pressure on me the entire game. Bloomsburg got a good amount of pressure, but in the second half they weren’t really doing a lot of stunts or mixing things up. They just played soft coverages and we executed our game plan like we have pretty much all year.”
Bloomsburg (10-2), came in averaging 39 points per game, but could not cope with the Red
Huskies’ quarterback Tim Kelly, pressured all day, was intercepted three times. He completed just 3 of 14 passes for 23 yards before being replaced by Brady Knerr late in the fourth quarter.
“When you get out of sync, it’s tough to climb back,” Bloomsburg coach Danny Hale said. “There was a point when I thought we could have stayed right with it, but we didn’t capitalize on our opportunities, then we had to rely on a different strategy.”
Franklyn Quiteh rushed for 199 yards, including a pair of 3-yard touchdown runs in the first half, but he fumbled twice – once inside the Shippensburg 15. Knerr added a late touchdown run for the Huskies, who turned the ball over five times and were only 3-for-12 on third-down conversions.
The Huskies were sloppy from the start, no match for a Shippensburg defense that entered the game ranked second in the PSAC in total defense. Bloomsburg was outgained 427-180 and managed only four first downs in a mistake-filled second half.
The Huskies led by four points with 1:48 left to play in the first half before the Red Raiders scored the next 48 points to win their first playoff game since 1991.
Maciejewski said, “I’m very proud of our kids, our program, our administration and our university for putting on such a good game. The atmosphere here was just unbelievable and it means a lot to our program to win a playoff game. We hadn’t done that since 1991, so we are heading in the right direction around here and I’m proud of my players for that.”
Drew Newcomer’s 31-yard field goal on the final play of the first half pulled Shippensburg to within 14-13 and started the comeback.
On the first possession after the break, Zulli’s 48-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Barley finished a blink-of-an eye drive and put the Red Raiders ahead to stay.
Zulli also connected on touchdown passes of 21 and 44 yards to Jacob Baskerville, and ran for a 1-yard touchdown. Mike Frenette and backup quarterback Chris Lawshe each ran for a score, and fullback Kevin Herod tossed a 28-yard scoring pass to Barley, who beat Jonathon Patrick badly, early in the fourth quarter to put Shippensburg up 44-14.
Newcomer added field goals of 34 and 27 yards for Shippensburg, which ran 75 offensive plays – averaging nine yards per touch. Baskerville caught seven passes for 153 yards, while Frenette led the ground attack with 71 yards on 13 carries.
Bloomsburg 7 7 0 6 – 20
Shippensburg 3 10 24 21 – 58
B – Franklyn Quiteh 3 run (Dan Fisher kick), 9:58
S – Drew Newcomer 34 field goal, 0:28
S – Jacob Baskerville 21 pass from Zach Zulli (Newcomer kick), 5:53
B – Quiteh 3 run (Fisher kick), 1:48
S – Newcomer 31 field goal, 0:00
S – Bryan Barley 48 pass from Zulli (Newcomer kick), 14:15
S – Newcomer 27 field goal, 9:18
S – Zulli 1 run (Newcomer kick), 3:53
S – Baskerville 44 pass from Zulli (Newcomer kick), 1:42
S – Barley 28 pass from Kevin Herod (Newcomer kick), 13:38
S – Mike Frenette 16 run (Newcomer kick), 13:13
S – Chris Lawshe 4 run (Newcomer kick), 5:40
B – Brady Knerr 2 run (no kick), 0:00
First downs 18 30
Rushes-yds. 44-241 36-166
Passing yds. 102 507
Total offense 343 673
Passing 9-22-3 28-39-0
Fumbles-lost 3-2 1-0
Punts-avg. 6-47.0 2-42
Penalties-yds. 4-40 3-21
Time of possession 32:15 27:45
RUSHING – Bloom, Quiteh 24-199, Eddie Mateo 10-34, Tim Kelly 3-10, Ryan Maggs 2-7, Knerr 3-3, Dai’Shon Munger 2-1. Ship, Frenette 13-74, Herod 7-63, Zulli 10-22, Blair Brooks 3-19, Lawshe 3-6.
PASSING – Bloom, Kelly 3-14-3-23, Knerr 6-8-0-79. Ship, Zulli 26-35-0-479, Herod 1-1-0-28, Lawshe 1-3-0-0.
RECEIVING – Bloom, Dylan Manni 3-49, Ryan Dickerson 3-32, Kyle Fisher 2-17, Maggs 1-4. Ship, Baskerville 7-153, Herod 7-64, Trevor Harman 6-117, Barley 3-94, Frenette 2-52, Alex Kuljian 1-13, Sheldon Mayer 1-10, Brooks 1-4.
INTERCEPTIONS – Ship, Cody Fleming, Tyriq Kershaw, James Cooper.
FIELD GOALS MISSED – Ship, Newcomer 20 (blocked).