Frostburg Hands Utica First Loss of the Young Season

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Frostburg 44, Utica 24 - Box Score

Frostburg, Md. (9/17/2011) - Frostburg State outscored visiting Utica College 28-10 in the second half and racked up 462 total yards of offense as the Bobcats earned a 44-24 Empire 8 Conference victory Saturday afternoon. Frostburg, making its conference debut this season, handed the Pioneers (2-1, 0-1 Empire 8) their first loss of the season. 

"Frostburg was very tough up front today and we had a hard time stopping the run," said Head Coach Blaise Faggiano

Junior Jake Larson tallied his second TD of the season

of the Bobcats 220 yards on the ground.  "Their success on the ground helped them control the time of possession, and we had a few costly penalties and turnovers in the second half that led to touchdowns on the other end."

Frostburg (2-1, 1-1 Empire 8) amassed 220 yards on the ground compared to the Pioneers 75, and the Bobcats controlled the time of possession, holding the ball on offense for 39 minutes in the 60 minute contest.  UC struggled on third down for the second consecutive week, converting on just 4-of-12 third down attempts.

Both teams opened the contest by exchanging touchdowns as UC's Jake Larson and Anthony Acevedo provided the scoring for the visitors.  Larson's one yard plunge tied the contest at 7-7 with 4:37 to go in the first quarter, while Acevedo's season-long 66 yard touchdown grab knotted the score at 14-14 four minutes into the second quarter.  Acevedo finished the day with a team-best 110 yards on five catches, while junior  quarterback Andrew Benkwitt completed 15-of-31 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns. 

With the score tied at 14-14 late in the second quarter, Frostburg punter Zach Tuckmantel put the Pioneers in a tough spot when he directed a punt that went out of bounds at the Utica three yard line.  Two plays later the Bobcats stuffed Utica's Jake Larson for a safety to give Frostburg at 16-14 advantage at the half.  

The home team opened up the second half with a six-play, 59 yard scoring drive to give Frostburg a 23-14 lead midway through the third quarter.  Frostburg back up running back JD Hook, who turned in a career day, plunged in the one yard touchdown to cap Frostburg's third scoring drive of the contest.  Hook finished the day with a career-best 184 yards on 38 carries.  Hook also totaled two rushing touchdowns as the Bobcats earned their first Empire 8 Conference victory in program-history.  

Two drives later the Pioneers' answered with a Seth Mitchell field goal late in the third quarter to pull Utica to within six points of the lead, 23-17.  The 47-yarder marked a career-best for Mitchell.  The two teams exchanged touchdowns to open the fourth quarter, with sophomore Jamie Murphy catching his third touchdown of the season for UC as Frostburg maintained its six point advantage, 30-24, with 12:17 left in regulation. Murphy, who is the College's reigning male athlete of the week, caped the day with five catches for 50 yards. 

With Frostburg up by six, with 8:16 to go, the Pioneers fumbled a punt on their own one yard line and the Bobcats jumped on

Junior linebacker Nate Stewart made a career-best 12 tackles

the ball, leading to a one yard rushing touchdown on the ensuing possession to give Frostburg a commanding 37-24 lead mid-way through the fourth quarter. 

That proved to be the back breaker for the previously undefeated Pioneers.  The Bobcats would tack on one more rushing touchdown before the end of the contest to secure the 20 point victory. 

Utica junior linebacker Nate Stewart led the Utica defense with a career-high 12 tackles, while junior safety Luke Manolescu added a career-best 11 stops.  Five different Pioneers tallied at least ten tackles on the day, including Eric Rindo, Genaro Scampone and Dana Christofferson.  Scampone, a junior captain, was seeing his first action since going down with a knee injury in week one at St. Lawrence.

Josh Volpe completed 17-of-27 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns for the Bobcats. 

The Pioneers will now have two weeks to rest due to a bye next weekend, before returning home on Oct. 1 to take on nationally-ranked No. 24 Salisbury in an Empire 8 Conference contest at 1:30 p.m. For those who cannot make it out to the contest, you can follow all the action through live video, audio and stats at www.ucpioneers.com.

                                                                                --- www.ucpioneers.com ---

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