Mercyhurst Prep had a 21-0 lead before its offense took the field.
By BOB ROTH
ERIE, Pa. -- The undefeated Mercyhurst Prep football team turned three big plays by their special teams into quick touchdowns Saturday en route to a 54-6 romp over Campbell Memorial. Mercyhurst (5-0) jumped ahead 21-0 before the Lakers' offense took the field.
"Everything that could happen against us early, did happen and now we have to learn what we can from this nightmare and do something about the rest of the season," Campbell coach John Ryan said.
Campbell (3-3) returner Craig Glover fumbled the opening kickoff and Lakers senior Joe Jackson returned it 28 yards for a 6-0 lead 11 seconds into the game.
"Our special teams are special and they were that today," said Glover, who also scored a touchdown on a 57-yard interception return.
Doing it all: Glover also blocked a field goal attempt by the Red Devils' Rick Quinn. Jovon Johnson picked up the ball and raced 85 yards for a touchdown. Midway through the first quarter, Johnson burst through the Campbell line to block a Quinn punt and return it 30 yards for a touchdown for a 21-0 lead.
The Lakers weren't through, scoring two more first-quarter touchdowns for a 34-0 lead.
Andy Willis ran the ball in from 33 yards out and teammate Justin Gannoe matched his feat minutes later.
In the second quarter, Johnson, the Lakers quarterback and free safety, scored on an 11-yard run .
Following his lead: "Coach stressed in the lockerroom before the game that special teams would be a big factor and he was right," Johnson said.
Mercyhurst coach Jeff Nichols said his players "took to heart what I said and that took care of our first three scores.
"That took the wind out of Campbell, but I know they are a much better football team than this final score indicated."
Senior tailback Albert Holland led the Red Devils with 127 yards on 17 carries.
"We looked ready when we got here, but we were not mentally ready," Holland said.
Campbell scored with 6:40 remaining when Mike Harden took a short pass from Quinn and ran 62 yards. Quinn completed five-of-12 passes for 101 yards and was intercepted twice.