Aerial Attack Lifts #24 Cortland Past Rowan, 31-28
GLASSBORO, N.J. – Dan Pitcher (Cortland) passed for 315 yards and two touchdowns and John Babin (Warwick Valley) caught eight passes for 183 yards as nationally 24th-ranked Cortland rallied from an 11-point second quarter deficit to defeat Rowan University, 31-28, in a New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) contest.
Cortland improves to 2-1 overall and in the NJAC with the win. Rowan is 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the league.
Pitcher set a career high in passing yardage for the second straight game. Babin's 183 receiving yards are the seventh highest single-game total in school history.
Brian Haber (Northport) and Mike Humphrey (Le Roy) caught TD passes and Dorian Myles (Lackawanna/Hamburg) ran for a score. Marc Corrado (Newburgh/Newburgh Free Academy) kicked three field goals, all in the first half.
Cody Allen (Medina) led Cortland's defense with 12 tackles and two pass breakups and Steven Lenhart (Ticonderoga) made 10 tackles. Freshman Andrew Tolosi (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury), who came in after D.J. Romano (Newburgh/Newburgh Free Academy) was injured on a first-quarter kickoff, finished with eight tackles and a pass breakup. Defensive linemen Connor Tompkins (Ossining/Sleepy Hollow) and Steve Gruber (Thornwood/Westlake) each registered seven tackles, 2.5 for lost yardage.
Rowan quarterback Louie Bianchini (West Long Branch, NJ/Red Bank Catholic) finished 25-for-37 passing for 213 yards and two touchdowns. Eddie Eisenhart (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview Reg.) made nine catches for 87 yards and a TD and Anthony Barone (Hammonton, NJ) also caught a TD pass. Dean Hammel (Sewell, NJ/Washington Twp.) led the Profs with 12 tackles and Geno Raman (Mullica Hill, NJ/N. Kingstown (RI)) registered 11 tackles.
Cortland grabbed a 3-0 lead on a Corrado 29-yard field goal on the Red Dragons' first possession. Rowan scored on a Steve Hevalow (Galloway, NJ/Absegami) 8-yard run on the next drive to take a 7-3 lead.
On Cortland's next possession, a backwards pass was dropped deep in Cortland territory. John Dokouslis recovered the loose ball and ran eight yards for a touchdown and a 14-3 Rowan lead.
The Red Dragons mounted a 70-yard scoring drive the next time it touched the ball. Myles capped the drive with a 6-yard TD run and Cortland trailed 14-10. Rowan, however, re-established an 11-point lead when Bianchini threw a 15-yard pass to Barone with 9:05 left in the first half.
A Cortland drive later in the quarter stalled at the Rowan 2-yard line and resulted in a Corrado 19-yard field goal. The Red Dragons held the Profs and took over after a punt on the Cortland 40-yard line with 49 seconds left. Three Pitcher completions moved the ball to the Rowan 14-yard line and Corrado made a 31-yard field goal as the horn sounded to move Cortland within 21-16 at halftime.
Cortland got the ball to start the second half and drove 65 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Haber's 18-yard TD catch on 3rd-and-11 and Humphrey's ensuing two-point conversion catch gave the Red Dragons a 24-21 advantage.
Early in the fourth quarter, Pitcher found Humphrey for a 14-yard TD catch that extended the lead to 31-21. After the teams traded possessions, Rowan mounted a final drive with 4:36 left. The Profs finally cashed in with 49 seconds remaining on a Bianchini 2-yard pass to Eisenhart in the back left corner of the end zone and Cortland's lead dropped to 31-28. The Profs attempted an onsides kickoff, but Cortland's Rob Von Bargen (Massapequa) recovered the ball and the Red Dragons were able to run out the clock.
Cortland outgained Rowan 406-280 in total offense and held the ball for 34 minutes to 26 by the Profs.
Cortland will host Morrisville State next Saturday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. and Rowan will host Western Connecticut State Saturday at 1 p.m.