BANGOR, ME – It was all Hawks on Saturday in Bangor, ME as Hartwick outscored the host Husson Eagles 45-0 in the first half of play en route to a 55-14 victory to start the season. The Hawks led 30-0 less than two minutes into the second quarter.
Hartwick's defense was the story on the day as the unit allowed just 160 yards of total offense by the Eagles, including -31 yards rushing. Hartwick defenders also accounted for 10 points on an interception return for a touchdown and two safeties. 'Wick registered 10 sacks for 69 yards and finished with four interceptions.
Junior quarterback Mike Mathews (Pound Ridge, NY) threw for 159 yards and three touchdowns on 7-for-15 passing. Sophomore Brandon Beatty (Ballston Lake, NY) had the team-high in rushing yards with 58 and junior wide receiver Frankie Molina (Middletown, NY) caught three passes for 81 yards.
The Hawks jumped out to a quick lead as Mathews and Molina connected on a 60-yard touchdown pass on just the second play from scrimmage and 'Wick tacked on the extra point from junior Alex Tesoriero (Rensselaer, NY) for a 7-0 lead 45 seconds into the game.
Junior linebacker Bryan Schweitzer (Babylon, NY) quickly got the ball back for the Hawks as he picked of Husson quarterback Kash Keezer's first throw of the game with 13:30 left in the first quarter. With a first and goal from the Husson six yard-line, Hartwick couldn't punch the ball in and they settled for a Tesoriero 25-yard field goal to extend the margin to 10-0.
After both teams punted on their next possessions, freshman defensive back Dante Crump (Kingston, NY) would pick off Keezer twice in just a 50-second span to blow the game open. His first interception set up a Joseph Rosiecki (Montgomery, NY) 2-yard touchdown run, his first in a Hartwick uniform. Crump quickly intercepted Keezer again and returned the ball 30 yards for a pick-six for a 23-0 lead. It marks just the 13th time in Hartwick history a Hawk has returned an interception back for a touchdown.
Early in the second the lead grew to 30 points. Mathews hit Tanner Williams (Eagle Bridge, NY) for a 12-yard score to cap a six-play, 52-yard drive and Tesoriero added the extra point for a 30-0 edge with 13:29 left in the opening half.
With 4:53 left in the second quarter, Mathews registered his third touchdown pass of the day, this time to Shaun Eichner (Pine Bush, NY) for 25 yards. Keegan Corbett (Bennington, VT) then hit John Horner (Bedford Hills, NY) for a 25-yard strike with 27 seconds to play and the half would end with Hartwick leading 44-0.
In the first half, Hartwick limited the Eagles to just one yard of offense and two first downs. The Hawks also allowed Husson across the 50 yard-line just once in the half, and that was to the Hartwick 49.
Both teams punted on their first possessions of the second half. The host Eagles then got on the scoreboard after a 7-play, 69-yard drive. Keezer found wide receiver Ben Foss for a 30-yard touchdown and the extra point made the score 44-7.
'Wick punted on the ensuing possession and again the Eagles countered. A Keezer-to-Foss 61-yard touchdown pass would cut the lead to 30 points. The third quarter would end with the score 44-14 Hartwick's favor.
In the fourth quarter, the Hawks pinned the Eagles deep in their own end of the field on two consecutive possessions and they came up with the big plays to register a pair of safeties. Senior Coleman Jennes (Schenectady, NY) and freshman C.J. Stone (Schenectady, NY) made the plays to enter the Hartwick history book. It marks the first time in program history two Hawks have earned safeties in the same game.
Sophomore running back Ryan Manning (Watervliet, NY) would break free for a 32-yard touchdown run on the next Hawks' drive and Tesoriero added the final point with 1:54 to play for the 55-14 score line.
Nine different Hawks recorded sacks on the day in a balanced effort. Mike Parody (Clay, NY) and Clyde Miller (Rochester, NY) each led 'Wick with four tackles. Parody also forced a fumble and Steven Grzeskowiak (Schenectady, NY) had an interception for the Hawks.
Keezer finished the game with 191 yards passing on just 14-of-30 passing. Devin Sherman caught a team-best six passes for 60 yards. Defensively, Ernest Wiggins made a game-high 11 tackles with four tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks.
Hartwick returns to action next weekend in its home opener against Morrisville State. The Mustangs and Hawks clash at Wright Stadium on Saturday September 8 at 1 p.m.