By Alex Reid in Sports
November 10, 2011
For the five LHU seniors playing in their final home game on Senior Day at Hubert Jack Stadium on Saturday, they were attempting to do something they had never done before: Win a game at home in front of the LHU faithful.
Unfortunately for Jay Hartman, Devin Sims, Donovan Norris, Jarryd Burkett and Ibrahim Smith, the Bald Eagles fell for the 42nd consecutive time, with a 56-6 drubbing at the hands of Indiana (Pa.) University (IUP).
IUP entered the game with Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference’s (PSAC) third-ranked defense, but it was the Crimson Hawks’ offense that immediately set the tone.
A 69-yard touchdown pass from Pat Brewer to Pat Smith on the game’s first play from scrimmage put LHU in an early 7-0 hole.
Four first-half rushing touchdowns from IUP’s James Johnson and another from Harvie Tuck had LHU down 42-0 at the half.
With the score 21-0 in the second quarter, Lock Haven looked to gain some momentum by inserting Burkett into the game in place of starting quarterback Jarrett Kratzer.
The decision almost worked to perfection as Burkett’s first pass connected with Sims down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown, but an offensive holding penalty nullified the score, epitomizing the struggles Burkett has endured during his winless collegiate career.
“We know that we didn’t come prepared today, and our lack of focus is what really hurt us throughout the game,” said Burkett.
In the second half the Bald Eagles were able to hold IUP to just one offensive touchdown, but were unable to develop any consistency on offense.
Turnovers—a problem for LHU all season—continued to hurt the Bald Eagles as Kratzer threw three interceptions, including
one that Marvens Toussaint returned 29 yards for a touchdown. Burkett finished the game with two interceptions.
Allen said, “Quite honestly we didn’t play as well as I was hoping we would play. I thought we lacked some focus in certain areas, and our lack of execution is what really hurt us. There were many drives that I thought we had the potential to score on, but the turnovers are what really kept us out of the game.”
Kratzer was able to engineer LHU’s lone scoring drive in the waning minutes of the game when he connected with Hartman for a 24-yard touchdown.
“I was extremely happy that my guys never gave up and that we kept competing. I’m proud that we’re playing hard for four quarters; and now we just need to get to that maturity level where we’re competing and consistently executing on each play,” Said Allen.
Coming off a career game against Edinboro in which he rushed for a 168 yards, redshirt-sophomore, Bradon Brader continued his solid season on the ground, rushing for 100 yards on 30 carries.
The effort marked Brader’s fourth 100-yard rushing game this season. If Brader can eclipse 180 yards against Bloomsburg in LHU’s season finale he will become the first Bald Eagles running back since Mike Kresovich in 1981 to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season.
LHU travels to Bloomsburg to take on the 8-2 Huskies at 1 p.m. on Saturday in what will be the final game in the collegiate careers of Burkett and the four other Bald Eagle seniors.
“This whole year has been incredible and everyone on the team immediately bought into coach Allen’s vision and how he turned the team around,” Burkett said. “And I believe that this program, as a whole, is getting better.”