Turnovers doomed the Millersville (0-2) football team on Saturday afternoon as the Marauders fell to the Mercyhurst Lakers (2-0) 49-7.
It was a brutal day for Millersville’s quarterback Connor Casey. After his third interception was returned for a touchdown, he was replaced by quarterback Curtis Frye. Casey and Frye combined to complete 19 of 27 passes, but were also sacked six times for a loss of 68 yards. Tack on a lost fumble and the Marauders allowed four turnovers, which led to 21 Mercyhurst points.
Despite the interceptions, Millersville’s Brent Collins managed 123 yards on 11 catches. Ian Sadon was the lone Marauder to score on Saturday; barreling 1-yard for a touchdown at the end of the 1st quarter. Sadon finished with 111 rushing yards on 21 carries.
Millersville turned the ball over quickly and often. After only five minutes of play and two turnovers, the Marauders found themselves in a hole; losing 21-0. A fantastic day for Mercyhurst’s Brown-Dukes began with a 66-yard rush on the first play from scrimmage, making it 7-0. Brown-Dukes would finish with 143 on 15 carries and three touchdowns.
The Marauders fumbled during the following kickoff return giving The Lakers the ball on the Millersville 16-yard line. Four plays later, a 3-yard pass from Anthony Vendemia gave Mercyhurst a 14-0 advantage. Vandemia would finish the day 12 of 13 for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
On the next drive, a Casey pass was intercepted by Colin Kimball and returned 41 yards to the Marauder 10 yard line. Mercyhurst capitalized off of another Vendemia pass, pushing the score to 21-0.
As the 1st period began to wind down, the black and gold finally began to find some rhythm on offense. Casey went 3 for 3 on the drive for 48 yards and connected with Shane Doughty on a 30-yard pass to set up Sadon’s 1-yard touchdown run.
Another Mercyhurst touchdown in the second lengthened the lead to 28-7, but the Marauders began piecing together a drive, hoping to close out the half with another score. They fought for twelve plays and reached the Lakers 14-yard line. But Casey was sacked on the next two plays for -19 yards. With 44 seconds left in the half Millersville attempted an unlikely 50-yard field goal, but it was blocked by Garrett Wild, ultimately ending the half.
None of the spark Millersville managed to kindle up at the end of the first half was visible in the second. With five minutes remaining in the third, Casey threw his third interception of the day, and his second to Kimball. Kimball returned the pick 45 yards for a touchdown, giving the Lakers the decisive 49-7 winning score.
After Casey’s third interception, Colin Frye entered the came at quarterback on the Marauder’s next possession. Perhaps a bright spot in Millersville’s lackluster performance was Frye’s play. Frye played 20 minutes of ball and completed 6 of 9 passes for 98 yards.
The Lakers Colin Kimball also had a notable performance with two interceptions for 98 yards and a touchdown.
The Marauder’s next game is back home against West Chester on Chryst Field at 7 p.m. on Sept. 21st.