By Kyle Krajewski
The Golden Bears seemed to have saved their best performance for the homecoming game as KU shuts out Lock Haven in a 41-0 blowout at home on Oct. 13. This win was also head coach Jim Clements’ 100th career victory, his 34th at KU.
This is the first shutout of the season for KU and brings the team to an undefeated record of 6-0, the best start to a season since they began the 2010 season 9-0. This win also clinches the fifth straight winning season for the Golden Bears, the longest streak in program history.
Junior quarterback Collin DiGalbo finished 13-20 for 203 yards and one touchdown. His seven rushes for 45 yards was second on the team in rushing yards in this game, but also made DiGalbo the all-time leading rusher in a career for a quarterback in program history with 918 yards. DiGalbo ran one of his attempts into the end zone from seven yards out for the first touchdown of the game.
Senior running back Craig Reynolds led the team with 46 rushing yards on 13 attempts and one touchdown. Reynolds currently ranks second all-time in KU history with 31 career touchdowns and sits at sixth all-time with 2,393 rushing yards. His 59 receiving yards also gave him 104 all-purpose yards on the day and he ranks third all-time with 4,743 yards in his career.
Sophomore quarterback Eric Nickel found himself in the game for a bit and joined in on the scoring by adding a nine-yard touchdown run in the early second quarter. Nickel also finished the game 9-13 passing for 83 yards.
Eleven different KU players recorded a catch for KU, the fourth straight week that double-digit players have caught passes in a game. Junior Jack Pilkerton led the receiving corps with four catches for 71 yards. Senior Josh Lee was on the receiving end of the only touchdown pass of the game, a 19-yard throw from DiGalbo.
Sophomore wide receiver Amadou Berry scored on an 18-yard rush while also reeling in three catches for 49 yards. His touchdown run came just 39 seconds after Nickel’s score thanks to an interception and long return by Shawn Turber-Ortiz, who finished the day with a fumble recovery as well.
The defensive side of the ball showcased absolute domination throughout the game. The entire Golden Bear defense forced six Lock Haven turnovers (three fumbles, three interceptions) and didn’t allow a single point. 27 of KU’s 41 total points were scored off of turnovers, whether they were by the defense or on the drive following the turnover.
Senior Jake Perry capped off the scoring for KU by returning an interception all the way for a score with just three seconds left in the first half. Junior Ahkee Cox-Cowan also had an interception. 29 different Golden Bears recorded at least one tackle in the game, led by linebacker Luke Snyder with nine total tackles. Freshman Amani Justice and Sophomore Ryan Meyers both recorded sacks for KU.
Following the Lock Haven blowout, the Golden Bears moved up in the ranks of the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Poll to No. 15. Previously ranked at 19, KU came off of a complete team performance that propelled them higher. This is the highest that KU has been ranked in the poll since the 2011 season when the team was voted as high as sixth.