SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Junior running back Da'Avian Ellington (Carteret, N.J./Woodbridge) ran for 156 yards and one touchdown while senior captain Cole Dixon (Dallas, Pa./Dallas) racked up nine tackles as the No. 20/22 Susquehanna University football team was victorious on Homecoming. Susquehanna (6-1, 5-1 CC) posted a 36-0 shutout over the visiting Ursinus College Bears (3-4, 2-4 CC) in Centennial Conference action Saturday afternoon.
Today's shutout is the first since November 10, 2012, when Susquehanna blanked Juniata College, 21-0, in front of the home crowd. Additionally, this is the River Hawks' eighth shutout win over Ursinus and first since October 5, 1963, when SU recorded a 32-0 victory in Collegeville, Pa.
Playing its 94th Homecoming contest, Susquehanna is now 52-40-2 following today's triumph. It was the third time, and second in the last three years, that the Bears have been the Homecoming opponent.
The Centennial Conference standings have No. 6 Muhlenberg College (7-0, 6-0 CC) in first followed by Susquehanna in second and Johns Hopkins University (5-2, 4-2 CC) in third. Dickinson College (4-3, 3-3 CC) and Franklin & Marshall College (4-3, 3-3 CC) are tied for fourth after the Red Devils' 17-10 overtime win at F&M.
Susquehanna 36, Juniata 0
How It Happened
- Dixon's forced fumble and senior defensive lineman Kashief Hyatt's (Upper Marlboro, Md./Wise) fumble recovery set up Susquehanna's first score of the afternoon.
- Dixon forced the fumble at the Bears' own 21 on a 2nd and 10 and Hyatt recovered and returned it five yards to give the River Hawks prime field position.
- After an incomplete pass to start the drive, SU rushed the ball three times for 16 yards, including Ellington's three-yard score with 9:44 remaining in the first quarter.
- After going 71 yards down the field in five plays, sophomore kicker Elijah Hoffman (Elysburg, Pa./Southern Columbia) connected on the first of three field goal attempts, making a 27-yarder to stretch Susquehanna's lead to 10-0 at 14:47.
- The River Hawks then used a nine-play, 58-yard drive to go up 16-0 with 8:13 left in the first half as sophomore running back Xavier Briggs-DeVore (Paterson, N.J./Paramus Catholic) ran into the end zone from eight yards out for his fourth touchdown of the season. The highlight of the drive was a 24-yard completion from sophomore quarterback Michael Ruisch (Fogelsville, Pa./Parkland) to junior wide receiver Frank DePaola (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central) to convert a 3rd and 3.
- Susquehanna headed into halftime with a 23-0 advantage after Ruisch picked up his fourth rushing touchdown this season, keeping the ball for 22 yards on a 2nd and 5. Ruisch's score was set up by senior captain Danial Shelton's (District Heights, Md./Wise) first interception of the year at the Ursinus 27.
- Hoffman's 22-yard field goal on the River Hawks' second drive of the second half capped a 13-play, 64-yard drive to extend the lead to 26-0 with 5:02 left in the third.
- Hoffman initially missed a 40-yarder wide right but a five-yard offside penalty on Ursinus gave him a shot at redemption and this time he split the uprights from 35 yards to put the River Hawks ahead 29-0 two minutes into the fourth quarter.
- Senior captain Mitch Carsley (Elverson, Pa./Twin Valley) had the only receiving touchdown of the game as he caught a six-yard pass from Ruisch with 6:08 left in the game.
Inside the Box Score
- Ursinus entered the game as the league's top rushing offense with 218.7 yards per game but were held well below its average as the River Hawks limited UC's run game to just 31 yards on 28 carries.
- For the first time this season, Susquehanna held an opponent to less than a 100 yards of total offense as the Bears only totaled 99 yards the whole game.
- The River Hawks earned 24 first downs while holding Ursinus to just seven.
- Susquehanna was 10-of-18 on third-down conversions and possessed the ball for 36:08, both marks were season-bests for the River Hawks.
- SU finished the game with 420 yards of total offense, including 261 on the ground.
- Ellington recorded his third 100-yard rushing game of the season as he finished with 156 yards and one touchdown on a career-high 24 carries.
- Ruisch ended the afternoon 17-of-35 for 159 yards with one touchdown. He also rushed the ball a season-best nine times for a season-high 54 yards and one touchdown.
- Briggs-DeVore had seven carries for 16 yards and one score.
- Carsley finished the afternoon with a season- and team-best six receptions for 29 yards and a touchdown while sophomore wide receiver Kyle Good (Altoona, Pa./) led the receivers with 40 yards on four catches.
- Sophomore punter Clay Olley (Galloway, N.J./Cedar Creek) punted three times for 113 yards with two inside the 20-yard line and one touchback.
- Hoffman was 3-of-3 on field goals, including a season-long of 35, while making 3-of-4 PATs. He also averaged 54.4 yards on eight kickoffs for a total of 435 yards with one touchback.
- Dixon commanded the defense for the River Hawks with nine tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss, plus one forced fumble and half a sack.
- Mike Reilly did it all for the Bears, totaling a game-high 10 tackles and two pass breakups while punting eight times for 303 yards.
Up Next for the River Hawks
- Nov. 2 at Gettysburg (1-6, 1-5 CC) – Gettysburg, Pa. / Shirk Field – Centennial game – 12:00 p.m.
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