Bloomsburg comes from behind on roadto stun East Stroudsburg 38-28: Huskies score 21 points in fourth quarter, remain in playoff hunt

Courtesy of, Sports Information

     The Bloomsburg University football team scored 28 unanswered points, after falling behind 28-10 early in the third quarter, to come from behind and stun East Stroudsburg University, 38-28, on Saturday evening at Eiler-Martin Stadium. The win kept the Huskies in a four-way tie for first place in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division as they improved to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in league play. It also clinched a 19th consecutive winning season for Bloomsburg dating back to a 5-6 record during the 1998 campaign. The Warriors, meanwhile, dropped to 2-6 overall and 1-4 in the division.

     Bloomsburg outgained East Stroudsburg, 455-271, and held the ball for nearly 38 minutes on offense. However, the Warriors stayed in the game thanks, in large part, to four Bloomsburg turnovers – three in the first half – which led to a 21-10 halftime lead for the hosts. Then, after East Stroudsburg’s Rich Melito picked up a Bloomsburg fumble – the Huskies’ fourth turnover of the afternoon – and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown, Bloomsburg found itself trailing 28-10 with 13:44 left in the third quarter.

     But, the Huskies responded on the ensuing drive with a 15-play, 66-yard march that took 8:34 off the clock and was capped off by redshirt sophomore Qmac Quiteh’s one-yard touchdown run to pull Bloomsburg to within 28-17 with 5:02 left in the third quarter. After the Warriors went three-and-out on their next possession, the Huskies put together another lengthy scoring drive – 87 yards in 10 plays with 5:38 coming off the clock – with redshirt senior quarterback Chris Palubinsky finding paydirt from a yard out. The Huskies went for two but Quiteh was stopped short of the goal line and Bloomsburg trailed, 28-23, with 13:22 left in regulation.

     On the hosts’ next possession, the Bloomsburg’s defense stiffened again and redshirt senior Marquez Norford sacked Warrior quarterback Ben Moser causing a fumble at the East Stroudsburg 24-yard line. Redshirt junior Jake Klinger, who had a monster game on Saturday, fell on the loose ball and the Huskies were in business again. Two plays later, Palubinsky found redshirt sophomore Michael Allen on a 23-yard reception and, after redshirt sophomore Alex Gooden scored on the two-point conversion, the Huskies led 31-28 with 10:45 remaining. Later in the fourth, the Huskies essentially put the game on ice when redshirt junior Nate Monroe, the reigning PSAC East Defensive Player of the Week, sacked Moser forcing another fumble. Senior Eric Schwartz and ran it back 15 yards for a touchdown to give the Huskies a 38-28 advantage with 4:46 left. The Warriors had an opportunity to put points on the board on their final drive, but East Stroudsburg’s Jordan Walters missed a 32-yard field goal with 1:42 left and the Huskies ran out the clock from there.

     Bloomsburg rushed for a season-high 300 yards on the day, averaging 6.1 yards on 49 carries. It marked the most rushing yards in a game by the Huskies since running for 309 yards in a double-overtime victory over Lock Haven on November 7, 2015 and the team improved to 11-0 under head coach Paul Darragh when rushing for at least 300 yards in a game. One week after posting a career-high 121 yards rushing in the win over West Chester, Quiteh established a new career-high with 168 yards and two scores on 24 carries. Gooden also got over the century mark with 108 yards on 19 carries. The duo became the first pair of Bloomsburg backs to rush for more than 100 yards in the same game since Eddie Mateo (269) and Dai’Shon Munger (143) accomplished the feat in a 41-10 win over then-#7 West Chester on October 25, 2014.

     On the flip side, the Huskies’ defense limited East Stroudsburg to just four yards rushing on 19 carries – the fewest rushing yards allowed by a Bloomsburg team in a game since limiting Kutztown to minus-3 yards on the ground in a 31-12 win over the Golden Bears on September 21, 2013.
Quiteh got the Huskies on the board with his first rushing score of the day – a 14-yard scamper – to cap off a five-play, 80-yard drive and, after redshirt junior Ryan Abbott booted the extra point, Bloomsburg led 7-0 with 8:36 left in the opening quarter. On the drive, Quiteh carried the ball four times for 64 yards while Gooden picked up the other 16 yards on the other rushing play on the possession.

     But, on East Stroudsburg’s first play from scrimmage on its ensuing drive, quarterback Tim DiGiorgio hit Tim Wilson on a 77-yard touchdown pass and, just 16 seconds after the Huskies took the lead, the Warriors knotted the game at 7-7 after Walters knocked home the point after.

     The Warriors tacked on two more touchdowns in the second quarter to build up a 21-7 lead with 5:45 left in the first half. DiGiorgio hooked up with Devante Robinson on a 42-yard screen pass for a touchdown to open the second quarter and then found Jylil Reeder on a seven-yard touchdown pass with 5:45 left in the opening thirty minutes. Bloomsburg answered with three points after Abbott drilled a 29-yard field goal with just 29 seconds left in the first half but the Warriors went to the locker room leading, 21-10.

     DiGiorgio played the first half and was very effective for the Warriors under center. The southpaw was 13-of-20 for 202 yards and three scores in the opening thirty minutes but did not play a single down in the second half. Moser came on in relief and was not nearly as effective, going 5-of-15 for 65 yards. In fact, after accumulating 216 total yards in the first half, East Stroudsburg was limited to just 55 total yards in the second half as the Huskies made their comeback.

     Palubinsky, for the second straight week, struggled early but then got in a groove when he was needed most. He finished the day 13-of-23 for 155 yards and one touchdown. He started the game 2-of-8 for ten yards and one interception before going 11-of-15 for 145 yards and one score from late in the second quarter on. Allen caught four passes for 51 yards and the touchdown while redshirt sophomore Jay Popson also hauled in four passes for 48 yards. Wilson caught eight passes for 144 yards for East Stroudsburg.

     Defensively, Klinger was a force to be reckoned with all afternoon. He finished the day with a career-high three sacks, three tackles for a loss, and the fumble recovery that led to Bloomsburg’s go-ahead touchdown with 10:45 left in regulation. He also broke up a pass. With his three tackles for a loss and three sacks, Klinger moved into second in the PSAC in both categories as he has 15 tackles for a loss and 6.5 quarterback sacks on the season. He trails only Slippery Rock’s Marcus Martin in both categories.

     The Huskies finished with six sacks on the day – three from Klinger, and one each from Monroe, Norford, and redshirt junior Chris Gary.
Sekou Jones led East Stroudsburg with a dozen tackles on the day.

     Bloomsburg will return home to host Lock Haven University next Saturday, October 28, beginning at 2:00 p.m. The Huskies lead the all-time series, 47-39-3, against the Bald Eagles but will be looking to avenge last season’s 26-18 loss in Lock Haven. The game will serve as the annual Think Pink game and will also be Hall of Fame Weekend.

Redshirt sophomore Qmac Quiteh’s 168 rushing yards (two touchdowns) on Saturday marks a new career-high for the running back from Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania.