Despite that stellar performance, the Greyhounds had absolutely no say in the final outcome at Rocco Ortenzio Stadium.
A very sloppy and undisciplined Bishop McDevitt was never really threatened and used a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull away for 43-22 victory.
The Crusaders fumbled the ball eight times in the frigid temperatures and lost four of them. Shippensburg fumbled only once.
Bishop McDevitt was penalized 12 times for 133 yards and had a pair of touchdowns called back because of yellow flags. The Greyhounds had two penalties for 10 yards.
Despite being it’s own worst enemy and trying to give Shippensburg every opportunity to spring an upset in the matchup for the second year in a row, the offensive talent of McDevitt at the skill positions rescued the Crusaders ... this time.
“I’m angry at our guys. They were so sloppy,” Bishop McDevitt head coach Jeff Weachter said. “Turnovers, penalties, dropped balls... we haven’t done that all year like this. And you know what, I know our kids are not happy with that effort, either.”
The two teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards of total offense with Bishop McDevitt registering nearly twice as many yards (653-333) as the Greyhounds.
McDevitt quarterback Chase Diehl threw for 416 yards on 14 completions. That’s an average of nearly 30 yards per completion. And he had two sure touchdowns dropped that would have gone for another 100 yards.
Diehl threw touchdown passes of 87, 67 and 24 yards in the first half to stake the Crusaders to a 21-0 lead at intermission. Nazir Burnett (6 receptions, 204 yards), T’Nyis Becker (5-153) each caught first-half bombs on their way to big nights.
But it could have been so much more as McDevitt piled up nearly 400 yards in the first half alone, but managed only three touchdowns.
Here is where Shippensburg gets full credit for continuing to scratch and claw when it was clearly getting rolled over.
After another McDevitt fumble on the opening possession of the second half halted a drive, the Greyhounds responded and put some heat on the Crusaders.
Adam Houser, the best two-way player on the field in this game, hauled in a 66-yard pass from Carter Van Scyoc, who finished with 243 yards through the air, to put the Greyhounds in business.
Ed Ocker scored on a 3-yard run a player later to make it 21-7. But on the ensuing kickoff, Becker raced 85 yards untouched to restore McDevitt’s three-score cushion.
Later in the quarter a fumble by the Crusaders punter set Shippensburg up at the 3-yard line. Houser (180 total yards) scored to make it 28-15.
From there McDevitt turned to its ground game led by Qualik Davis behind an offensive line that dominated the line of scrimmage all night. Davis finished with 197 yards and his touchdown with 8:54 to play iced it.
“We were too hyped up for this game I think and we made too many mistakes,” Weachter said. “That’s simply not good enough. If we do that again next week, we will lose. We have a lot of work to do.”