By Maximillian C. Burgos
The football team traveled to Salisbury, Maryland this week, where they played Salisbury University in a lopsided game. Salisbury won 38-7, as the Lions dropped to 0-4 on the season.
To start the game, both teams scored on their opening drives. Salisbury scored first on a three-play drive ending in a quarterback run of 69 yards.
The Lions, unphased by the score, came back and sustained a 13-play 75-yard drive where sophomore quarterback Andrew Donoghue completed six passing attempts.
The drive ended with a 26-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Vinny Guckin. Guckin and freshman wide receiver Jaiden Elliot both caught two passes on the drive, helping the team get downfield. The Lions also had to convert a fourth-and-one play in order to kept the drive alive.
After this early, success, the Lions struggled to get more offense going. There were some glimmers here and there, but the Lions would not score again. Even with the struggles, head coach Casey Goff felt as if the team was getting closer to finding its identity.
“I think we are closer,” Goff said. “Now they just have to start believing they belong.”
In the first half, the Lions held Salisbury’s dangerous triple option to only 17 points, but in the second half, the Salisbury pulled away, scoring three more touchdowns.
Goff felt there were positives to pull out of the game. “We continue to fight and the young guys will continue to gain experience, both the good and the bad,” he said. “They can grow from all those things.”
The team excelled defensively. Freshman defensive back Michael Siwak intercepted a pass early in the third quarter and returned it for 29 yards, showing the Lions’ resilience on defense. Sophomore linebacker Gavin Liepe led the team with 11 tackles. Siwak and senior linebacker Max Busca both accumulated 10 tackles in the game.
Offensively, Donoghue had his best game statistically, going 17-for-25 for 159 yards and a touchdown through the air. Elliot led the team in receptions with eight for 55 yards. Junior wide receiver Jack Clevenger had five receptions for a team-high 69 yards and Guckin had four catches for 43 yards and a touchdown reception.
The Lions look to rebound after falling to 0-4 on Saturday Oct. 6, against Montclair State University. They will use the break from their bye week to rally the troops and begin the second part of their season.
“We rally them just like we did last year when we fell to 0-5,” Goff said. “The big difference is last year we had 16 seniors to help with that process, but we have leaders that are stepping forward. The bye is here at a great time.”