The Gannon University Golden Knights slipped by the Mercyhurst College Lakers Saturday, scoring with just two minutes left to solidify the come-from-behind victory.
Click here to view a slideshow from the game.
Both sons of Athletic Director Joseph Kimball played big roles in the game. Bryant Kimball stuffed GU running back Tyler Batts on a 4th-and-3 to force a turnover with 45 seconds left to give the Lakers a shot at winning the game. On the ensuing drive, brother Connor Kimball intercepted a pass to seal the Knight’s victory.
This game is only the third time both teams scored 14 points or less. As the rivalry stands, the Lakers lead the head-to-head series, 9-4-1.
Since the renewal of the rivalry in 2004, when both joined the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference’s west division, Mercyhurst leads the series, 4-3.
Both teams fought hard on Saturday, following a precedent set in the early ‘90’s when this rivalry started. Since then, the home team hosting the game has only won three times, showing how hard each team plays when the game matters the most.
The Laker defense played hard for most of the game, giving the offense the best chance at scoring points.
“The game was a battle just like we expected it to be,” senior linebacker Tim Herbner said. “We played well defensively for 58 minutes, but couldn’t get it done in the last two minutes.”
Although the defense played well, the Laker offense failed to find a rhythm and move the ball. Both teams punted the ball a total of 17 times, proving that each team’s defense played an important role in this game.
“It’s a hard loss, but we have to put it behind us because we have another huge game this week,” Herbner said.
The Lakers will travel to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) Saturday. A win here moves the Lakers into the top three in the PSAC’s west division.
The Lakers upset the Crimson Hawks last year on Homecoming, 20-16, but this year they face a hungry team looking for redemption.