Lock Haven picks up 2nd win
LOCK HAVEN – Very seldom do you see a team win a football game when its methods of scoring are a touchdown, extra point, field goal and a safety.
However, Saturday night at Hubert Jack Stadium, that was the method of putting points on the scoreboard for Lock Haven as the Bald Eagles hung on for a hard-fought 12-10 victory over Cheyney in a PSAC-East matchup.
The contest, like the weather, was anything but pretty.
“Any kind of win is better than any kind of loss and we certainly tried to give them the game,” said Lock Haven head coach John Allen. “We just made too many mistakes and turnovers, but our defense really held in there and did it for us.”
Cheyney drew first blood on its second possession when it marched 98 yards on seven plays. Naham Purdie finished the drive with a 63-yard run after he broke off the right side of his offensive line and outraced the LHU secondary.
After the two teams traded punches for the next dozen minutes, the Bald Eagles tied the score.
James Wilbern returned a Cheyney punt 22 yards to the Wolves’ 27, and on the second play of the possession, quarterback Dillon Mazzoni hit a wide-open Jeremy Cornelius for a 26-yard TD pass. Alex Boumerhi added the PAT and the two teams were tied 7-7.
The Wolves went back on top early in the second quarter after a big run by Marcus Jones led to a 35-yard field goal with 3 minutes left in the second quarter.
“They (the LHU defensive unit) played hard all night,” said Allen. “Regardless of the mistakes, it was good to see the guys hang in there and finish it at the end.”
During the final nine minutes of the quarter, the two teams traded turnovers and the Wolves took a 10-7 lead to halftime.
“The turnovers we had were due to bone-headed mistakes,” Allen said. “Not making a good throw or not making the appropriate read to take advantage of what the defense gives us hurt us. They (Cheyney) did a good job capitalizing on our mistakes. They really did.”
One glaring statistic at the break was in third-down conversions where the Bald Eagles (2-1) failed to convert on six tries. For the game, LHU only converted on 2 of 12 third-down attempts.
“That has been a problem for us all year long,” Allen said. “We just have to get better at converting on those situations. It is just execution, it really is. We have to continue to take a hard look at it, but we just have to get better in that area. For some reason we are out of sync.
The Bald Eagles took advantage of a break when Scott Benkovic recovered a Cheyney fumble at the Wolves 40.
The drive stalled, but Boumerhi drilled a career-best 46-yard field goal to tie the game at 10.
On Cheyney’s next possession, the roof caved in on the Wolves as the LHU defense forced a punt. The snap from center went over the punter’s head into the end zone where the Cheyney punter jumped on the ball for a LHU safety and a 12-10 lead.
The Eagles had an opportunity to run out the clock in the final minutes with Cheyney out of timeouts, but one of those poor choices that Allen referred to gave the Wolves one last desparation chance to pull out a win.
“The bottom line is our defense really stood up to keep them out of the end zone,” said Allen. “They gave up the one touchdown on an explosive play, but other than that, they really did a good job.”