Crookshank, Favers shine in Rock's season-opening loss
Nate Crookshank passed for 311 yards and two TDs and Paul Favers
had seven receptions for 127 yards in SRU's 40-24 loss at Bloomsburg
Nate Crookshank was 23 of 37 passing for 311 yards and two TDs
Aug. 27, 2005
Bloomsburg, Pa - The Rock's sophomore tandem of Nate Crookshank and Paul Favers put up big numbers Saturday afternoon, but the effort did not result in victory.
Crookshank completed 23 of 37 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns and Favers had seven receptions for 127 yards in The Rock's season-opening 40-24 loss at Bloomsburg.
Favers also had 111 yards on four kickoff returns.
Behind the leadership of Crookshank (who also threw two interceptions) and Favers, The Rock offense amassed 425 yards in total offense (114 rushing, 311 passing) and picked up 22 first downs.
Conversely, though, The Rock defense allowed Bloomsburg 438 yards in total offense, including 250 yards and four TDs rushing by Jamar Brittingham.
The loss was a frustrating one for The Rock as, in the words of Yogi Berra, it was deja vu all over again.
For the third successive season, The Rock had Bloomsburg on the proverbial ropes but could not throw the knockout punch.
The Rock lost a 19-16 decision to the Huskies in 2003 and dropped a 20-17 decision to Bloomsburg last fall. Both games were played on Bob DiSpirito Field at N. Kerr Thompson Stadium in Slippery Rock.
Saturday's game started off well for The Rock.
SRU held a 24-7 lead with 10:01 left to play in the third quarter after Crookshank hit Luke Wetzel in the back left corner of the end zone for a one-yard TD pass.
In the ensuing six-plus minutes, though, Bloomsburg rolled up 141 yards in total offense and scored three TDs to take a 27-24 advantage.
A pair of fourth-quarter TD runs by Brittingham padded the final margin.
The Rock held the first lead, thanks to a 31-yard field goal by Ryan Daniel at the 8:17 mark of the first quarter.
The boot capped a 15-play, 64-yard march by SRU after The Rock defense had stripped the ball from Brittingham at the SRU 24 yard line. Brandon Rakszawski forced the turnover and Akeem Etheridge pounced on the loose pigskin.
Brittingam redeemed himself with a 28-yard TD run on Bloomsburg's ensuing possession to put the hosts on top, 6-3, with 3:23 left in the first period. The extra-point kick sailed wide to the right.
SRU came right back to march 76 yards in 14 plays to regain the lead. Josh Kniess capped the drive with a two-yard TD run at the 12:34 mark of the second period.
Crookshank's 14-yard TD toss to John Benca in the final minute of the first half gave The Rock a 17-6 halftime lead.
In addition to the offensive efforts of Crookshank and Favers, bright spots for The Rock included a pair of blocked kicks by the special teams unit.
Wetzel deflected a punt attempt in the second quarter to set the stage for the Crookshank-to-Benca TD toss.
Robert Minnie batted down an extra point attempt following Bloomsburg's final TD.
Jerome Whiting and Rakszawski each finished the game with 5.5 tackles to lead The Rock defense. Whiting had two tackles for loss and one quarterback sack, while Cory Lacek and Jake Barzen combined for a second sack.
The Rock won't have much time to get ready for its next game.
SRU, an NCAA Division II school, travels to Youngstown State on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. game against the perennial NCAA Division I-Aa playoff contenders.