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Football faces Halloween loss against East Stroudsberg

The Millersville Marauders football team suffered a difficult loss against East Stroudsburg University on Halloween. After an impressive overtime win against Kutztown, the Marauders were unable to perform consistently on both offense and defense. They gave up 23 points in the second quarter and 14 in the third quarter and the offense was not able to respond. The final score was 44-3.

The Marauders offense struggled in the first quarter. ESU forced Millersville to punt on their first three possessions. The Marauders first two offensive drives were three-and-outs. With the offense having trouble in the first quarter, the Marauders defense stepped up. On several third downs, the defense held strong and forced ESU to punt.

Senior Julius Carter intercepted a Matt Marshall pass to give the Marauders hope, but ESU countered with an interception of their own off Junior Quarterback Bill Shirk. Wide Receiver Matt Egenrieder said, “We came out flat and beat ourselves.”

The Marauders defense did not have the same success in the second quarter. East Stroudsburg’s offense exploded in the second quarter for 23 points. Penalties hurt the Marauders on both sides of the ball. A holding penalty and illegal blocking penalty forced Millersville into difficult third and longs, which turned into punts.

The Marauders were able to tack on a field goal at the end of the half to cut the lead 23-3. Senior John Banzhof kicked a 32 yard field goal, his only attempt of the day. Banzhof also punted 10 times, averaging 35 yards per punt, and pinning ESU inside their 20 yard line twice.

East Stroudsburg started strong in the third quarter. Starting with the ball in the second half, the offense put together a six play drive for 62 yards that ended in a touchdown. The Marauders found themselves in a deficit too large to overcome against a strong ESU defense. Positives can be taken from a loss like this. Egenrieder said, “We can definitely gain from this loss. We have been having a great week of practice and we know what we have to do to win games. When we are playing smart, and don’t commit penalties we know we can compete. The team can finish the season strong and we expect to win against Edinboro.”

Freshman linebacker Pat Maloney had a big day on the score sheet. Maloney made 15 total tackles, including 11 solo tackles. Sophomore inside linebacker Ryan Christian also had double digit total tackles with 13. Senior running back Brad Lantz ran for 82 yards, eclipsing the 600 yard mark on the season. Quarterback Bill Shirk also achieved 1500 yards passing on the season, throwing for 122 yards against ESU.

The Marauders face 7-3 Edinboro on Saturday at home. Edinboro lost their star quarterback, Trevor Harris, to an ankle injury in their last game and his status for the game against Millersville is unknown. The Marauders hope to end the season on a strong note.

Junior Owen King said, “I think the team will rally around the seniors and get them a win. The seniors deserve to go out on top. They were committed to the team all season, worked hard, and helped out the younger players.”