LEHMAN TWP. — For every two steps the Holy Redeemer offense took in the first half Saturday afternoon, Susquehanna made sure the Royals took at least one step back.
The Sabers used quickness up front to throw the Royals for 63 yards in losses during the first two quarters, on the way to a 54-21 non-league football romp at Lake-Lehman’s Eddie Edwards Stadium.
The game was painfully similar to the second week matchup a year ago when the two teams came in off opening wins and Susquehanna shut out Holy Redeemer by holding it to a net of minus-13 yards total offense with the help of plays that lost a total of 125 yards.
“They won the battle up front,” Royals coach Dwayne Downing said. “They certainly pretty much controlled our offensive line.”
Susquehanna made the most of starting possessions on the Holy Redeemer 10, 15 and 44 to open a 34-0 lead at halftime.
The Royals cut down on the losses and gained 189 of their 225 yards in the second half while outscoring the Sabers, but never getting closer than 26 points.
As it did a year ago, Susquehanna beat Holy Redeemer up front by frequently going with a five-man defensive line that featured three players who weighed less than 160 pounds. End Travis Craig and interior linemen Adam Roe and Billy Perry spearheaded the defense.
“Those guys were quick,” Downing said. “They were in our backfield.
“We couldn’t get them blocked and we had a little trouble tackling, too.”
Craig, a 145-pound senior, had four sacks for 45 yards in losses, batted down a pass, forced a fumble and provided the pass rush that started the game’s biggest play.
Holy Redeemer opened the game by forcing a three-and-out and then driving to the Susquehanna 4.
On second-and-goal from the 5, Craig hurried J.D. Turosky into a pass that C.J. Stone tipped into the air and Sam Cosmello intercepted in the back of the end zone.
Even with several players nearby, Cosmello never hesitated to consider a touchback. Instead he raced down the left sideline 99 yards to the Holy Redeemer 10, setting up the game’s first score.
“That was a big turn,” Downing said. “They had a short field and they took advantage of it.
“They outplayed us.”
Cosmello also led the offense. He had his second straight three-touchdown game while running 17 times for 136 yards, without touching the ball in the fourth quarter.
“My line opened up some holes and the backs ran hard,” Susquehanna coach Kyle Cook said. “They were hit and they broke some tackles.”
Roe ran for 8- and 40-yard touchdowns in the second quarter. Mason Deakin also scored twice, on a catch and a punt return.
Holy Redeemer had the ball for much of the second half when it moved more effectively.
“It was a little bit too late,” Downing said.
James Cunningham broke a 62-yard touchdown run on a third-and-10 Statue of Liberty play in the third quarter.
Turosky threw 5 yards to Matt Piontkowski for the first Royals score, then ran 1 yard on a quarterback sneak for the last one with 10:01 remaining.
Cunningham finished with 111 yards rushing.
Counting Craig’s 22-yard, fourth-quarter sack to force the Royals into a fourth-and-39 from their 1, Susquehanna finished the game with tackles for 95 yards in losses.
Susquehanna 54, Holy Redeemer 21
SUS – Sam Cosmello 5 run (C.J. Stone kick), 6:24
SUS – Cosmello 6 run (Stone kick), 11:55
SUS – Mason Deakin 15 pass from Stone (kick failed), 9:42
SUS – Adam Roe 8 run (Stone kick), 5:07
SUS – Roe 40 run (Stone kick), 1:13
HR – Matt Piontkowski 5 pass from J.D. Turosky (Nate Roppelt kick), 9:06
S – Cosmello 13 run (run failed), 5:28
HR – James Cunningham 62 run (Roppelt kick), 4:56
S – Deakin 40 punt return (Stone kick), 1:58
HR – J.D. Turosky 1 run (Roppelt kick), 5:40
S – Anthony Dolfini 1 run (Stone kick), 10:01
RUSHING — SUS, Sam Cosmello 17-136, Adam Roe 4-52, Garrett Decker 2-15, Anthony Dolfini 4-7, Devon Dubanawitz 1-4, C.J. Stone 2-minus 1. HR, James Cunningham 12-111, J.D. Turosky 18-40, Peter Shay 4-17, Ryan Williams 3-6, Dennis Harrison 1-3, Jared Piontkowski 1-0, John Sartin 1-minus 25.
PASSING — SUS, Stone 3-6-1-83. HR, Turosky 7-22-1-72.
RECEIVING — SUS, Roe 1-63, Mason Deakin 2-20. HR, Matt Piontkowski 3-34, Colin Conway 2-18, Williams 1-13, J. Piontkowski 1-7.
INTERCEPTIONS — SUS, Cosmello 1-99. HR, Conway 1-14.
MISSED FIELD GOALS – None.