By Jeff Smyth
A double-digit halftime lead was answered by the Shippensburg Red Raiders (6-4, 5-4) with 34 points in the second half to take down the Golden Bears in what would be a 37-32 final at Seth Grove Stadium. The loss brought an end to the two-game winning streak and was the PSAC East finale for the Golden Bears.
Shippensburg built momentum with a score in the third quarter to erase the Golden Bears 19-3 lead brought on by a solid first half. KU looked to hold onto a 26-16 lead until the Red Raiders scored three straight touchdowns late in the fourth quarter, forcing KU to create a possible late comeback.
Losing 37-26 with 3:21 left in the game, KU looked to quarterback Chad Barton to lead the bears to two more scores for a comeback. The Golden Bears marched to the 10-yardline when Barton connected with receiver Kodi Reed for the junior’s second touchdown of the day, pulling KU within five points with 2:01 to play.
Shippensburg looked to run the clock out to pull off the win. The Golden Bears forced a threeand-out as the Red Raiders took a timeout with 22 seconds left in the game. The next play shifted momentum completely as the snap was botched by the Red Raiders leading to the Shippensburg punting diving on the ball 18 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
KU took over on the 29-yardline with just 17 seconds left. After a Kellen Williams completion, the Golden Bears had one final play with 1.7 seconds left on the 8-yardline. Barton took the snap and scrambled to his right where he saw Anthony Kelly open for the game-winner, however the pass sailed over his head ending the potential comeback.
Barton threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns on 24-for-45 passing. He connected with eight different receivers as Reed and Williams combined for 12 catches and 214 yards and three scores. Reed had a career-high 133 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Sam Dougan had a game-high 12 tackles while English Peay cashed in with 11 as well.
The Golden Bears have one more shot to secure a winning season on Saturday, Nov. 15 at Clarion University. Game time is set for 12 p.m.