Bangor, ME - Husson University football fell to Hartwick College Saturday in both teams season openers. The Eagles were outmatched in the first half and were unable to make up the deficit. The Eagles managed two impressive second half touchdowns by way of quarterback Kash Keezer and wide receiver Ben Foss.
On the defensive side of the ball, Husson's Ernest Wiggins tallied 9 solo tackles, assisted on two more, racked up 3.5 sacks for a total loss of 15 yards. Four of Wiggins' tackles were for a loss totaling 18 yards. Stephan Dance also played well for the defense with five solo tackles of his own, assisting on five others.
Hartwick was led by quarterback Mike Mathews who completed 7 of 15 passes for 159 Yards and three touchdowns, the longest of which to wide receiver Frankie Molina for 60 yards, who totaled 81 on the day. Three other receivers, Tanner Williams, Joe Dawson and John Horner reeled in passes for six.
Nine defensive players had at least one sack for the Hawks who were led by Mike Parody and Clyde Miller, both with four tackles of their own. Dante Crump had two key interceptions for the Hawks with returns totaling 47 yards.
It didn't take Hartwick long to get onto the board as they scored on a huge 60-yard pass play 45 seconds into the game. Mike Mathews dropped back and found Frankie Molina wide open down field, ahead of the closest defender by 10 yards. Molina scampered into the end zone easily paired with an Alex Tesoriero extra point to make it 7-0 Hawks.
A minute and half later the Eagles were able to hold Harwick inside their own 10 yard line forcing Tesoriero onto the field again for a three point attempt, pushing the score to 10-0.
Both teams traded drives for the next nine minutes which ended in Hartwick piecing together a quick two play drive after Keezer was intercepted inside of Husson's own 20. On the second play of the Hawks' drive, Mathews handed off to Joseph Rosiecki who only need two yards for the second Hartwick touchdown of the afternoon.
Just 18 seconds later, Keezer would be picked off for the third time in the quarter. This time it was Dante Crump with the pick-six, the only of the game for either squad. Hartwick lead after one, 23-0.
Tanner Williams, Joe Dawson and John Horner all caught double-digit yard passes for touchdowns in the third quarter for the Hawks. The three scores were the only for either side in the second frame as the Hawks pushed their lead to 44-0.
The excitement for Husson fans came in the third quarter as Foss scored his two touchdowns in dramatic fashion. The first of which was set up by a Kash Keezer 10-yard run down to the 30 yard line of Hartwick. On the very next play, Keezer dropped back and fired toward Caleb King, who leapt while facing Keezer to attempt the catch. The ball ricocheted off the top of 6'6" tight end's hands and directly into the grasp of a streaking Foss who made a couple of moves within the 10 and scored the 30-yarder.
Foss waited almost nine minutes to make the home crowd happy again, but it was well worth it. Keezer once again dropped back and found an open Foss who charged downfield, made one move and into the end zone for the 61-yard touchdown. The two Foss touchdowns cut the Hartwick lead to 44-14, yet the Eagles would come no closer on the afternoon.
Hartwick managed two safeties within about four minutes late in the fourth quarter, and scored a touchdown on a 32-yard Ryan Manning run with just 53 seconds left to go ahead 55-14, the final score.
"We are YOUNG," head coach Sean Murphy said after the game. "The good thing is that our expectations haven't changed as far as objectives and winning our conference. We're expecting to be competitive in every outing that we have. Finding a silver lining in this will come when we watch the tape. It's never as bad or as good as you think until you evaluate the game. Right now we're going to learn from this and look forward to Springfield and to be excited about taking the next step."
Husson will have to quickly shake off Saturday's loss as Springfield, one of the non-conference teams Husson has played most, will travel to Bangor next weekend to take on the Eagles. Kickoff is set for 1:00pm as gates will open at 11:30am.