Pictured above: Susquehanna’s William Marcy pulls away from Holy Redeemer defenders for one of his three touchdowns.
By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
WILKES-BARRE – Sophomore William Marcy scored three touchdowns and Susquehanna found a variety of ways to score Saturday night while pulling away from Holy Redeemer, 44-12, in a non-league football opener at King’s College.
Marcy ran for two scores and returned an interception for one of Susquehanna’s two defensive touchdowns. The Sabers also got a fumble recovery in the end zone from Zach Norton on a night when J.J. Rosa returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown before the Sabers ran their first offensive play.
Rosa also intercepted two passes and had receptions of 18 and 38 yards.
“After losing the talent we had in the wide receiver position last year to graduation, he had to be the man to step up,” Susquehanna coach Kyle Cook said of Rosa, an NEPAFootball.com, first-team, all-star at defensive back last season. “Tonight, he put himself on the showcase on all three facets of the game.”
Marcy started at linebacker and became part of a halfback rotation with starter Layne Fisk while also playing three other positions on offense.
“He’s a very athletic kid,” Cook said. “We knew he was going to play a lot. With it being this hot, we were trying to get him and Layne different reps.
“He was very impressive for us.”
Marcy and Fisk each ran for two touchdowns. Marcy carried 9 times for a game-high 79 yards.
Rosa started the scoring 2:08 into the game with his punt return.
Holy Redeemer tried to punt away from Rosa after going three-and-out, but kicked it out of bounds just 11 yards downfield.
The Sabers went 41 yards in 5 plays with Fisk scoring from the 6 to make it 12-0 with 5:39 left in the half.
Susquehanna moved 98 yards in 7 plays on the next possession.
Rosa took a swing pass 38 yards on second-and-10 from the 2.
Colton Stone, who finished 6-for-18 for 135 yards, also completed an 18-yard pass to Cooper Payne later in the drive.
Marcy scored from the 28 on the second play for the second quarter for an 18-0 lead.
Holy Redeemer forced two straight punts, then scored 2:24 before halftime on a 31-yard run by Jacob Hunter.
The Sabers restored the 18-point lead before halftime, moving 60 yards in 11 plays to score with 25.1 seconds left.
Following one fourth-down and two third-down conversions, Marcy went off left tackle and cut back through the middle for a 16-yard touchdown.
Hunter recovered an on-side kick to begin the second half, but Susquehanna’s defense dominated the bulk of the third quarter.
Holy Redeemer’s first three possessions of the half netted minus-12 yards, two turnovers and no first downs.
Susquehanna’s Zach Norton recovered a fumble in the end zone for a 31-6 lead with 6:11 left in the third.
Even with an 82-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter, Holy Redeemer wound up with just 73 yards total offense in the second half.
Jake Griffin caught a pass over the middle and went the distance on the pass from Hunter to make it 31-12.
Susquehanna scored two touchdowns 32 seconds apart early in the fourth quarter.
One play after a 39-yard Stone-to-Kaleb Shimer pass on fourth-and-eight, Fisk scored on an 8-yard run.
Marcy returned an interception 26 yards for a score on the next play.
At that point, although the 35-point threshold had not been reached, the game switched to a running clock, not just in Mercy Rule conditions, but through all stoppages. There were just six plays from scrimmage and two special team plays in the last 9:49 and officials allowed the last 1:01 to run off the clock without a play.
Shimer led the defense with six tackles, one of them a sack, along with an assist and a pass rush.
Marcy had four tackles, an assist and a broken-up pass in addition to his interception for a touchdown.
Hunter went 8-for-23 for 128 yards while also leading Holy Redeemer in rushing with 13 carries for 78 yards.
Holy Redeemer receiving leader Zach Perta was helped off the field in the fourth quarter with an apparent lower leg injury.