Huskies Dominate Bald Eagles
By BILL ALBRIGHT
LOCK HAVEN — For the Lock Haven University football team, Saturday’s 2018 Homecoming matchup with Bloomsburg produced much of the same results.
Falling behind early in the game, the inability to sustain offense to finish drives, special team mishaps, the inability to get off the field on third down, the shaky pass defense and the list goes on and on.
Put all of the negatives together and you have the ingredients for a 33-7 Bloomsburg win over the Bald Eagles in PSAC-East action.
“We did not do a good job of playing third-down football early in the game,” is the way LHU head coach Dave Taynor saw it. “We broke down on a pattern and threw the ball across the field which is something you can’t do and expect to keep the ball. We have to finish drives. We were down in the scoring zone three times in a position where I feel we should be scoring touchdowns but instead, we came away with no points. We had two blocked field goals and a turnover on downs on those three opportunities.”
Basically a good number of LHU’s scoring opportunities during the season that have gone for naught were due to poor execution.
“Early in the game, we ran a wheel route from the backfield that they (Bloom) didn’t cover and that would have been a big walk-in play, but we broke down in protection” explained Taynor. “The bottom line is that we are breaking down in some crucial situations. You might assess some of that to inexperience, but at this point in the season, it is time for us to grow up a little bit and play a little better.”
In the end, the major factor resulting in the LHU loss was simply not playing well enough to win the ball game.
“We didn’t play (defense) no where near we needed to and on special teams we put ourselves in bad situations several times,” said Taynor. “We had a shanked punt that gave them a short field and we allowed a punt return for good yardage that put them in a position for their offense to operate. But again, we just didn’t do a good enough job of getting off the field on third downs.”
Bloom asserted itself early as the Huskies scored all the points they would need for the win on a Eric Benjamin to Michael Allen 54-yard TD connection before Jaco Sattamini tacked on a 35-yard field goal four minutes later to give the Huskies a 10-0 lead at the first turn.
Bloom continued to dominate the scoreboard in the second period with a second TD connection between Benjamin and Allen and Sattamini’s second field goal, a 31-yard effort, to take a 19-0 lead at halftime.
The Huskies racked up their final two scores of the afternoon in the third period and again, both efforts were through the airways.
Josh Salak was on the receiving end of a 43-yard scoring aerial from Kieron Strothers before Benjamin tossed his third scoring aerial of the game, a 13-yard effort to Marshall Rizzuto for a commanding 33-0 lead.
LHU scored all of its points with just less than four minutes left in the contest when quarterback Cameron Tobias connected with former Williamsport High standout Jalen Jackson for a 32-yard catch-and-run for the TD to set the final.
“We knew that on a vertical, play action play it would freeze the linebackers up,” said Jackson. “They started carrying me so I knew to get to the open spot on the field I had to bend it (the pattern). I got open, Cam hit me and I just walked in.”
Jackson feels that his success thus far is his ability to adjust to what the opposition is willing to give him.
“I really haven’t noticed any team trying to do something they wouldn’t normally do against me,” Jackson said. “I can’t see where anybody is keying on me so I’ll take whatever they give me. Again, what you have to do each week to get open depends on who you are playing. Every game is a learning experience, which means when I see this coverage, I have to run like this and when I see another coverage I have to do it a little differently. What it comes down to is on a week-to-week, game-by-game basis, you have to adjust what you do.”
In addition to Jackson’s TD reception, much of the remaining LHU offense was provided by Chantz Swartz who rushed for 114 yards on just seven totes with a long jaunt of 84 yards that ended at the Bloom 5-yard line.
Defensively the Bald Eagles were led by Dontae Mason with 12 stops, six solo shots, while Tyjae Rivers and Shane Scott each finished with seven tackles.
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