The Gannon University football team made a trip to New York in the hopes of finishing the season with consecutive wins.
But the Knights found out that the Big Apple bites back.
At Long Island’s Brookville, Gannon fell to Long Island University C.W. Post 33-15 Saturday.
C.W. Post outscored the Knights 33-5 over the final three quarters after Gannon jumped out to an early 10-point advantage.
Coach Jim Kiernan said the Knights needed to capitalize on their early opportunities.
“You’ve got to get those touchdowns when you can,” he said. “In not doing that, we lost some momentum.”
The loss gave Gannon a 4-7 overall record— its first losing season since 2008, when the Knights also went 4-7.
The Gannon offense looked to have picked up where it left off in its 33-27 comeback win over Slippery Rock the week before, as the Knights appeared to be clicking out of the gates.
Sophomore running back Jansen Jones staked the Knights to a 7-0 lead with a 9-yard touchdown rush after redshirt freshman quarterback Daniel Tapscott linked up with senior Lawrence Coleman for 41 yards for the Coleman’s only catch of the game.
A penalty-aided drive that produced a 26-yard field goal off the foot of junior kicker Matt Szczupakowski gave Gannon a 10-0 lead to begin the second quarter.
“We had a lot of confidence, but after we went up 10-0, we were kind of in a lull,” Tapscott said. “I kind of wish we could’ve won that game for the seniors and to give ourselves some momentum going into next season.”
But C.W. Post had other ideas.
The Pioneers responded on their ensuing drive with a 2-yard touchdown run from running back Anthony Brunetti. C.W. Post then knotted the game up just before halftime with a 31-yard field goal.
The second half featured C.W. Post making shredded wheat of the Knights.
The Knights netted just four first downs, holding the ball for only 10 minutes in the second half and mustering only four rushing yards.
For the season, Gannon ran for a just 944 yards as a team and averaged just 2.8 yards per carry, both second-worst to Lock Haven University in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Association.
“We didn’t run the ball very well this year,” Kiernan said. “When you have those things happen, you can point the finger anywhere, but there’s always more than one problem contributing to it.”
The Pioneers made it obvious it they had eaten their Wheaties at halftime, as they scored on back-to-back possessions midway through the third quarter, following an interception of Tapscott.
A 5-yard touchdown from Brunetti run, followed by a 17-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Steven Laurino to his older brother Grayson, put C.W. Post well on its way to a final regular-season record of 7-4.
Gannon posted its only two points of the half when junior defensive back Khayree Connors-McChristian returned a blocked extra point.
The Gannon offense was largely MIA for the game, finishing with just nine first downs while netting 240 total yards.
Jones led the rushing attack for the second consecutive week with 57 yards on 15 carries, while Tapscott finished 13-for-30 with 191 yards.
On the seasons, Tapscott finished with 1613 yards with 13 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Jones led the Knights with 481 yards on 101 carries to go along with four touchdowns.
The game also served as a farewell for several accomplished Knights, as seniors Randy Colling, Chris Cook and Kevin Borton each had eight tackles to close out their Gannon careers.
“Playing the last game of your senior year is a real emotional time, mostly because it is the last time you will ever be able to put the pads on,” Borton said.