West Chester University Football (2-3, 1-1 PSAC) dropped an ugly 20-14 affair to Kutztown University (2-3, 2-0 PSAC) inside of Andre Reed Stadium on a drizzly Saturday evening, failing to string together consecutive wins for the first time this season.
Quarterback Andrew Derr finished the loss with 248 yards and two touchdowns on 21-32, but he also threw three interceptions and was sacked four times, one of which came with five seconds remaining and WCU on the Kutztown 24-yard line.
Jarel Elder racked up major yardage for the second straight game, accumulating 132 all-purpose yards between rushing (108), receiving (6) and kickoff returns (18).
The Golden Bears were led by redshirt freshman field general Collin DiGablo, who registered an efficient 238-yard, two-touchdown performance on 18-29. DiGablo connected with wide receiver Kellen Williams twice in the first half to help Kutztown race out to a 13-0 lead, the first a 49-yard reception and the other 39 yards.
Williams ended the contest with six receptions, two touchdowns and 141 yards.
West Chester managed to get on the board with 5:52 remaining in the first half to trim the lead to six, but Kutztown was able to establish more distance on the scoreboard as Darrell Scott barreled into the end zone on a six-yard rush prior to the commencement of halftime.
At the beginning of the third period, Derr connected with Jim Hurley on a 10-yard touchdown pass to slice into the Golden Bears’ margin yet again, but that would mark the last time either squad would move the scoreboard in this one. In addition to his touchdown reception, Hurley reeled in three additional catches for 46 yards.
West Chester had the ball on their own 10-yard line with 48 seconds left. Derr then lofted up a 50-yard pass to Jordan Banks (seven receptions for a team-leading 92 yards) to get WCU in scoring position, but the aforementioned sack by Tajier Jefferson and Ronny Tomasetti sealed the deal.
West Chester’s ugly conversion rate on third downs (4-14) and in the red-zone (1-3) was a huge factor in the loss, and their inability to protect Derr was problematic as well. Kutztown’s four sacks pilfered 39 yards from the Golden Rams, with the last one coming with the game hanging in the balance.
WCU’s defense was strong in the second half as they held Kutztown to only 110 yards of offense and zero points in the game’s last 30 minutes.
West Chester’s defense was led by Shaquille James, who racked up 10 tackles (six solo, four assisted) and also forced a fumble. Steven Denby added nine tackles (two solo, seven assisted), and a handful of other players pitched in with five or more. One of those Golden Rams was Ch’aim Smith, who had two deflections to pair with his seven tackles.
West Chester will return home on Saturday, Oct. 8 to take on the Shippensburg University Red Raiders (4-1, 2-0 PSAC) on Community Day at 12:05 p.m..
Will “B.J.” Boyer is a third-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at WB806695@wcupa.edu.