|Koree Reed, left, and Brad Garcia have combined for 234.3 receiving yards per game so far this season.
Hartwick athletics photos
By Jason Bowen
Perhaps no team has suffered as many tough losses this season as Hartwick.
The Hawks, currently 2-2 in the Empire 8 and 3-4 overall, have be beaten three times this season late in the fourth quarter.
“This season has been the most stressful that I’ve been a part of,” said receiver Koree Reed. “It seems like every game is coming down to one second left or one series left.”
But perhaps no team has a more productive pair of receivers in Reed and fellow senior Brad Garcia.
Reed currently leads the nation in receiving yards (975), while Garcia ranks 21st with 665. The pair have both put up huge games this season. Reed posted 290 yards in the Hawks’ season opener (currently second best in D-III this season), while Garcia posted 271 in a last-second win against St. John Fisher.
The program has had some tremendous quarterbacks and receivers over the years and developed a reputation for turning out explosive offenses.
“They are two of the more talented kids I’ve ever coached and I got them at the same time,” coach Mark Carr said. “It makes us very dangerous.
“With one outstanding receiver, teams can game plan and take one guy out and make the other receivers beat them. We’ve got two really good players. It’s difficult to take both of them away. “
The career numbers bear that out.
Reed, who transferred from Central Connecticut after starting out at Albright as a corner, has more than 2,500 career receiving yards and has yet to make his 100th reception (he has 96). That includes 27 touchdowns.
Garcia is currently fourth among active players with 205 receptions and second in career yardage with over 3,800 yards and 36 touchdowns.
The pair became friends during the first year Reed spent at Hartwick after transferring.
“We never press the issue for numbers or catches or touchdowns,” Garcia said. “We’re just working to score on that particular drive.
“Being seniors, we take pride in the fact that we’re going it out all during our final stretch. We love to play the game and we are excited to play with each other. Not everybody gets to play with a guy that can make plays like that.”
The pair can line up at any receiving position in any offensive formation to take advantage of favorable matchups against the secondary.
And while they complement each other on the field well, off the field they are very different, according to Reed.
“We’re opposites – that’s why we work so well together,” said Reed, who plans on becoming a prison warden.
Garcia, who plans on a teaching career, is more outgoing and talkative in public, while Reed considers himself more shy and reserved.
So while this season has been both frustrating and fun, this week the pair gets to test itself against one of the top teams in the nation when they travel to Brockport. “Brockport is a very talented football team,” Carr said. “It’s an opportunity for us to knock off the 12th ranked team in the country. When you watch their film, they don’t have holes. They’re as complete a team as we’ve seen on film this year.”
Still the Hawks are confident in their ability play spoiler in the Empire 8 race as the face frontrunners Brockport and Alfred over their last three games. The Golden Eagles needed a fourth quarter touchdown to beat them last year 38-35.
“That will be a great test for us,” Garcia said. “We think we match up well with Brockport. We’ve had a lot of success against them in the past couple years. We don’t see any reason why we can’t go in there and give them a run for their money.”
Games this Week
No. 9 Delaware Valley (7-0, 6-0 MAC) is idle. The Aggies’ next big challenge appears to be Widener in the season finale at home, however the Pride (also idle this week) will have to get past Stevenson next week to stay in the MAC race.
Hartwick (3-4, 2-2 E8) at No. 12 Brockport (6-0, 4-0): The Golden Eagles juggernaut rolled on last week limiting Morrisville St to 168 yards and racing out to a 48-0 lead. Brockport is great on third down, currently ranked No. 2 in D-III at 56.6 percent. Quarterback Joe Germinerio is making a great case for offensive player of the year in the east completing 70 percent of his passes for 1676 yards with and 11-to-3 touchdown to interception ratio. He can also kill you with his feet rushing for 348 and eight touchdowns. The Hawks can score points too, but Brockport ranks among the best in pass defenses in the nation at 24th.
Rowan (3-3, 2-3 NJAC) at No. 14 Wesley (5-1, 5-0): The Wolverines played one of their best offensive halves of the season past Saturday while racing out to a 29-3 lead against Kean. They followed with their worst offensive half since their opening loss to Del Val. Penalties were mostly to blame. E.J. Lee has an uncanny ability to make people miss in small spaces, while averaging 150 yards a game on the ground. The Profs are coming of a head-scratching loss to previously winless TCNJ. They have a defense that will can cause some headaches, but cannot afford to turn the ball over (minus-2 last week). They fell behind 20-0 last week and couldn't quite make up the deficit.
Montclair State (3-3, 3-2 NJAC) at No. 16 Frostburg State (5-1, 4-1): The Red Hawks rank among the top 50 in total defense in D-III, but just 223rd to total offense. They’ll need a superior effort to slow down a Bobcat offense that has grown up this season behind quarterback Connor Cox. Cox ranks first in the NJAC in most statistical passing categories this season. Perhaps, the unit has grown up the most on the however the offensive line. The group has paved the way for running backs Jamaal Morrant and Gavin Lavat.
Hobart (5-2, 1-1 LL) at Union (6-1, 2-0): The Dutchmen are the feel-good story in the east this season exceeding their win total of the past three seasons with a six-game winning streak. Now the road gets tougher as the wounded Statesmen, last year’s E8 champs, fight to stay in the conference race. Linebacker Jake Lombardo put up another stellar performance in Union’s 27-0 win over Rochester with a team-best eight tackles and two sacks. Hobart got in a shootout with Hartwick last week before pulling away in the fourth quarter to win 49-27.
Southern Virginia (1-5, 0-5 NJAC) at Salisbury (5-1, 5-0): The Sea Gulls have quietly won five straight on strength of a defense ranked 20th in total defense. The unit has not allowed more than 13 points in a game since their opening overtime loss to Albright. The Knights also run the triple option and have had two weeks to prepare after picking up their first win a couple of weeks ago against Apprentice.
Albright (5-1, 4-1 MAC) at Stevenson (3-3, 3-2): Neither team is likely to win the MAC this year unless Delaware Valley slips up, but this game will put the winner in good position for a postseason bowl appearance. Both teams are coming of a loss their last time out. The Mustangs lead the MAC in every team statistical category.
Wilkes (0-6, 0-5 MAC) at FDU-Florham (1-5, 0-5): Battle to get out of the basement in the MAC. Jagger Green completed 52 of 67 passes for 350 yards in a loss to Lycoming in their last game two weeks ago. That included 23 to Mike Panzarino and 12 to Malik Pressley. Both receivers topped 100 yards. The Colonels also had last week off after falling 30-7 to Widener. They have lost seven straight since upsetting playoff-bound Stevenson last year.
Lebanon Valley (3-3, 3-2 MAC) at Misericordia (1-5, 1-4): The Dutchmen have bowl aspirations themselves after knocking off Stevenson last Saturday. LVC used seven turnovers to set their offense with short field in taking down the defending MAC champs. Guy Zimmerman registered two sacks. Quarterback Brady Williams was a one-man show with more than 300 yards of total offense in the Cougars 63-37 loss to King’s two weeks ago.
St. John Fisher (1-5) at Ithaca (3-3): Once a key matchup in the E8 race, this game is now an interesting nonconference game with lots of recent history. The Bombers fell to RPI last time out, managing just minus-3 rushing yards. The Cardinals broke their losing streak by knocking off Utica in five overtimes.
Buffalo State (4-2, 1-2 E8) at Utica (2-4, 1-3): The Bengals scored with 1:15 left last week to beat St. Lawrence and snap a two-game losing skid. After a gut-wrenching loss to St. John Fisher, the Pioneers will have to win out if they hope to post the program’s first back-to-back winning seasons.
RPI (4-2) at Alfred (5-1): Interesting nonconference tilt with contenders from the Liberty League and Empire 8. The Engineers cooled off a red-hot Ithaca offense last time with their veteran defense. The Saxons’ overtime defeat against Cortland was their first regular-season loss since 2015. Their hopes of repeating as E8 champs remain alive, however, with Brockport still on the schedule in a couple of weeks.
Cortland (4-2, 3-1 E8) at Morrisville State (2-4, 0-3): The Red Dragons remained in the E8 title hunt after knocking off Alfred. They’ll need help but the schedule sets up nicely for them to finish with just one conference loss. The Mustangs will try to recover from the steamroller named Brockport that hit them last week.
William Paterson (0-6, 0-5 NJAC) at Christopher Newport (4-2, 3-2): The Captains are another NJAC defense ranked highly in D-III. Those stats will get a boost this Saturday as the Pioneers, another of the NJAC’s struggling offenses, average just 110 yards and five points a game.
Kean (2-4, 2-3 NJAC) at TCNJ (1-5, 1-4): The Lions picked up their first win of the year by surprising Rowan last week. Receiver Thomas Koenig leads the NJAC in receiving yards and touchdown catches. The Cougars play solid defense, but need to be more careful with the football on offense.
Rochester (2-4, 0-2 LL) at St. Lawrence (1-5, 0-2): The winner of this game stays out of the LL basement, which, for St. Lawrence, is an unexpected place to be.