Marauders’ offense explodes against Cheyney

Tony Staffieri threw for 245 yards and 4 touchdowns in the first half against Cheyney, earning him PSAC East Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors. Due to the Marauders big lead, Staffieri did not play the entire second half.

Brenden Curry
Staff Writer

Millersville’s performance on the gridiron did not disappoint the many visitors that flocked to campus for Family Weekend.

Millersville defeated the Cheyney Wolves by a score of 59-7. The Wolves were coming into the match against Millersville giving up at least 30 points a game. Millersville head coach Greg Breitbach said that he happy we were able to come out with a win like that.

“We were more aggressive in this game,” wide receiver Kevin Wiggins stated.

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Wiggins stated that the program is turning around and the statement victory on Saturday shows it.

“It’s an incredibly big accomplishment for our program,” quarterback Tony Staffieri commented. “We are proud of our accomplishments.”

Staffieri had 245 passing yards in the first half alone.

Millersville would score three times within the first five minutes of the first quarter. Wiggins mentioned that once Cheyney gets behind in a game, they tend to slow down. Therefore, they played a fast-paced style of offense that tired them out.

“We wanted to get up on them early,” Wiggins said.

Millersville kicker Joey Farley made a career long 44-yard field goal attempt early in the first quarter.

Then, the ball wobbled in the Marauders’ direction on the kickoff. As the ball bounced off the Cheyney player, Millersville recovered the ball. Nearly two minutes later, Tyrone Gibson would run into the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown.

Millersville went with trickery from the special teams on that following kickoff where they successfully executed an onside kick.  On the following play, Staffieri threw a long pass to Kevin Wiggins to give Millersville a 17-0 lead early in the first quarter.

Coach Breitbach stated that the first three drives were planned based on film analysis.

“We look at our opponents, doesn’t matter what week or opponent, we’re looking at any angle we can get to try and help our team out,” Breitbach stated.

During film analysis, Breitbach stated that they noticed that Cheyney struggles with kickoffs to the right side of the field.

The Wolves would punt after the first drive.  However, a high snap made the punter Brendan Van Denmark recovered the ball at the 1-yard line. Millersville would go to score again thanks to Kobe Miranda. Millersville would have two one-play scoring drives in the first quarter.

Running back Kobe Miranda extended Millersville’s first quarter lead to 24-0.

Cheney managed to get onto the board and begin the first quarter. Dominic Trautz threw an 11-yard pass to Carl Egweh. Egweh fought his way to score by tumbling into the end zone to make the game 27-7.

Dylan Niedbalski caught a 25-yard pass from Staffieri to build their lead to 17-0.  Nii Kotei Nikoi 9- yard reception would give the Marauders a 38-7 lead.

“Our guys are figuring out our offense and they’re playing physical football,” Breitbach summarized.

Marauder Evan Morrill made a diving 38-yard catch into the end zone with less than five minutes left in the half.  Less than a minute left in the second quarter, Staffieri ran into the endzone to give Millersville a 52-7 lead.

“We played with good discipline all day long, and maximize our opportunities in the first half,” Breitbach said.

Defense made the stops where it counted. Tony stated that the defensive corners covered the ball very well and pass rushers played relentlessly.

“Our defense played hard,” Wiggins said. “They were getting to the quarterback and putting tremendous pressure on them.”

With the efficient scoring in the first half, Millersville didn’t need to throw a single pass in the second half. However, Kobe Miranda once again scored for the Marauders.

With a 52-7 halftime lead, Breitbach decided that the second half was to be used as game management and to give other players playing time.

This decision allows him and his coaching staff to evaluate players and give them game experience But, most importantly, keep their starters healthy. Beitbach also wanted to give a lot of people experience.

“It was good the rest and let some of the other guys play,” Staffieri commented on the second half.

The Marauders are now 4-5. Getting the fourth win of the season truly means a lot to wide receiver Kevin Wiggins, calling the win “huge”. The win also gives Millersville a chance at a winning season. Wiggins stated that the team want to stay on that track.

“You can’t get to five wins if you haven’t gotten to four,” Breitbach said.

Millersville will host the West Chester Golden Rams on Saturday. Breitbach stated that in order for his team to beat West Chester next week, they have to get healthy, especially on defense.  He also emphasized confidence.

“We have to focus on us, not the opponent as much,” Tony commented on keys to beating West Chester next week.”

Wiggins stated that the team plays best when Millersville students and fans are there supporting them at Chryst Field.

“We are looking forward to the match of next week,” Wiggins commented on West Chester. “Anybody can beat anybody and we are looking forward to it.”