The Millersville Marauders hung with the Edinboro Fighting Scots but lost a heart breaker 28-25 on Senior Day, Saturday afternoon. The Marauders put together a strong effort against 8-3 Edinboro, but came up just short in the final minutes. Down 17-10 at half time, Millersville came out strong in the second half looking for a victory. Two fourth quarter touchdowns propelled the Marauders into position to take the lead, but Edinboro came up with an important defensive stop.
The Marauders held Edinboro’s rushing game in check most of the game. Edinboro rushed 38 times for only 3.4 yards per carry. Millersville out rushed Edinboro because of the efforts of Senior Brad Lantz. Lantz rushed for over 100 yards on 22 carries in his final game. Lantz put up impressive numbers for the Marauders in his career. He rushed for 2,670 yards during his career, making him fourth all-time.
The defense forced two turnovers, which has been a strong point throughout the year for the team. Head coach Greg Colby said, “We were one of the top teams in the leagues in turnover margin. That aspect shows a great chance for success and it definitely was a bright spot.”
The defense intercepted 11 passes and recovered 12 fumbles. The Marauders showed they could make big plays on defense throughout the entire season.
Millersville’s first two possessions in the first quarter led to a field goal and a touchdown, but Edinboro responded with two of their own touchdowns. The Marauders scored first after a 10 play drive. Senior John Banzhof made a 37 yard field goal to start the scoring for the Marauders. After Edinboro was able to score on a 22 yard completion, junior quarterback Bill Shirk responded with his own touchdown. A seven yard touchdown to sophomore Matt Egenrieder gave the Marauders the lead.
The Marauders were shut out the rest of the half, but struck back in the third quarter with a safety. Freshman cornerback Christian Rodriguez intercepted a Joe Wanson pass on Edinboro’s first possession in the second half. Edinboro came right back with an interception of their own on the next play. The interception placed them on their own two yard line which gave the Marauder defense a shot at a safety. On the first play, running back Michael Battles was stopped in the end zone by freshman Jamie Hoffman and sophomore Ryan Christian for a safety.
A long drive starting at the end of the third quarter and ending in the fourth, gave the Marauders their second touchdown. Shirk was able to rush in at the goal line for a touchdown, which cut the lead to two. The two point conversion was unsuccessful. Joe Wanson threw his third touchdown pass, but the Marauders responded once again. Junior Jamal Smith broke a 22 yard run to bring the Marauders within a field goal with 5:25 left in the game. The defense forced a punt and got the ball back to the offense with 1:49 left in the game. The Marauders were unable to break through Edinboro’s defense and came up short after an impressive comeback.
The Marauders showed growth throughout the season and never quit on a game. Colby said, “It was an up and down season. We were improved from where we were last year. We found out where we are and know what we have to do better. Our team is still very young; we played 10 true freshmen during the season and only had seven seniors, and the majority of our players are coming back next year. I really like our chances.”
Seniors include Brad Lantz, Julius Carter, Jordan Shank, Christian Calderon, Darnell Johnson, Nick Kyper, and John Banzhof. Carter played all 11 games at the safety position this season and compiled 87 total tackles, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles. Calderon started all 11 games this season and was a key piece of the Marauders offensive line. The Marauders finished the season 3-8.