EAST STROUDSBURG – The ESU football team ultimately lost to California at Eiler-Martin Stadium on Saturday, September 17.
The setting for the first home under the lights game was ideal. The crisp, clear autumn air brought sweatshirt clad fans to the stadium to cheer on the field of Warriors.
And the Warriors were noticeably revved up to play in the spotlight. After California led 7-0 in the first quarter, ESU was driving down the field and QB Wagner lost the football. The California Vulcans recovered it, but ESU’s crunching defense stopped them short. California missed the field goal attempt. After the stop, Coach Denny Douds fired up the unrelenting defense shouting, “Keep it going out there guys!”
The Warriors were down 14-3 as the second half of the game began. The hungry Warriors defense forced multiple turnovers and the offense finally got it going. QB Ray Wagner connected with WR Dusty Reed for a touchdown, John Schubert kicked a 35-yard field goal, and FB Darius Jackson rushed for yet another touchdown in the third quarter. The Warriors led the game 19-14 entering the fourth quarter.
Vulcan QB Peter Lalich managed to pull off a fourth down, 75-yard completion for a touchdown to WR Thomas Mayo in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Despite ESU’s gutsy effort, California won the game 22-19.
But Warriors defense gave the home crowd a fight to the finish with interceptions, tackles, and forced fumbles galore. ESU football plays Bloomsburg at its next home game on Saturday, October 1 at 1:05 PM.