BLOOMSBURG — Edinboro and Bloomsburg combined for nearly 1,000 yards of offense Saturday, but in the end it was the Fighting Scots’ defense that preserved a 42-41 win over the No. 25 team in the country.
Edinboro’s Y’Hoshua Murray intercepted his first career pass in the end zone with 12 seconds remaining in the game to ice the Fighting Scots’ come-from-behind victory.
Jeremy Burr caught a touchdown and Ryan Rybicki added a two-point conversion pass from Trevor Harris to give Edinboro (2-1) the go-ahead points with just over a minute remaining. Rybicki juggled the ball and got control just as he fell to the ground.
Bloomsburg drove to the Edinboro 20 with 12 seconds left, but Murray intercepted Dan Latorre in the end zone to seal the victory.
Harris threw for a school-record 29 completions, 329 yards and four touchdowns — two to Burr and one each to Rybicki and Gary Nolen. Houston Brown scored twice for the Fighting Scots.
Jamar Brittingham rushed for 166 yards and three touchdowns to lead Bloomsburg (1-2), which took a 41-34 lead before Harris hooked up with Burr for a 17-yard scoring pass to win the game.
Bloomsburg opened up a 24-7 lead in the middle of the second quarter on a 56-yard touchdown run by Brittingham.
“Our whole defensive gameplan was geared toward stopping (Brittingham),” Browning said. “He’s as a good a back as I’ve ever seen in this league.”
But Burr’s first touchdown catch cut the Huskies’ lead to 24-14 at halftime. Harris hooked up with Rybicki for a 10-yard score on the first drive of the second half to make it 24-21.
“One of the critical times was when we were down 24-7 we scored to make it 24-14, then we had a defensive stop (to end the first half),” Browning said.
To open the second half, Edinboro’s David Bostic returned the kick 52 yards to the Bloomsburg 38.
“That was a heck of a good spark to start the second half,” Browning said.
That drive was culminated by Rybicki’s score. The 6-foot-3 junior had 10 catches for 73 yards.
“He had a big catch at the end of the game, and a lot of big ones before that,” Browning said.
Brown scored on a 3-yard run to give the Scots their first lead, 27-24 with 5:11 left in the third.
Edinboro held a 34-31 lead heading into the fourth quarter on Brown’s second touchdown run before Jon Konieg tied the game with a field goal with 7:18 left. Bloomsburg appeared to have the game in hand when quarterback Dan Latorre scored on a 2-yard run with just under two minutes left, but Edinboro needed just 42 seconds to go 63 yards for the game-winning score.
Burr’s touchdown set up the Scots’ two-point conversion try.
“I thought we had a chance to win the game. So, let’s win it,” Browning said. “Offensively, we scored, but in the long run it was our defense securing the win with the interception. It was so big, because they could have kicked a field goal to beat us.”
Bloomsburg stifled the Scots’ running game, holding Edinboro to 97 yards on the ground, but Harris completed a school-record 29 passes and threw for 329 yards.
“He did a great job of preparing himself,” Browning said. “And he just executed.”
The two teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards of total offense, with Bloomsburg outgaining Edinboro 560-426.
“That game had so many highs and lows,” Browning said. “Thank God it ended up high.”