Frosty win for football


Jill Marcellin

Tullio Field had to be shoveled before the start of the contest Nov. 10. Snow blanketed everything from the stands to the green itself, which had to be tended throughout the game to keep lines visible.

Bernard Garwig, Sports editor

In a finale that few could have envisioned a mere week ago, the Mercyhurst Lakers football team finished the season with a win over the Millersville University Marauders in the midst of the year’s first major snowfall.

The contest, which was originally billed as Senior Day and the finale of the Veterans Tribute festivities, saw many of its original plannings canceled due to the chilling wind and the blanketing snow.

Occasionally, the game was stopped to allow for the grounds crew to shovel off the yard lines. At one point, the press box humorously played the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” as the shovelers strutted from sideline to sideline.

Despite the oppressive weather a decent crowd of fans and parents toughed it out and supported the Lakers from the snow-covered stands. The players certainly made the most of the game, and there were several touchdown or endzone plays that resulted in dives into the snow banks.

In the first half, the Lakers laid claim to sole possession of the scoreboard.

Quarterback Doug Altavilla connected with Clay Waldron for the first Laker score of the day, which topped off the first drive of the game. After some back and forth, the Lakers forced a fourth down fumble on the Marauders, giving the Lakers field possession on the Marauders’ third yard line. On the initial play of the drive, Altavilla took it into the endzone with a run. Kicker Mark Shafer then completed the extra point kick for the Lakers to finish the quarter 14-0.

Despite their absence from the scoring in the first half, the Marauders did make a stand in the second half. The Marauders were within 6 points of the Lakers after an Altavilla to Waldron touchdown, but the Lakers would pull away from this 20-16 lead with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. At the end of the day, the Lakers won 35-14 over the Marauders.

Tight end Bryce Mostoller (passed from Altavilla) and runningback Cortez Watson both had touchdowns. Wide receiver Nick Altavilla had a two-point conversion score on Mostoller’s touchdown, passed from quarterback Altavilla. Shafer, who missed an extra point for the Lakers in the third kicked it in after Watson’s touchdown.

“We fought through the adversity and the weather,” Laker Head Coach Marty Schaetzle said. “We had to answer the great effort that Millersville brought. They made some adjustments at half time, took us awhile to answer to that. Offensively, we had some answers as well. Best thing was that the seniors ended with a victory.”

The Lakers end the season 5-6 and 3-4 in the PSAC, mirroring the results of the 2017 Lakers’ record.

“As a program, we were expecting more,” Schaetzle said. “But as the season progressed, I thought the second half of the season we played a little bit better, made improvements. The success we had late, three-game winning streak; it makes the returning players that much more hungry when looking forward to next year.”