By: Justin Lockowitz/Sports Editor
Well, it was another weekend and another win for the Bloomsburg football team (7-0, 4-0). This past Saturday the Huskies conquered the East Stroudsburg Warriors (5-2, 2-2) by a score of 42-23 in front of a large crowd, that turned out despite Friday’s reading day. The win was the twelveth in a row for the team and allowed them to hold their spots in the AFCA, D2Football.com, and Super Regional 1 rankings (6th, 7th, 1st).
The Huskies got off to a fast start but it was their defense that put the first points on the board. On the first drive of the game, Vince Browning intercepted a pass by ESU’s Tim Roken and returned it 58 yards the other way for a touchdown, at the 13:26 mark. Coach Hale commented, “That was a huge spark, it energized the entire team and set the tone for the first half.” The Bloom offense was quick to show that “scoring touchdowns” was in their job description as they drove the ball 98 yards on a marathon 16 play drive to go up 14-0. The drive ate up 7:16 of the clock and was capped by Stefan Adams going in from three yards out. Late in the first quarter, the defense came up big yet again as the Huskies were able to force a fumble, leading to a wild scramble for possession. In the end, it was Bloomsburg cornerback Jesse Cooper scooping up the ball, then doing his best job to examine every inch of the field, as he ran right, then left, then right again, breaking tackles in the process. At the conclusion of the play, Cooper had advanced the ball 20 yards and set the Huskies up on the ESU 41 yard line.
With the team set up well thanks to Cooper, Adams ended the drive yet again, bouncing in from three yards out to put the Huskies up by 21. The Huskies proved their quick-strike ability 2:43 later, as Dan Latorre saw Kyle Ream break free and connected with him on a beautiful 77 yard pass and catch that sent the Bloomsburg faithful into an uproar. Perhaps Latorre was inspired by the sign two students had made for him that read “Latorre de France.” East Stroudsburg was finally able to put some points on the board with 4:10 remaining in the first half as Joe Partridge scored on a two yard run. Bloomsburg quickly drove down the field, putting Derrick Price in position to break a run for a 34 yard touchdown, as the halftime score stood at 35-7.
The second half was a different story though, as East Stroudsburg’s defense was finally able to stop the Huskies on a few drives. The East Stroudsburg offense also picked up their game, and with the ball near midfield, decided it was time to reach into their bag of tricks. As Roken took the snap, he threw the ball to wide out Sam Shuman in the flat, but instead of running up the field Schuman threw the ball downfield finding teammate Ed Kiser for a 57 yard gain. This set up ESU’s first score of the game, as Roken completed a five yard touchdown pass to Doug Ogden. The third quarter ended with a score of 35-14.
The Warriors proved their defense could put points on the board as well, as they were able to sack Latorre in the end zone for a safety, narrowing the margin to 35-16. Latorre was injured on the play, as it appeared one of the defenders had grabbed his face mask and ripped it off of his head, though no flags were thrown. After being attended to by the trainers, Latorre was able to walk off of the field under his own power.
The Warriors, beginning their next drive in great field position due to the free kick, struck quickly, scoring on three plays as Partridge rushed in for a four yard touchdown, pushing the score to 35-23. Despite “still having confidence,” Coach Hale admitted, “the sideline was a bit deflated”. In addition to the sideline being a bit down, the Husky faithful also looked visibly confused and worried, but Latorre and company made sure to put their hearts at ease, albeit in an unconventional way. Bloom was able to drive to the ESU 27 yard line before a parade of negatives (loss, delay of game penalty, holding penalty) dropped them into a third down with 30 yards to go. Latorre, weaving his way through the defense, was able to run for 22 yards and put Jon Koenig in position for a 47 yard field goal. However, the blizzard of yellow hankies continued as a Husky was called for a false start. Out of field goal range, yet too close to punt, the team decided to go for it on fourth and 12, and managed to make it sting as Latorre found Jordan Weisman in the back right corner of the end zone, putting the game out of reach with under eight minutes to play.
The Huskies were led on the ground by Derrick Price (16 carries, 117 yards, 1 touchdown) and Stefan Adams (7 carries, 39 yards, 2 touchdowns), while Dan Latorre had a productive day through the air (7-15, 179 yards, 2 touchdowns), while adding 42 yards rushing. Kyle Ream was on the receiving end of the majority of the day’s passes (4 catches, 125 yards, 1 touchdown).
The Warriors leaders on offense included Joe Partridge (15 carries, 91 yards, 2 touchdowns), and Tim Roken (17-27, 179 yards, 1 touchdown).
The Huskies defense was led by Greg Myers (9 tackles), while Jon Ochs laid the lumber all day (5 tackles, 2 sacks).
East Stroudsburg’s defensive standout was Matt Freed who had 12 tackles, 10 of which were unassisted.
The Huskies board the bus and depart for Cheyney this weekend, where the Wolves and a 1:00 p.m. kickoff await them.