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Ship Sails Past LHU, 42-24

Written by: on Monday, October 13th, 2014. Follow William Albright on Twitter.


By BILL ALBRIGHT Senior Writer

LOCK HAVEN — When Shippensburg paid a visit to Hubert Jack Stadium Saturday for a PSAC contest with Lock Haven, something had to give.

Both teams were in the midst of losing skids, the Red Raiders having dropped their last three games, while the Bald Eagles had opened their 2014 campaign with five straight setbacks.

After sixty minutes of hard-hitting Division II football, it was Ship who could breathe a little easier as the Red Raiders handed the Bald Eagles their sixth straight loss with a 42-24 victory.

As has been the case in a number of the LHU losses to date, the Bald Eagles were guilty of costly penalties, mental and physical mistakes and poor tackling.

“Some of the tackles we are missing at times gives a good offense momentum,” said LHU head coach John Allen. “Those are the things we are going to continue to work on and correct. As for the penalty part of it, part of it is on us and part of it was just on the inconsistency of some of the calls. I don’t know what else to say about that so I’ll just let it go at that. Those are the things we have to continue to battle through each and every week and we are just going to have to do a better job in those areas.”

LHU took the opening kickoff on their own 32 and when the drive stalled, placekicker Alex Boumerhi gave the Eagles a 3-0 lead with a 26-yard field goal.

Ship answered the Boumerhi field goal when they marched 69 yards for a touchdown, quarterback Chris Lawshe hitting a wide open Trevor Harman in the right flat for the 14-yard TD connection, the first of three straight six-pointers by the Raiders.

Harman was the biggest thorn in the side of the LHU secondary as he caught seven passes for 53 yards and one TD in the first half before finishing with 15 balls totaling 97 yards and two scores for the game.

Lawshe completed nearly 80 percent of his passes (35-for-45) for 322 yards and three scores.

“He (Lawshe) did a nice job,” said Allen. “They just do a nice job with their offensive system. They get you spread out with guys in space and they also do a nice job of getting mismatches. He managed the game well so we had our work cut out for us.”

Field position can play an important role in the flow of a game, and for the Eagles, that was the case as their first four possessions all started inside their 25-yard line.

“When they are getting scores and doing a good job of covering their kicks that is where you are going to start at,” said Allen. “No matter what, we practice those things so it is not something we have to worry about. We wanted to get good field position for our offense, but we didn’t get them off the field on some of those third-and-short situations. We had our opportunities there, but it just comes down to where we have to do a better job of getting them off the field.”

After three punts, LHU put together a drive in the waning moments of the second period when Beau Swales capped an 18-play, 76-yard drive with a two-yard run to pay dirt to cut the Ship lead to 21-10.

Operating a two-minute drill to perfection, the Red Raiders took over late in the first half and moved downfield to where the LHU defensive unit came up with a big play when Tyrai Anderson blocked a Michael Lloyd field goal attempt as time ran out in the half.

“All week in practice we usually do a good job of working on our special teams to get a good jump on the ball,” said Anderson. “On the play before that I saw it open and coach Allen told me to go for it. I just timed it up real good to get the block. It was just unfortunate that we couldn’t make a play after it (the block).”

Not only did Anderson see the opening during the game, he also knew it might be there as a result of watching film.

“We knew preparing for the game that number 90 was going to be their weak point,” Anderson said. “We worked real hard all week and that gave us the edge when the opportunity came in the game.”

With LHU breathing down their necks, the Raiders took control of the game in the third period as they dominated play by controlling the ball for nearly 13 minutes while scoring 21 unanswered points to blow the game open at 42-10.

“We only had the ball for three plays,” Allen said. “They converted some key third downs and a couple of key fourth downs and we just didn’t get them off the field. We just have to do a better job.”

Facing the 32-point deficit with only the final score to be determined, the Bald Eagles got their final two touchdowns of the game in the final period on a pair of TD passes from Caleb Walton.

Walton hit Jeremy Cornelius for a 25-yard TD connection on the first play of the final period before Bernard Smack made an acrobatic, one-handed catch of a Walton pass while falling down just inside the back line of the end zone midway through the period.

Now 0-6, the Bald Eagles will hit the roadways next week when they travel to Cheyney for a PSAC-East contest with the Wolves. Kickoff for that fray is set for 1 p.m.

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