SCHENECTADY, NY -- Andrew Beckwitt threw for 260 yards and five touchdowns and Jesse
Baldsassare rushed for 141 yards to lead Utica College to a 45-17 non-league victory over Union College at Frank Bailey Field Saturday Night. The Pioneers improved to 2-0 while the Dutchmen fell to 0-2.
Jeremy Meier had 60 yards and caught two touchdowns for the Pioneers, who got a game high 16 tackles from Joe Giametta and 12 hits from Luke Manolescu. Utica had 26 first downs and 493 yards in total offense, including 233 on the ground. Meier's six point score in the first quarter gave him 110 career points, breaking the Utica record of 109. Beckwitt completed 20 of 27 passes.
Union was led by T.J. Franzese, who rushed for 124 yards with a score. It was his fourth career 100 yard rushing game. Connor Eck was 14 for 25 for 226 yards and a touchdown and Darnell Thomas had 62 yards on two catches. Jeff DeVico led the Dutchmen with nine tackles and Julian Gendels added eight for the hosts. Union had 379 yards in offense that included 153 rushing yards.
Franzese opened the scoring when he broke free for a 46 yard touchdown run at 3:55 of the first quarter. It capped a 10 play, 80 yard drive in 6:06 and came on a 4th and 1. Meier caught a 28 yard pass from Benkwitt for the school point record with 1:16 remaining in the first period and it completed a six play, 69 yard drive in 2:31. The quarter ended tied at 7-7.
The Pioneers took the lead just 1:11 into the second stanza. Benkwitt hit Matt Dunn for a three yard TD pass to wrap up a four play, 14 yard drive in 1:23. But Tosin Kazeem booted a 27 yard field goal, the first of his career, and Union was within four at 14-10 with 9:44 left in the half. Kazeem's kick wrapped up a four minute drive with nine plays and 43 yards. But the Pioneers scored two more times in the final six plus minutes. Meier had a six yard catch at 6:11 to complete a 10 play, 64 yard drive in 3:27. The eighth play of a 52 yard drive in 2:54 was wrapped up by a Logan Jandrew one yard pass from Benkwitt with 3:02 left and the teams entered halftime with a 28-10 Utica lead.
In the third, Paul Smith scored on a 36 yard pass play on the fifth play of a 63 yard drive for a 35-10 lead, and Baldassare's one yard score with 8:23 left on an eight play drive made it 42-10. Kyle Reynolds caught his first varsity touchdown pass for Union with 5:56 left in the third, a 36 yard pass play from Eck with a six play, 76 yard drive, and it was 42-17 after three. Josh Sommers hit a 38 yard field goal to end the scoring with 2:50 left in the fourth quarter.
Union is on the road next week at Ithaca for a 1 p.m. start while Utica hosts Hobart next Saturday at 7 p.m.