Football Has Early Lead Slip Away in Road Loss at Susquehanna

Mike Swanton

Susquehanna 35, WPI 21

Box Score  

Selinsgrove, PA --- Quarterback Rich Palazzi (Newfoundland, PA) tossed five touchdowns to help Susquehanna rally from an early two touchdown deficit to defeat visiting WPI 35-21 in Liberty League football action on Saturday afternoon. 

WPI signal caller Mike Swanton (Foxboro, MA) threw for one score and ran for another as WPI slipped to 3-6 overall and 0-6 in conference play. 

The Engineers jumped out to a 21-7 advantage with two-yard touchdown runs by Ernie Mello (Wilmington, MA) and Swanton sandwiched between a Scott Brady (Westboro, MA) 11-yard TD reception. 

Susquehanna, powered by Palazzi (15-of-22 for 193 yards) ripped off the game's final 28 points en route to setting a showdown next week with Union for the Liberty League crown.  J.J. Moran (Pottsville, PA) hauled in three of Palazzi's five touchdowns passes while Mike Ritter (Selinsgrove, PA) grabbed the other two.  The Crusaders are now 7-2 on the year and 5-1 in their third and final season in Liberty League.

Brendan Gove (Rutland, MA), Chris Boudreau (Rensselaer, NY) and John Perron (Auburn, MA) all notched six tackles for the Engineers, while Jack Mulhern (Worcester, MA) and Todd LeClerc (Middleton, MA) each chipped in with five.  The Engineers outgained Susquehanna 402-304 and enjoyed a 33:04-26:52 edge in time of possession but were doomed by five turnovers (three fumbles and two interceptions) on the day.

Swanton was 15-of-31 passing for 200 yards and rushed 22 times for 74 yards.  Aaron Champagne (Fairfield, ME) amassed 76 yards on the ground on 14 carries while R.C. Grady (Shirley, MA) grabbed six receptions for 97 yards.  His final catch was his 100th of his career, making him the seventh player in program to reach the milestone.  

The Engineers will close out their 2009 season next Saturday when they host St. Lawrence at noon.