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Turnovers negate Football’s strong first half in setback at IUP

The Shippensburg University football team’s unforgiving early season schedule continued with a setback at IUP Saturday in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) crossover match at George P. Miller Stadium, 49-14.

Shippensburg (0-3) were undone following a spirited first half effort against the reigning PSAC champs due to a bevy of turnovers. The Raiders committed four giveaways, all fumbles, that ballooned a 7-7 tie with just over a minute remaining in the first half into a lopsided IUP win.

IUP (2-1), aided by the Raider giveaways, found the endzone four times in the span of just over six minutes of game action starting in the final moments of the second quarter and stretching into the second half. Crimson Hawk QB Karter Hurst collected a total of five touchdowns (four passing, 1 rushing) and 199 yards passing.

Shippensburg redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Johnson III (Detroit, Mich./Walled Lake Western (Boston College)) and freshman Sam Stoner (York, Pa./William Penn (West Virginia)) combined for 241 yards through the air. Johnson III gave the Raiders an early lead with a 28-yard TD strike to junior running back Jake DeLuccia (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Valley). He finished 9-of-20 passing for 119 yards.

Stoner recorded his first collegiate touchdown pass with a 15-yard completion to junior Tykey Reinberry (Somerset, N.J./Franklin Township American International) late in the fourth quarter. The lefty signal-caller completed 6-of-9 pass attempts for 122 yards.

Things began to unravel for the Raiders just before halftime. A sack from Cole Weightman jarred the ball loose from Johnson’s grasp on the Shippensburg 21-yard line, leading to a Jay Holmes scoop and score.

The Crimson Hawks recovered another Shippensburg fumble deep in Raider territory during SU’s opening drive of the second half. That led to a 9-yard TD reception by Quinn Zinobile and a 21-7 IUP lead.

Zinobile added a second TD catch on the next IUP possession, this one from 31-yards out, and a fumbled snap deep in Raider territory led to the host’s third score off a SU turnover – a Karst two-yard goal line plunge which made it a 35-7 game with still 8:24 remaining in the third quarter.

The Shippensburg defense keyed the visitors’ strong first half performance, holding the high-powered Crimson Hawks to just a single offensive score.

SU totaled seven tackles for loss, getting contributions in that category from graduate Evan Townsend-Henry (Norwalk, Ct./King School (Pace)), redshirt-junior Isaiah Gilmore (West Lawn, Pa./Wilson), redshirt-freshman Ibrahim Diawara (Philadelphia, Pa/Boys Latin), freshman Elijah Cunningham (Philadelphia, Pa./Solanco), junior Javon Cruz (Rahway, N.J./Bergen Catholic) and redshirt-senior Nasir Greer (Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby).

Graduate Mike Brewer (Bridgeville, Del./Woodbridge (Wesley)) collected a team-high seven tackles, an interception and a forced fumble.

Junior wide receiver Redd Douglas registered 197 all-purpose yards in the contest, including 143 kick return yards.

Redshirt-sophomore running back Tanner Hess led the Raider rushing attack with 35 yards on the ground.

Next week, the Raiders welcome the Bloomsburg Huskies for their PSAC East opener as well as Family Day Saturday at Seth Grove Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.

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