The Millersville Marauders hosted the West Chester Golden Rams this past Saturday. It was their third straight game against a nationally ranked team, and their third straight loss of the season.
The first half told a different story for each team. The Marauders went three-and-out on their first six possessions, and after finally obtaining a couple of first down conversions late in the second quarter they fumbled the ball, ending the half scoreless.
The Golden Rams however scored on their first possession with a 50 yard QB scramble. A field goal, short run into the end0-zone, and a long touchdown pass were added before the end of the second quarter. This increased the Golden Rams lead to 24-0 going into the second half.
That momentum carried into the third quarter as the Golden Rams picked up a 60 yard run on their first play. This set up a short touchdown run extending the lead to 31-0.
The Marauders next possession looked promising; as they successfully moved the chains over 30 yards on a single pass. The crowd was once again hopeful and excited, but the mood would quickly turn.
A touchdown pass from the Marauders was erased by a holding penalty. While this penalty was both correct and fair, it would be unintentional grooming the crowd for possibly the worst string of penalty calls witnessed at Biemesderfer Stadium.
The next two Marauder plays would be passes to the end-zone. Both passes were thrown on target, and both were broken up by blatant pass interference from the Golden Rams secondary.
No flag was thrown. Instead, a late flag was thrown against a Marauder receiver for unsportsmanlike conduct as he complained about the interference.
The crowd was audibly upset, as this caused the Marauders to lose the ball on a failed fourth down conversion. The Golden Rams first play was a pass to the right side, which was tipped away by a Marauder cornerback with little-to-no contact. The referees threw a flag for defensive pass interference.
After almost four years of attending Millersville football games I have never heard the home crowd that loud. A wave of boos cascaded over the field. While the penalties were not the reason the Marauders lost the game, the fans felt as though the referees were kicking them while they were down. In their defense, the refs were extremely accurate throughout the rest of the game, but the Golden Rams would eventually score another touchdown on that drive. A touchdown fans believe should have gone to the Marauders.
The game was not completely horrible for the Marauders though, as they were able to score a 19 yard touchdown pass to Evan Morrill. The Golden Rams responded with a running touchdown of their own, and the clock expired with a score of 48-7.
While it was another blowout loss, head coach J.C. Morgan remains positive for the team stating, “The message in the locker room is that there is no quit in this family. We will come back tomorrow and get ready to go. It’s the same mentality as if we won by 40. Come back, get better and clean up the mistakes. This is part of the foundation that we are trying to build… Defensively, we did a pretty decent job in the red zone. We got some stops, forced some field goals, got an interception. There are some things we can build on.”
The Marauders face their fourth straight undefeated team this Saturday as they head to East Stroudsburg for another tough game.