In their last game of the season, the Mercyhurst football team hosted the Shippensburg University Raiders on Saturday, Nov. 15 .and won with the final score of 42-21. This was another record-breaking game.
Redshirt junior quarterback Brendan Boylan broke three records during the game, including season mark of 3,105 yards of total offense, the number of touchdowns per season with 29 after throwing five on Saturday’s game and the single-season record with his fifth 300-yard passing game of the season.
Senior Colin Kimball had a 100-yard return for a touchdown which was the longest return in school history. Kimball also broke the record for number of interceptions with 15 in his career after getting two this game.
The game opened with Shippensburg scoring on an 11- play, 80-yard drive when quarterback Chris Lawshe found wide receiver Mike Brown for a 23-yard touchdown.
The Lakers started off a bit slower offensively, but answered with twelve 12 minutes left in the first half when Boylan connected with redshirt junior fullback Donny Holl on a three-yard strike.
With a little over seven minutes left in the half, Lawshe found the end zone again when he ran for a two-yard touchdown putting the Raiders up, 14-7.
But, to end the half, the Lakers marched downfield as Boylan threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to an open junior Dylan Bongorni, tying the game at 14-14. This marked Bongorni’s first career touchdown.
The third quarter is when the Lakers began to truly find their rhythm, outscoring Shippensburg 21-0.
Boylan connected with redshirt senior tight end R.J. Miller twice, first for a 21-yard touchdown pass, and then for an eight-yard strike to the end zone. The offensive explosion was finished off by a toss to Holl, making it a 35-14 Mercyhurst, heading into the fourth quarter.
Boylan completed 26 of 38 passes for 409 yards and five touchdowns, adding up 20 yards on the ground.
Redshirt senior Stephen Yarbrough led the Lakers in receiving, catching six passes for 165 yards.
However, the most exciting play of game came from the Laker defense.
With Mercyhurst up seven, Shippensburg had possession near the Laker goal line, and was looking to tie the game. But Kimball read the offense, picking off a pass from Lawshe and returning it 100 yards for a touchdown, giving the Lakers a 28-14 lead.
With this interception he tied the record for career interceptions at 14. Later in third quarter, Kimball broke the interception record with 15.
“It was a great way to finish. I get nervous before games, but coach puts us into great situations at practice to get prepared for these types of moments,” Kimball said.
Alongside Kimball’s defensive performance was redshirt senior Michael Foster who collected a career-high 16 tackles in his final collegiate game, and senior defensive back Deonte Huggins who grabbed a third interception for the Lakers.
With this win, the Lakers finished the season on a seven- game winning streak, after starting 0-4. This put the Laker football team at a 7-4 overall record, and gained them their third straight winning season.
During this senior day game, Mercyhurst honored 16 senior members of the football team as well as the senior members of the cheerleading squad.
“It’s bittersweet. I’m very excited about the win and season, but I’ll miss all the guys and miss college football. The whole program top to bottom is amazing and I’m very proud to have played for Mercyhurst,” Kimball said