IUP beats New Haven, advances to Super Region One finals
College Football Videos
WEST HAVEN, Conn. – In the waning seconds, coach Curt Cignetti was confident his defense would deliver.
The Indiana (Pa.) defense had pitched a second-half shutout, but the Crimson Hawks still had to hold their breath on the final play before celebrating a 17-14 win over New Haven on Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs in front of 2,034 fans at DellaCamera Stadium.
But once the final heave from the IUP 31 by New Haven quarterback Ryan Osiecki landed in receiver Jason Thompson's hands out of the end zone, it was time to enjoy advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1997.
No. 11 IUP (12-1) plays unbeaten No. 2 Winston-Salem (12-0) next Saturday in the Super Region One championship. Winston-Salem State beat Shippensburg Saturday.
“I thought our defense was outstanding,” said Cignetti, who in his second season led the program to the playoffs for the first time in five years. “Particularly in the second half they stopped them time and time … and time again.”
Junior middle linebacker Alexander Berdahl made 12 tackles and had two of IUP's four sacks.
Both teams did all of their scoring in the first half, with redshirt junior quarterback Mike Box throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Dummermuth with 24 seconds left in the second quarter to give IUP a 17-14 lead.
Prior to that, senior tailback De'Antwan “The Rocket” Williams had been IUP's most dangerous weapon. He took the opening kickoff 86 yards to set up the team's first touchdown, which Harvie Tuck ran in from 3 yards for a 7-0 lead 57 seconds into the game.
A 41-yard run from Williams led to Brian Ullman's 24-yard field goal, which pushed the advantage to 10-0 with 2:21 left in the quarter. Williams had 68 of his game-high 125 rushing yards before halftime.
“Whenever my number is called I just go out and do what I can do,” Williams said. “It just worked out for me. The o-line and everyone else did their job.”
Osiecki (15 of 32 passing, 194 yards) then directed New Haven (10-1) to a pair of touchdowns to put the Chargers up, 14-10. The senior quarterback connected with Thompson on a 68-yard touchdown with 1:36 left in the first quarter, and they teamed up again for a 1-yard touchdown pass with 4:04 left in the half.
Three times on New Haven's second scoring drive, IUP penalties on fourth down kept it alive. The most costly was Carl Fleming's personal foul, for being too rough on an offsides call, during a 25-yard field-goal attempt.
Even though Box finished just 6 of 13 for 97 yards, he made his biggest passes on the final touchdown drive. The former UConn quarterback hit Salath Williams with a 41-yard pass on third-and-3 from the New Haven 46 that took IUP to the 5. Three plays later, he found Dummermuth in the end zone.
“That was a huge series,” Cignetti said. “It was a key drive because they had seized momentum. (So that touchdown) was huge.”
William S. Paxton is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- District football roundup: W&J advances in Division III playoffs; Slippery Rock ousted
- Duquesne gets better of Robert Morris again
- Pitt-Greensburg men return experienced lineup
- Seton Hill men prepare for 2nd year in PSAC
- Campus clippings: Cratsenberg has 17-tackle game for VMI
- Discipline key as Seton-La Salle product balances CMU football, academics
- District college football preview: Slippery Rock seeks first NCAA playoff win since 1998
- CMU women’s soccer gets a kick out of winning
- West Virginia outlasts Boston College, 70-66
- Campus clippings: Keeper Daughtry scores a goal for Waynesburg
- Pitt, Duquesne, RMU harbor hopes of securing bid to NCAA volleyball tournament