WORCESTER, Mass. — The Utica College football team broke
the school-record for most points in a single game as the Pioneers
topped host Becker College, 78-19, in the season opener for both
squads on Saturday. UC also earned its most lopsided victory in
program-history (59 points), eclipsing the mark (57 points) set in
the Pioneers' win over the Hawks one year ago.
Four different running backs combined for six touchdowns, including a career-high three by sophomore Jake Scott (Rochester, N.Y.). Senior linebacker Travis Ladd (Mexico, N.Y.) added a game-high 13 tackles and one sack for the Pioneer defense.
Sophomore quarterback Andrew Benkwitt (Mamaroneck, NY) threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns and the Pioneers totaled 528 total yards of offense and improved to 1-0 on the year.
The Pioneers jumped out to a 38-0 lead and never looked back, mounting a 47-7 lead at the half.
The UC defense totaled two touchdowns and held the Hawks to just 215 yards of offense. Sophomore defensive end James Brain had a banner day and totaled a career-high ten tackles, three tackles for a loss, one sack and one forced fumble. Sophomore linebacker Genaro Scampone added a career-high eight tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery.
Nine different Pioneers caught at least one pass and leading the way was freshman Anthony Acevedo, who tallied a game-high five receptions for 69 yards. Sophomore tight end Matt Dunn caught a career-high four passes for 72 yards.
Chris Cobb, Justin Becker and Barrington Wallace each aded their first collegiate rushing touchdowns.
Scott scored his first of three touchdowns on a one yard scamper with just under a minute remaining in the first quarter to break open the scoring on the day.
Benkwitt tossed his first touchdown of the afternoon as he hit Jeremy Meier (Rome, NY) in stride just 90 seconds into the second quarter.
Next it was the defenses turn to get on the board when junior cornerback Jon White intercepted a Bobby Baker (Monroe, Conn.) pass at the Becker 34 yard line and ran it down to the goal line before fumbling into the hands of senior safety Terrell Cunningham to give UC a 20-0 lead.
Utica then added back-to-back 2-yard runs by Scott and Chris Cobb (Syracuse, NY) to take a 38 point advantage.
Becker finally broke the goal line on a beautiful sideline pass from freshman quarterback William Ramirez (Bethel, Conn.) to Curtis Ludden (Leominster, Mass.) for a 73 yard touchdown reception.
Utica finished out the first half with a Joshua Mason (Schenectady, NY) eight yard touchdown reception from Benkwitt and the Pioneers led 45-7 at the half.
Utica opened up the second half with a 40 yard touchdown interception by corner back Robert Alexander (Dobbs Ferry, NY) to increase the lead to 52-7. Utica dominated the rest of the way and outscored the Hawks 26-12 over the course of the final 27 minutes.
The Pioneers remain on the road next Saturday when they travel to Castleton State to take on the Spartans for the second straight season. Game time is set for 1 p.m.