After a dominating victory the week before against Southern Connecticut State University at home, the Gannon University football team had to erase a 17-point deficit to beat host Shippensburg 24-17 Saturday.
Shippensburg was coming off a very good 16-9 win against American International College the week before and was definitely ready for the Knights when they showed up.
The Raiders shut out the Knights to start with a 17-0 lead coming from two goal-line rushing touchdowns and a 43-yard field goal.
Following the field goal came an 82-yard kickoff return by Gannon junior wide receiver Brandon Mansell that lit a spark for the team. Immediately following the kick return came a perfectly thrown pass from redshirt soph
omore quarterback Zach Phillips to redshirt sophomore Eli Quintar for the 9-yard touchdown.
Before the end of the first half the Knights were able to cap a 99-yard, 14-play drive with an 8-yard touchdown run from redshirt senior running back Tyler Johnson, leaving the score 17-14 with Shippensburg leading at halftime.
The Knights caught their second wind in the third quarter and dominated all 15 minutes. Shippensburg started the half with the ball, but after a seven-play, 30-yard drive the Raiders punted it away.
After a 5-yard run by Johnson came a key play of the game: Phillips connected with junior tight end Will Davis for an 84-yard touchdown to give Gannon the 21-17 lead. To wrap up the quarter junior kicker Karch Holland nailed a 31-yarder through the uprights to make up for the one he had missed before the end of the first half.
The fourth and final quarter saw possible signs of a Raiders comeback with a field goal to make it 24-20. After Gannon had a seven-play drive that ended with a punt, Shippensburg had 1 minute, 44 seconds left to try to get the win.
That would not be the case, though, thanks to an interception by junior Foster Reznor that secured the Knights’ second win of the year.
Up next Gannon will look to dazzle the home fans with a game at noon Saturday at McConnell Family Stadium against the Huskies of Bloomsburg.