By Nick Granados
ESU Football suffered their third straight loss on Saturday, falling to West Chester 35-24.
Despite being heavy underdogs heading into their showdown against the No. 18 ranked Golden Rams, the Warriors put up a valiant fight, but it wasn’t enough for the upset.
Prior to the game, ESU recognized 17 seniors: P Jordan Bair, LB Cody Simcox, OLB Jamyl Aminu, TE Shane MacNamara, WR Dusty Reed, TB Derrick Dyer, S Anthony Singlar, DB Konrad Mims, WR Ray Dominguez, S Shane Brady, OLB Brian Abel, DE Sam Trunzo, DL Bryan Thomson, WR Rich Irving, TE Steven Jones, DL Josh Przywara, and DE Brandon Gattelli.
West Chester got on the board first when Brandon Monk ran for a 19-yard touchdown less than four minutes in.
It was the first of two touchdowns for the Golden Rams running back, who finished the game with 257 yards on the ground.
After a few uneventful series from the Warriors, West Chester added to their lead with a pair of touchdown passes from Sean McCartney to Tim Brown and Mike Doty respectively.
With that, the Golden Rams had a 21-0 lead over ESU early into the second quarter.
The Warriors got on board with just seconds left in the first half when Bruce Campbell connected with Jon Schnaars from 22 yards out to make it a 21-7 game at halftime.
The Warriors began to close the gap early in the third quarter when Campbell connected with fullback Anthony Lettieri from 3 yards out to make it a 21-14 game.
ESU had a golden opportunity to even the score when they intercepted a Sean McCartney pass in West Chester territory.
However, the Warriors ultimately settled for a field goal to make it a 21-17 game.
With the field goal, the Warriors made it a four point game. However, four points was the closest that the Warriors would get to the Golden Rams.
Brandon Monk scored his second touchdown of the game to make it a 28-17 game.
Although the Warriors got back to within four points, a Bruce Campbell interception led to another West Chester touchdown to make it a 35-24 game, and ultimately seal the win for the Golden Rams.
With the loss, the Warriors fell to 6-4 overall and 5-4 in PSAC play.
It was also the third consecutive loss following losses to Kutztown and Bloomsburg.
Redshirt junior quarterback, and 2013 Harlon Hill Award candidate, Matt Soltes has not played since suffering a shoulder injury in the Warriors’ homecoming loss to Kutztown.
Replacing Soltes has been redshirt sophomore Bruce Campbell, who has led the Warriors in their last two games against their hardest opponents of the season at Bloomsburg last week and against West Chester on Saturday.
Following the game, head coach Denny Douds praised the Warriors’ effort despite being the underdogs.
“We threw the kitchen sink at ‘em,” he said. “Our kids fought. We used every resource that was available to us today.”
Despite the Warriors´ efforts, it was not enough to overcome the favored Golden Rams. “We just didn’t get it done,” said Douds.
The Warriors finish off their season next week with a matchup at Gannon at 12:00 PM. The game will be available on ESPN Poconos 840 AM.
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