October 20, 2012

Utica Football Continues Strong Play in Empire 8; Pioneers Top Hartwick 43-7

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Utica 43, Hartwick 7 - Football Final

Oneonta, NY (10/20/2012) – The Utica College football team put together its second straight dominant Empire 8 Conference performance, this time topping host Hartwick College 43-7 at Wright Stadium on Saturday.  The Pioneers once against controlled play on both sides of the ball for 60 minutes and they have now outscored their opponents 83-7 over the course of their last two conference victories.  UC advanced its record to 5-2 overall for the second straight year and the Pioneers moved into a second place tie with a 3-1 overall record in the E8. UC has incredible momentum headed into their toughest stretch of the season, with their final three games coming against conference and national powers Alfred, Salisbury and St. John Fisher. 

"For two straight weeks we have put together a complete game.  This is the type of football we would like to bring to the table every Saturday," said Faggiano of his teams convincing win over the Hawks. "We have worked hard to get to this point and now we have to finish strong.  We're going to take it one day at a time.  We still have facets of the game that we think we can get a little better at and we have to game plan for a very tough Alfred team. Every game from here on out is going to be our biggest challenge of the year - it's an exciting position to be in."

One of the most impressive aspects of the Pioneers' game was their rushing attack, which totaled 219 yards on the ground.  Junior back Jesse Baldassare led the way with a career-best 153 yards, marking his third 100 yard performance of the year.  Mike Cottle chipped in with 66 yards of his own on the ground, on just eight carries.  The big running game led to the Pioneers' second straight 500 yard performance as a team, while the defense shut the door on the home team, holding the Hawks to just 24 yards rushing and 224 total yards. UC finished with 582 yards of total offense. 

The Pioneers are beginning to finish games strong, outscoring the host Hawks 30-0 in the final 31:26 of play.  It all started with two scores late in the second quarter when UC held a three point advantage.  Senior tight end Matt Dunn and Benkwitt hooked up for a 14 yard score with 1:26 left in the first half of play, pushing the Pioneers to a ten point advantage 17-7. Dunn finished the afternoon with a team-best six catches for 127 yards. On the Hawks ensuing drive sophomore safety James Lenahan came up with his team-best fifth interception of the season, setting up a 22 yard field goal with three ticks left on the first half clock to put UC up by 13 at half time.  Lenahan needs just two more INT's to tie the school-record set by Jon Klosner back in 2002. The field goal marked Woodburn's second of the afternoon and he totaled 10 points overall on the day. 

The second half proved to be all UC, as it outscored the home team 23-0, despite scoring just three of those points in the third quarter, once again from the foot of Woodburn - this time from 30 yards out. 

Jeremy Meier, who has caught at least one touchdown in five of the last six games, continued to impress by catching a seven yard TD from Andrew Benkwitt to open the fourth quarter scoring.  Meier had a relatively quiet afternoon, catching three balls for 39 yards, but he did inch one step closer to the school's single season touchdown record of 12.  Meier has 11 this year and he also needs just 152 yards receiving to become the first single season 1,000 yard receiver in school-history.  Benkwitt posted his fifth 300 yard game this season, completing 24-of-32 passes for 324 yards and four touchdowns.  His impressive day did not come without his fair share of pressure, as the Hawks tallied four sacks on the afternoon.  Benkwitt has thrown for an incredible 16 touchdowns in the last four games. 

Senior receiver Paul Smith caught his third touchdown of the year in the fourth quarter to help UC seal the victory.  He finished the day with a career-best six catches for 73 yards.  Sean Jones added four catches for 43, including the game's first score. 

The Pioneers, who scored on eight of their first 11 possessions, were determined to break the trend of close games between the two rivals.  Headed into the contest, seven of their last ten meetings were decided by ten points or less, including four which were decided by three points or less.  Tight end Chris Williams closed out the scoring with 2:54 left in the contest, off a 17 yard pass from backup quarterback Connor Butkiewicz.  Butkiewicz was seeing late game action for the second consecutive week, and he has not disappointed, completing 9-of-14 attempts for 91 yards and a TD. Ten different Pioneers caught at least one ball from Benkwitt and Butkiewicz.

The UC defense could not be overlooked, as it recorded seven sacks and two interceptions.  Dana Christofferson led the Pioneers with seven solo tackles and one sack, while Genaro Scampon made five stuffs and added a sack of his own. Michael Herbeger continued his surge towards the top of the Pioneers' all-time sack list, tallying his third sack in the last two weeks.  Anthony Cipoletti, Jerrod Clowes and freshman Nick Woodman (first of his career) were all credited with sacks as well.  Xavier Richardson picked off a pass for the Pioneers. 

The Pioneers return home on Saturday when they take on Alfred University at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium at 2 p.m.  A fourth-quarter comeback came up just short as Alfred lost to host Salisbury, 24-21, Saturday afternoon in a battle of nationally-ranked Empire 8 Conference leaders.

                                                                                                                      --- www.ucpioneer.com ---

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at Washington and Lee 49, Emory and Henry 23
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Becker 42, at Gallaudet 18
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at Hobart 38, Merchant Marine 35
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RPI 51, at Rochester 13
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at William Paterson 18, Montclair State 13
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at Wesleyan 34, Hamilton 6
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at Tufts 12, Bates 7
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Wabash 45, at Hiram 21
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Middlebury 35, at Colby 14
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Amherst 31, at Bowdoin 10
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Frostburg State 25, at Kean 18
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Maryville (Tenn.) at Methodist
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Stevenson 48, at Misericordia 0
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Thomas More 45, at Westminster (Pa.) 35
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Alma 56, at Kalamazoo 26
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Franklin and Marshall 20, at Dickinson 10
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Final
Wesley 63, at Southern Virginia 9
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Adrian 28, at Albion 21
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Final
Husson 33, at SUNY-Maritime 12
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Apprentice 24, at Alfred State 8
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at St. John Fisher 28, Buffalo State 24
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Salve Regina 47, at Curry 14
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Alfred 49, at Morrisville State 24
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Muhlenberg 33, at Susquehanna 30
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at MacMurray 31, Minnesota-Morris 10
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at Chicago 38, Birmingham-Southern 34
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Westminster (Mo.) 35, at Crown 7
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Mount Ida 15, at Norwich 14
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Trinity (Conn.) 38, at Williams 13
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at Coast Guard 36, Maine Maritime 30
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Final
John Carroll 67, at Wilmington 7
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Final
Mount Union 38, at Ohio Northern 21
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Final
Franklin 41, at Manchester 27
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1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Hanover
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Widener 24, at Lycoming 21
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Defiance 59, at Earlham 28
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4th - 12:17
19 Concordia-Chicago
55 Trine
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3rd (14:00)
20 Capital
21 Otterbein
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Final - OT
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Final
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Eureka 27, at Greenville 13
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Final
Northwestern (Minn.) 25, at Iowa Wesleyan 18
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Final
at Lakeland 16, Concordia (Wis.) 7
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Aurora 48, at Wisconsin Lutheran 13
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Nebraska Wesleyan 27, at Luther 24
4th - 02:05
36 Rhodes
21 Sewanee
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Concordia-Moorhead 46, at Gustavus Adolphus 21
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4th - 02:42
30 UW-Whitewater
24 UW-Platteville
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Buena Vista 34, at Loras 24
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Final
at Hardin-Simmons 53, Sul Ross State 29
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Final
UW-Stevens Point 28, at UW-Eau Claire 19
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2:00 PM
Beloit at Lawrence
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2:00 PM
Cornell at Monmouth
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Final
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Dubuque 35, at Central 17
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Wheaton (Ill.) 48, at Illinois Wesleyan 24
Final
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Final
Elmhurst 14, at Augustana 3
2:00 PM
Macalester at Ripon
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2:00 PM
Grinnell at Illinois College
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Final
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2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at UW-La Crosse
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HALF
32 East Texas Baptist
17 Belhaven
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3:00 PM
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3:00 PM
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3:00 PM
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3 UW-Stout
45 UW-Oshkosh
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26 Willamette
6 Puget Sound
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4:00 PM
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4:00 PM
Pacific at Pacific Lutheran
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2:39 1st
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21 Linfield
Video Live Stats Audio
5:00 PM
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Video Live Stats
Start of 1st
0 Averett
0 LaGrange
Live Stats Audio
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Whitworth at George Fox
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Olivet at Hope
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Berry at Washington U.
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10:00 PM
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Final
at Hobart 38, Merchant Marine 35
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Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Juniata 17
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Final
at Salisbury 41, TCNJ 6
Box Score
Final
Thomas More 45, at Westminster (Pa.) 35
Box Score
Final
Wabash 45, at Hiram 21
Box Score
Final
at St. John Fisher 28, Buffalo State 24
Recap
Final
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Final
at St. Lawrence 42, Springfield 14
Box Score
Final
at N.C. Wesleyan 41, Huntingdon 31
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Final
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Final
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Final
Wittenberg 41, at Wooster 13
Box Score
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 48, at Illinois Wesleyan 24
4th - 02:42
30 UW-Whitewater
24 UW-Platteville
Video Live Stats Audio Audio
Final
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Final
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HALF
32 East Texas Baptist
17 Belhaven
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Final
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Halftime
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45 UW-Oshkosh
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2:39 1st
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6:00 PM
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