The Marauders’ final home game of the season and final home game for 10 of its players’ careers ended in a disappointing loss on Saturday.
East Stroudsburg came to town and upended the Marauders in front of a homecoming crowd of 6,258 with an offensive assault that proved too much for Millersville to keep up with, and won the game 45-18.
The Marauders yielded 572 yards of total offense against East Stroudsburg in which 424 of the yards came through the air. The loss dropped Millersville to an overall record of 1-9 and 1-6 in conference play.
East Stroudsburg scored on plays longer than 30 yards four times against the Marauders for the day, the first of which was a 96-yard pass play that set up the first score of the game.
After being held scoreless on their first three possessions, East Stroudsburg’s Tim Roken found Ed Kiser along the sideline for the score and lead which the Warriors would maintain throughout the rest of the afternoon.
Following the touchdown, Millersville running back sophomore Cardoza Jacks fumbled the ball on the first play of the ensuing series setting up a 42-yard pass from Roken to Doug Ogden to put the Warriors up 14-0 just 17 seconds after taking the 7-0 advantage.
Turnovers and costly penalties would haunt for Millersville the rest of the day as they would go on to give the ball up three more times on two fumbles and a pick to go along with eight penalties for a tally of 105 yards, despite moving the ball well offensively. The Marauders entered the contest as the PSAC’s least penalized team.
“Obviously you want to take care of the ball, penalties and turnovers only set you back so you have to stay out of situations like that,” said sophomore wide receiver Jamal Smith.
East Stroudsburg built itself a 21-3 halftime lead, and a 31-3 lead into the fourth quarter when Millersville scored its first touchdown with the game all but out of reach.
Jacks ran it in from two yards out and following a Jamal Smith run for a two point conversion the Marauders trailed 31-11 with 10:36 remaining in the game. Jacks finished the day with 101 yards rushing making it his fourth consecutive game with over 100 yards since filling in for the injured Brad Lantz.
The Warriors would put an end to any comeback hopes with two consecutive touchdowns from backup quarterback Matt Marshall through the air to receiver Jeff Giglio on passes of 34 and 86 yards to put the game completely out of reach at 45-11.
The Marauders tacked on one last touchdown with 43 seconds left after sophomore Bill Shirk found senior receiver Andy Tischbein for 27 yards through the air to set the final score at 45-18.
The catch put Tischbein over 100 yards receiving for the fourth time this season and was also his fourth straight game with at least one touchdown reception.
Shirk would finish the day 29-45 for 290 yards and a touchdown.
Despite forcing five turnovers and sacking the quarterback three times the Marauders defense failed to prevent big plays from occurring, something that has plagued the team all season long.
Millersville has one game remaining on the schedule against 8-2 Edinboro. Along with Tischbein, Adam Brown, Adam Cobb, Derek Fry, Matt Harmon, Kevin Kershner, Ryan Knox, Jarrod Linn, Trevor Levits, and Bobby Sweir will be playing in their last game.
Still while it marks the end of the careers for most of the seniors, some of the underclassmen are looking to use these last few games as building blocks heading into next year.
“We still want to finish the season strong and play hard for our seniors, but we also can use what we’ve done for next year,” explained Smith.
The team hopes to put most of the disappointing season behind them and finish out with a win, and a big upset to build on for next season.