Millersville’s third-string running back Cardoza Jacks had only thirteen carries in six games entering Saturday’s contest against Cheyney University. His fresh legs jump-started Millersville’s depleted offense during their 48-6 victory on Saturday. Jacks carried the ball more than three times his season total, a school record 44 times for 275 yards and two touchdowns as Millersville ran away with their first victory in the Colby-Era of Marauder football. The victory over Cheyney was Millersville’s 25th consecutive against the Wolves.
After losses to Shippensburg and Bloomsburg the Marauders found themselves at 0-6 at the midpoint of their season for the first time since 2002. Shippensburg defeated the Marauders on September 27, at Shippensburg, by a score of 35-14. Millersville entered halftime down only a touchdown with the score at 21-14. Shippensburg would go on to score all 14 of their unanswered second-half points in the third quarter and secured the win with tough defense. Junior Brad Lantz had 15 carries for 80 yards and Senior Andy Tishbein and Sophomore Jamal Smith each hauled in three catches for 44 and 40 yards respectively. One of Tischbein’s catches was a nine-yard touchdown catch from Sophomore Bill Shirk. Shirk struggled on the day throwing 7-18 for 83 yards for one touchdown and two interceptions.
Millersville followed their loss to Shippensburg the next weekend when they hosted the then eighth-ranked team in the nation, Bloomsburg University. Bloomsburg entered the game 5-0 and Millersville 0-5, needless to say the Marauders were the underdogs. Millersville would end up losing the game but they did not bow out to the Huskies as they trailed by only a touchdown and kept the game close until midway through the third quarter.
Shirk rebounded nicely from his Shippensburg game and went 22-33 for 228 yards two touchdowns and one pick. Freshman Matthew Booker registered his first collegiate touchdown in the second quarter on a two-yard reception. He went on to add another touchdown on the ground in the third quarter on a one-yard run.
Brad Lantz scored two touchdowns with one through the air and one on the ground as well. Lantz’s day was cut short with 54 yards rushing and 75 yards receiving after he left the game in the third quarter due to an injury. Lantz’s untimely injury was too big of a blow for the Marauders’ offense as they finally fell out of contention in the fourth quarter.
Wide receiver Andy Tischbein finished the day with eight receptions for 111 yards. The Marauders fell behind early losing 14-0, but exchanged blows with Bloomsburg before a John Banzhof career long 50-yard field goal left the score at 35-24 in the final quarter.
Ryan Knox and Thomas Wilmer combined for a sack during the game; it was the first Marauder sack since their first game against Bentley College earlier this season. It was the sixth time in six games this season that Millersville’s defense allowed over 400 yards of total offense.
The Bloomsburg game gave the Marauders something to build on leading up to their home game against Cheyney. Junior Brad Lantz and freshman Matthew Booker were hampered with injuries, leaving Lantz sidelined and limiting Bookers play.
This opened a void for Jacks who unfazed, responded by running all over the Wolves’ defense for the most rushing yards in a game by a Marauder since 1993. The 275-yard performance earned Jacks the honor of PSAC East Athlete of the Week.
Millersville was also productive through the air as well; Shirk finished 10-15 for 210 yards and three touchdowns.
Shirk would connect with Andy Tishbein on all three of his touchdown passes. Tischbein had another huge game with six catches for 122 yards along with his three touchdowns.
After only three catches in his first three games Tischbein now has 24 in his last four, as well as two straight games of over 100-yards receiving. The Marauders’ defense was impressive as well limiting the Wolves to only 304 total yards on offense as well has holding them at zero for 11 on third down conversions and zero for four on fourth down.
Millersville heads to New York on Saturday where they will take on C.W. Post it will be the first time the two teams ever met.
“We’re not going to prepare any differently.” Smith said. “Only we can control what we do, all we have to do is follow through on what we’ve been taught.”
The last two weeks have been productive for the Marauders and they look to continue building upon that for their second straight win this week.
“After the position changes we got everyone in place where they needed to be,” said Smith. “Now we just have to build from there and continue to put up points.”
If their game against Cheyney proved anything it is that the Marauders have the talent and depth on offense to do so. If their defense can carry over their strong performance this weekend they should have no problems.