MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – First year head coach Curt Fitzpatrick guided the Morrisville State College football team to its first win in 2013, topping visiting St. Lawrence University by a 28-23 final Saturday afternoon on Drake Field in Morrisville on homecoming weekend.
The win lifts the Mustangs to 1-2 overall as they enter the bye week before beginning New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) action on October 5. St. Lawrence drops its first game of the year for a 2-1 overall record.
Morrisville State outgained the Saints 411 yards to 322 offensively, recording 286 alone in the running game on the day.
Sophomore running back Cristian Pena (Ridgewood, N.Y.) got the signal 27 times for 163-yards on the day, while junior signal caller, Lemar Johnson (Ossining, N.Y.) added 126 on 17 attempts, and connected on 12-of-18 passes for 125 additional yards in the air and four touchdown scores.
Johnson hit wide receiver Anthony Gray (Smallwood, N.Y.) six times for a total 77-yards and three scores to lead the receiving unit.
Delroy Young (Binghamton, N.Y.) made 13 stops for the defensive unit, posting three total tackles for a loss of 11 yards, while Cyrus Greene (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added eight.
Saints quarterback Mike Lefflbine (Greenwich, Conn.) recorded 233 yards and two scores in the passing game, completing 23 of 38 passes on the day. Ten were to Colby Johnson (North Attleboro, Mass.) for 101 yards, and eight went to Mike Tateosian (Keene, NH) for 81 and two scores.
St. Lawrence was only able to muster 89 yards in the running game, with CJ Stewart (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) getting the call six times for 48 yards and a score.
Four posted double digits in the defensive efforts, led by Andrew Cox (Sherman, Conn.) with 13, while Obi Nwaigwe (Valley Stream, N.Y.) added 12. James Holley-Grisham (Rochester, N.Y.) and Alec Dietsch (Clarence, N.Y.) each had 11 in the efforts.
St. Lawrence was first to put points on the board, with a 35-yard run by Stewart right up the center late in the opening quarter for the 7-0 Saint lead with 2:32 to go on the clock in the opening frame.
Morrisville State responded with a quick two minute drill down the field that was capped off by Johnson hitting Powell who proceeded to break three Saint tackles to spin into the endzone for the score.
The lone score of the second came midway through the quarter from St. Lawrence, as Collin Shapiro (New Canaan, Conn.) who nailed a 23 yard field goal at the 9:42 mark for the 10-7 lead.
Morrisville State struck early in the third quarter, marching down the field into Saint territory before Johnson hit Gray on two consecutive pass plays to complete the six play, 64-yard drive on a 15-yard scoring completion.
On the ensuing St. Lawrence drive, the Mustangs defensive line made a huge stop to force a three-and-out series, and a punt into the wind, which game possession back to Morrisville State at midfield.
Facing a third down situation, Johnson looked downfield and couldn't find an open receiver, tucked the ball and scrambled for a 16-yard gain down to the 29 yard line. Following a 14-yard run by Pena, Johnson hit Gray on a 15-yard pass play, who walked into the right corner of the endzone for the 21-10 Mustang lead.
St. Lawrence responded to the Mustangs score on the next drive, capping off the 12-play, 75-yard drive with a 25-yard pass from Lefflbine to Tateosian making it a 21-17 game.
The Saints regained possession on the next drive, tipping the ball at the line for the interception, but couldn't assemble any offensive points, as safety Chad Dorrance (Cazenovia, N.Y.) stripped the ball out of the wide receiver hands that would have resulted in a first down.
Morrisville State entered the fourth quarter with a lead for the first time this season and didn't let the packed stands down, as they converted the opening drive in the final quarter for a score. Johnson found Gray for the third time of the afternoon, hitting the junior wide out on the post route in the left back corner of the endzone for the 28-17 lead.
St. Lawrence would cut it to a five point game midway through, with Lefflbine completing the pass to Tateosian, who ripped the ball out of the hands of the defender for the score.
Morrisville State had a chance to make it an eight point advantage, but the 25-yard field goal attempt by Zack Drake (Chittenango, N.Y.) got taken by the wind and sailed wide left.
The Saints had one final chance, but fell short as the Morrisville State defense had great coverage on the wide receiving unit and forced incomplete passes to collect the win.
The Mustangs return to the field October 5th, traveling to William Paterson to open conference play.
Morrisville State College sets the world in motion for students. Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2012 President's Higher Community Service Honor Roll. Visit www.morrisville.edu to experience, Morrisville in motion.