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Ship Sinks LHU 41-17 in Season Finale

Written by: on Saturday, November 13th, 2010



WesternPAFootball Writer

LOCK HAVEN — For the Lock Haven University football team, Saturday afternoon at Hubert Jack Stadium proved to be just another long day in a winless 0-11 season. With the loss, the LHU losing streak that now spans three seasons is at 32 games and counting.

Hoping to pick up a win, it didn’t happen for the Bald Eagles as Shippensburg broke out to a 20-0 lead en route to posting a 41-17 win over LHU.

“Against that kind of offense, you have to be able to stop the run,” said LHU head coach John Klacik. “We weren’t able to do that and that opened the play-action pass. In the second half, I thought we did a better job of that.”

Early in the season, the LHU offense was almost non-existent. But down the stretch, Klacik likes the improvement he saw from his club.

“I thought on offense today we moved the ball and I thought we came around offensively toward the end of the year,” Klacik said. “We have a good nucleus (on offense) coming back, but we have to shore some things up on both sides of the ball and we have to go to work.”

The Raiders scored touchdowns on three of their first four possessions as they bolted out to the 20-0 less than a minute into the second period.

Trailing by 20, the Bald Eagles got on the board for the first time in the game when Rashad Johnson ripped into the end zone from nine yards out for the score. Noah Heimer’s PAT made it Ship 20, LHU 7, with 7:48 left in the first half.

But as has been the case so many times this season, when the Bald Eagles scored, the opponent came right back to answer and that happened again after the Johnson score as it only took the Raiders four plays to go 60 yards for the neutralizer.

The pass for two failed, but with six minutes left in the first half, the Ship lead was 26-7. However, the Raiders weren’t finished. With 35 seconds left in the first period, Ship again struck when quarterback Steven Adams tossed his fourth TD pass of the game, a 15-yard effort to Jacob Baskerville.

“I thought in the first half, they (LHU) did a very good job of stopping the run,” said Ship quarterback Adams. “That opened some of our passing game and we knew there were certain areas in their defense that we could exploit. When they stopped the run, that opened up the passing game and we were able to take advantage of it.”

With one second left in the half, Heimer gave the Eagles three more points when he split the uprights with a 35-yard field to make the halftime score Ship 34, LHU 10.

Despite another in a long line of frustrating losses, one milestone was reached by LHU wideout Jay Hartman who caught 9 balls for 120 yards, allowing the former Indian Valley athlete to surpass the 1,000-yard plateau. Hartman will enter his final season with a total of 1,043 yards.

“Yeah, it does mean something to have reached that level,” said Hartman. “From the beginning of the season, it seemed like I was never going to get there. We started passing the ball more in the second half of the season and my only wish is that we would have won a game. We had a couple of close ones, but we just couldn’t finish them.”

Already down by 31 points, Hartman got into the scoring act as well when he hauled in an 18-yard scoring aerial from quarterback Jarrett Kratzer with six minutes left in the game.

“I was one-on-one out there with the defensive back,” explained Hartman. “We were running all the way down the field so every one was biting, the safety ran down and all I had to do was to run to the open area.”

During the season, Klacik and his staff redshirted in the neighborhood of 25 athletes. That along with the number of athletes coming back, things look somewhat brighter for the Bald Eagles when the 2011 season rolls around.

“We have a lot of young guys we redshirted and I think that (a redshirt year) helps them a lot to become college football players,” added Klacik. “When you play too early it many times hurts you. Those young kids plus the good nucleus coming back of guys who have played gives us something to build on. I thought the couple of freshmen we played this year did a good job which is encouraging. I think we saw some bright spots and obviously we have to analyze what we are doing from a recruiting standpoint to see what it is we have to do.”

The end of the season marks the end of the career for seven Bald Eagle gridders, a group that includes Nick Gounaris, Wes Plummer, Mike Rocco, Ryan Gibble, Karri Kutilla, Buck Ferber and Gary Moyo.

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