Scots football wins first since November 2014, Lustig era begins

Category:  Sports
Sunday, September 4th, 2016 at 7:37 PM

The Justin Lustig era of Edinboro Fighting Scots football got off to a winning start Saturday.  

The Fighting Scots came away with a hard fought, 31-30 victory over the Saint Joseph’s Pumas in Rensselaer, Indiana. The win marked Edinboro football's first in the state of Indiana, and the team’s first win since November of 2014. 

 “We're a young team, but the neat thing is we can get a lot better. We had a lot of mistakes in a lot of different areas, but it was a typical first game,” Lustig said after the game. 

Edinboro struck first in the contest, as freshman running back Walter Fletcher broke free on a 50-yard off-tackle run for a touchdown at the 11:46 mark of the first quarter. Austin Reese capped off the drive by kicking the extra point, putting the Fighting Scots up 7-0. It would take St. Joseph's until the 12:34 mark in the second quarter to answer back as Martez Walker scored on a 1-yard run. 

 St. Joseph's would then take the lead on a 26-yard pass from their quarterback, Phillip Kimble, to Tremel Glaspher, bringing the score to 14-7 in favor of the Pumas.  

It took Edinboro three minutes to respond as quarterback Jake Sisson connected with Ta’Nauz Gregory on a 4-yard pass to tie it up heading into halftime. 

At the 12:45 mark of the third quarter Edinboro scored again with a 10-yard pass from Jake Sisson to Jordan Williams. Williams would dazzle the crowd with a one-handed catch at the back corner of the end zone, over a defender, to put the Fighting Scots up 21-14. 

Just 2 minutes later, though, the Pumas would answer with a score of their own, as Kimble hooked up with a slashing Gaspher on a post route for the touchdown. The extra point attempt was no good, however, keeping the Scots in the lead and serving as a miscue further highlighted by the eventual one point margin of victory. 

The ensuing possession ended with the Scots getting stopped at their own 5-yard line, which brought Austin Reese out to punt. A muffed snap caused Reese to scramble for the ball and run it out of the back of the end zone for a St. Joseph's safety. 

Edinboro was able to drive down the field on the next possession as Jake Sisson led the team into field goal range. Austin Reese was automatic from the 22-yard line, putting the Fighting Scots back on top, 24-22. 

With nine minutes left in the contest, the Pumas came roaring back and capped off an offensive drive with a 1-yard run by Martez Walker for the touchdown. The Pumas chose to go for 2 and were successful.  Walker, the running back, took a direct snap in a wildcat formation, and passed the ball to Addison Dellinger in the end zone. Following the conversion, the Pumas led 30-24.  

Edinboro responded on the following drive, as Fletcher broke free on his 50-plus-yard run and took it to the house for six. The extra point by Austin Reese was good as the Scots took a 31-30 lead. Fletcher finished with a game-high 180 yards. It was the most yards rushing in a game for a Fighting Scot since 2010. 

Edinboro had the ball with less than two minutes left in the game. They needed a first down, which they were able to convert, but on the next set of downs they were unable to burn off enough time to end the game.  

In response, Lustig called a play, titled “Milk,” where Sisson ran a negative 50 yards to run the remaining 10 seconds off the clock to ensure the victory.  

“You know right from the beginning they were chirping at us a little bit and I think the guys did a good job of just putting blinders on and walking right past it,” Lustig said of his young squad. 

The Scots lost by 20 in last season's matchup with the Pumas. This time around St. Joseph's committed 10 penalties, for a total of 94 yards. The Scots only registered three, for a total of 25 yards.  

 “We've been preaching from day one [that] we control what we can control and penalties are something we can control. I thought we did pretty good there. We were disciplined,” Lustig said. 

“Ever since I've been hired I've been joking with people, everyone likes us right now because we're undefeated, and now we actually are,” he said. 

George Schmidt is a sports writer fro EdinboroNow. He can be reached at 

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