LOCK HAVEN - Maybe it was a case of Murhpy's Law or maybe it was just a whole bunch of missed opportunities.
Whatever the reason, the Lock Haven Bald Eagle football team came out on the short end of a 13-7 final to Gannon University Saturday night at Jack Stadium.
"We had plenty of opportunities in that game to put them away," said a frustrated Lock Haven head coach John Allen. "Defensively after that first drive, they (the LHU defense) settled in a figured out the zone read and they played well."
The Golden Knights took the opening kickoff on their own 19. Seven plays later, Alex Papson bulled up the gut for a 3-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead just 3 minutes into the game.
The Gannon lead was short-lived as on its next possession, George Christas stepped in front of a Liam Nadler pass and returned it 41 yards to the end zone to tie the score.
"That interception for a touchdown was just outstanding," said Allen. "You can't fault those guys at all because when they (Gannon) got into the red zone, they created turnovers or made them kick field goals. We had plenty of opportunities like the fumble on the goal line. Things like that are just critical."
Following an exchange of punts, the Knights picked off a Jarrett Kratzer pass and converted the turnover into a field goal and a 10-7 lead.
Lock Haven had the best scoring threat in the final 17 minutes of the first half, but a 41-yard field goal attempt was wide to the left and the Knights hung onto their 10-7 lead at the break.
"That wasn't Noah Heimer," said Allen. "It was a bad snap and a bad hold."
On the first play following the second-half kickoff, Lock?Haven's Brandon Brader broke through the line and raced 72 yards to the Gannon 1-yard line. However, the ball was fumbled on the next play and Gannon recovered to turn the Bald Eagles away.
"We just can't make mistakes like that and expect to win," Allen said. "If we are going to win a football game, we can't make those kinds of mistakes."
With time running down in the third quarter, Gannon received the ball at the Lock Haven 43.
Seven plays later, Matt Szczupakowski's field goal from 37 yards out was good, pushing the Gannon lead to 13-7 with 1:34 left in the third quarter.
The Bald Eagles put themselves in a position to score a touchdown. Two passes missed their mark and on fourth down, Heimer's field goal attempt hit the right upright and bounced harmlessly back onto the field with 12 minutes left in the game.
"The fumbles and the big time dropped pass when were open. That might have been a touchdown," said Allen. "Those are the plays we have to make to win these games, and not just to win them, but to win them running away. We'll come back in 48 hours and go back to work, keep learning and keep teaching, keep going and see what happens next week."