With under two minutes remaining in a tie game, Kutztown found itself deep in its own territory.
The Golden Bears’ offense appeared unfazed by the long field and produced a big play when they needed it most, as quarterback Eric Nickel connected with a wide open Jerome Kapp, who sprinted 67 yards to the opposing 3-yard line. Running back Darryl Davis-McNeil scored the game-winning touchdown two plays later to give Kutztown the 21-14 victory over East Stroudsburg on Saturday at Andre Reed Stadium.
“Coach was saying that we just needed a big shot,” Kapp said. “[I] tried to get open the best I could, and next thing I look up and the ball is in the air — [a] perfect throw by Eric Nickel.”
The Golden Bears began their game-winning drive on their own 6-yard line and went 94 yards in just under two minutes, scoring with 44 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Nickel was 3-of-3 passing on the drive.
“We got the ball back with plenty of time,” head coach Jim Clements said. “There wasn’t any panic.”
Following the touchdown, the Warriors started at their own 25-yard line, but Kutztown defensive back Shawn Turber-Ortiz intercepted quarterback Jake Cirillo just two plays later. The turnover sealed the win for Kutztown, as it took a knee to run out the clock.
Nickel finished the matchup 11 of 22 passing for 149 yards and an interception. He gained 22 yards on the ground and ran for a score.
“He managed the game really well and made some good throws when they counted,” Clements said about Nickel. “I was really happy [with] the way he stepped up in the pocket today and delivered.”
Kapp, a Boyertown graduate, was the Golden Bears’ leading receiver, racking up 95 yards on four catches. Davis-McNeil ran for 86 yards and two touchdowns on 17 attempts.
“He’s a special player,” Clements said about Kapp. “It seems like he has a big play like that every game. We need to target him a little bit more.”
Fellow receiver Mason McElroy, a Wilson graduate, had one catch for 16 yards. Upper Perkiomen alumnus Tyler Whary had five tackles and Gov. Mifflin graduate Kam Wolfe had three.
Kutztown scored touchdowns on each of its first two drives, both of which were at least 10 plays and traveled more than 50 yards. Nickel scrambled into the end zone on the opening touchdown before Davis-McNeil put the Golden Bears ahead 14-0 with a 1-yard touchdown run.
East Stroudsburg responded in the second quarter with a 17-play, 74-yard scoring drive. Running back Gunner Anglovich powered his way into the end zone on a 5-yard touchdown.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Warriors tied the game early in the fourth thanks to a pair of big plays. Defensive back Jahmere Crumpton intercepted Nickel in Kutztown territory, before Anglovich ran for a 30-yard touchdown on the very next play.
The Golden Bears executed in crucial situations, converting eight times on third down and once on fourth down. Kutztown scored touchdowns on all three of its trips to the red zone.
“[There is] no panic with this group,” Clements said. “We have good kids [that] work hard.”
Source: Berkshire mont