Post receiver Grayson Laurino is brought down after a gain...

Post receiver Grayson Laurino is brought down after a gain during the homecoming game against Kutztown on Saturday at CW Post University in Brookville, NY. (Oct. 22, 2011) Credit: Lee S. Weissman

With four straight victories and the Eastern Division lead in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, the stage was set for C.W. Post to make a loud statement against second-place Kutztown Saturday before a crowd of 7,032 on Homecoming Day in Brookville.

The fans were loud but the statement was muted. Post fell behind early before rallying but could not contain Kutztown's high-powered offense in a 42-30 loss.

"By the time we looked up, it was 21-0. They jumped us quick,'' defensive tackle Andrew Jackson said.

And that was only the first quarter. "I saw people leaving,'' Pioneers running back Jeff Mack said. "That didn't bother me. I knew we could come back.''

By the time the opening quarter was over, Kutztown quarterback Kevin Morton had thrown for two of his three touchdowns and completed nine straight passes for 182 yards. He went on to complete 28 of 46 for 458 yards, 131 of those to 5-6 Josh Mastromatto, who also scored two rushing touchdowns.

"He's quick,'' Jackson said of Mastromatto. "You've got to get on him early and tackle him big. He made plays and we didn't.''

Post (4-4, 4-1 PSAC) started its comeback in the second quarter, scoring 17 straight points as Marc Montana booted a 17-yard field goal, Kyle Hardy caught a 22-yard pass from Steven Laurino and Anthony Brunetti capped a 39-yard drive with a 2-yard run.

"We felt great. We were right back in the game," Brunetti said. "We were down 21; now we're going into halftime feeling good about ourselves. We were hoping we would come out right away in the third quarter, stop them quick and get another score, but we didn't do that.''

Instead, No. 19 Kutztown (6-1, 4-1) drove 81 yards to start the third, with Mastromatto scoring on a 2-yard run as the Golden Bears took a 28-17 lead.

Post again came back, this time on Laurino's 11-yard pass to Joe Botti to move Post within 28-23. But Kutztown scored the next two touchdowns, the first on Morton's 68-yard pass to Troy Foster. It was the longest touchdown pass of the season by Morton, who has thrown for 26 TDs in eight games.

Making it a game was of little consolation to the Pioneers. "A loss is a loss; any time you lose, it's frustrating,'' Brunetti said. "We fought hard, we didn't give up, but we just didn't win, and that's all that matters, really.''

But Post can make amends Saturday when it visits No. 2 Bloomsburg (8-0), which came back from a 35-0 deficit Saturday to beat West Chester, 55-42.

"There's no boring weeks in this conference,'' Jackson said. "You know you're in a fight every weekend.

"We're still in it. It's going to be a good battle , another chance for us to get back in our winning ways.''

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