The Gannon University football team earned a season-opening win through a strong defensive outing, hanging on for a 14-7 victory over the Southern Connecticut State Owls in New Haven, Conn., Thursday night.
Scoring action didn’t begin until the third quarter when Gannon found the end zone on back-to-back drives.
Quarterback Jimmy Keefe connected with Melvin Blanks for a 32-yard touchdown on the first drive of the first quarter.
Keith Thompson picked off Owls quarterback Matt Sanzaro at the SCSU 41 to set up the next Gannon drive. Keefe used his arm again, this time finding Joey Cox for a 7-yard touchdown.
SCSU’s Sanzaro ran the ball in from 1 yard out after a 39-yard completion to Iziah Sanders for SCSU’s first points.
The Owls’ touchdown came in a four-play drive with just under 10 minutes left in the game to close in on the Gannon lead, 14-7.
On its next drive SCSU worked the ball down to the Gannon 27-yard line with nine minutes to play. But A.J Satcher bailed the Knights out with an interception and 33-yard return to the Gannon 45.
The Owls’ final drive began with 5½ minutes remaining on the clock on their own 15 yard-line.
A long drive put the ball on the Gannon 6-yard-line with six seconds to go. Sanzaro tried a pass to Sanders as time expired but fell incomplete with Satcher in coverage.
The Knights will make their home debut at noon Saturday at McConnell Family Stadium against West Chester.