/seasons/2012/contrib/20120901hugqcy

Hot Start Leads to Convincing Season Opening Victory for Utica College

More news about: Utica

Box Score Utica 40, St. Lawrence 7 - Final

Utica, NY (9/1/12) – The Utica College football team compiled 508 yards of total offense, and the Pioneer defense held visiting St. Lawrence to just seven points, as UC downed the Saints 40-7 in the season-opener at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium Saturday night.  2,653 fans turned out to watch the Pioneers win their fourth consecutive season opener, including their third straight win on the Time Warner Cable Sports Television Network. 

"This is a great way for us to start the season against a quality opponent.  We were able to put it together on both sides of the ball tonight and that's a testament to the hard work our student-athletes and staff put into training camp," said fifth year Head Coach Blaise Faggiano.  "I thought we played well on offense and I was particularly happy to see our defense step up to the plate and perform like we know we are capable of."

Senior quarterback Andrew Benkwitt put on a good show in his 31st consecutive start as he completed 20-of-36

Sophomore runningback Dakota Peel scored two touchdowns for UC
passes for 355 yards and three touchdowns. Benkwitt now has a school-record 60 career touchdown passes.  Senior tight end Matt Dunn caught five balls for 105 yards and two touchdowns, while classmate Jeremy Meier added six catches for a game-high 136 yards.  Sophomore Dakota Peel rushed the ball 11 times for 42 yards and two touchdowns in his first collegiate start. 


The Utica defense held the Saints to 286 yards of total offense and it allowed just one second quarter touchdown.  Junior transfer Joe Giametta led UC with 14 tackles, while seven other Pioneers recorded at least four tackles. 

Junior transfer Joe Giametta recorded a game-high 14 tackles in his debut for UC
The Utica offense scored on its first four possessions and took a convincing 27-0 lead with 9:27 to go in the second quarter of play.  On the Pioneers' first drive of the game Dunn capped a seven play 94 yard drive with a six yard touchdown catch.  Dunn's two touchdown catches helped him move into sole possession of fourth place on the College's all-time receiving touchdowns list.  He now has 10 touchdown catches over the course of the last four years.


Peel scored on runs of two and three yards on two straight UC drives to help the Pioneers take a 20-0 lead.  Benkwitt capped the Pioneers' initial run with a one yard plunge to put UC on top 27-0. 
The Saints got on the board after a 70 yard touchdown pass from Zane Fish to Miles Crump with 4:22 left in the first half to cut the UC lead to 27-7.  Fish completed 11-of-20 passes for 206 yards but he also threw three interceptions for SLU.  Crump caught four balls for 92 yards on the evening. 

Benkwitt and Dunn hooked up one more time just before the half on a 31 yard touchdown pass to give the Pioneers a convincing 34-7 lead headed into the second half of play. 

The second half featured just six Pioneer points to cap the scoring for the day.  Jamie Murphy brought in a three yard touchdown pass from Benkwitt with just over 12 minutes left in the third quarter to seal the victory. 

Senior captain Luke Manolescu tallied four tackles and added one interception, while sophomore James Lenahan added five tackles and one pick of his own.  Junior cornerback Xavier Richardson also picked off a pass for the Pioneers. 

The Pioneers return to gridiron next Saturday when they travel to Union College to take on the Dutchmen at 7 p.m.  The last time these two teams squared off Utica came from behind to earn a 28-27 victory at Gaetano Stadium.  Check www.ucpioneers.com for links to live audio and stats.

Quick Hitters: The last time the Pioneers scored 40 or more points was on Oct. 1, 2011 against Salisbury … The last time Benkwitt threw for 300 or more yards was on Sept. 10, 2011 against Union College … Meier needs three catches to tie James Proniewych for second on the College's all-time receptions list … Meier now has 120 career catches … Utica is now 7-5 all-time in season opening games … The Pioneers are now 3-0 all-time in televised games … Dunn now has 85 career receptions, the most for a tight end in school-history. 

                                                              --- www.ucpioneers.com ---

Sep. 14: All times Eastern
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at Brockport 14, Framingham State 0
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at Lawrence Tech 34, Wisconsin Lutheran 14
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at Norwich 30, St. Lawrence 24
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Montclair State 28, at Salve Regina 11
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at Utica 26, Buffalo State 15
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at Springfield 21, Kean 14
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at St. John Fisher 35, Bridgewater State 28
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Shenandoah 35, at N.C. Wesleyan 19
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Cortland 31, at TCNJ 7
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at Salisbury 24, UW-Oshkosh 19
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at Franklin Pierce 29, Curry 27
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University of New England 35, at Alvernia 28
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Ferrum 55, at Greensboro 7
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Hamilton 37, at Bowdoin 24
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Union 54, at Anna Maria 7
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at Plymouth State 48, Maine Maritime 6
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Wittenberg 36, at Hiram 12
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at Wesleyan 30, Colby 10
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at Hanover 49, Adrian 28
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Guilford 19, at Methodist 14
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at Franklin and Marshall 54, Juniata 0
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Susquehanna 28, at Johns Hopkins 27
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Hobart 38, at Morrisville State 24
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Ripon 45, at Finlandia 12
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Washington and Jefferson 59, at Thiel 0
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Wesley 24, at Delaware Valley 18
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McDaniel 13, at Moravian 10
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Muhlenberg 38, at Dickinson 9
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Ursinus 48, at Gettysburg 10
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at Washington and Lee 42, Sewanee 7
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UW-Whitewater 20, at Concordia-Moorhead 10
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at St. Scholastica 41, Presentation 13
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Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 30, at Northwestern (Minn.) 7
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at Tufts 14, Trinity (Conn.) 8
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Ohio Northern 39, at Muskingum 10
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at Hope 80, Defiance 6
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Trine 35, at Bluffton 20
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at Heidelberg 35, Wilmington 10
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at Middlebury 17, Williams 13
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Linfield 35, at Rowan 14
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Baldwin Wallace 45, at Otterbein 28
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Ohio Wesleyan 42, at Kenyon 0
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at Fitchburg State 12, Castleton 10
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at Central 45, DePauw 19
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Millsaps 35, at Westminster (Mo.) 10
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Olivet 54, at Concordia-Chicago 24
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at UW-Stevens Point 31, Wabash 28
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Carleton 20, at Lawrence 10
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at Simpson 27, Chicago 23
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at Greenville 31, Kalamazoo 17
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Concordia (Wis.) 31, at Augsburg 0
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at Martin Luther 34, Rockford 20
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at Lake Forest 44, Grinnell 0
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Bethel 38, at UW-River Falls 20
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at St. Norbert 27, UW-Eau Claire 21
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at Crown 23, Beloit 6
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Aurora 48, at Elmhurst 22
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Howard Payne 56, at McMurry 37
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at UW-La Crosse 33, Illinois Wesleyan 27
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at Knox 44, Iowa Wesleyan 0
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at Nebraska Wesleyan 25, Illinois College 20
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Gustavus Adolphus 41, at UW-Stout 31
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at WPI 6, RPI 3
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St. Olaf 33, at Luther 20
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at La Verne 43, Willamette 33
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at Pomona-Pitzer 20, Lewis and Clark 0
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at Pacific Lutheran 17, Cal Lutheran 10
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Hartwick 30, at Alfred State 20
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at Western Connecticut 41, Dean 16
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Alma 35, at Manchester 7
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Randolph-Macon 30, at Averett 27
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Albion 48, at Franklin 26
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at Berry 34, LaGrange 9
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at Anderson 27, Cincinnati Christian 23
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Hampden-Sydney 27, at Christopher Newport 24
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Carnegie Mellon 31, at Geneva 6
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Marietta 44, at Capital 7
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Bridgewater 37, at Stevenson 22
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at Centre 27, Maryville (Tenn.) 22
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at Grove City 26, Bethany 15
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Austin 27, at Southwestern Assemblies 26
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at Loras 42, Benedictine 14
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at Hardin-Simmons 16, Trinity (Texas) 10
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at Dubuque 37, Pacific 26
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at Buena Vista 27, Concordia (Neb.) 24
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at Birmingham-Southern 45, Huntingdon 13
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at Eureka 41, MacMurray 24
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Hendrix 26, at Texas Lutheran 23
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 56, Albright 15
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Valley City State 67, at Minnesota-Morris 7
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at Wartburg 38, Monmouth 9
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Rose-Hulman 30, at Rhodes 0
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Hamline 31, at Macalester 27
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Louisiana College 20, at Belhaven 14
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at Texas A&M-Kingsville 72, Sul Ross State 0
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at Redlands 58, Puget Sound 7
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Sep. 15: All times Eastern
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at Coe 38, Cornell 0
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Manchester at Defiance
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Moravian at Johns Hopkins
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Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
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MIT at Becker
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Johns Hopkins 17, at Randolph-Macon 12
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Delaware Valley 37, at Kean 7
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at RPI 52, Allegheny 14
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North Central (Ill.) 43, at Christopher Newport 13
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Wesley 69, at Franklin Pierce 0
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at Muhlenberg 45, TCNJ 26
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Ithaca 66, at St. Vincent 28
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at Washington and Jefferson 16, Wittenberg 8
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at John Carroll 21, UW-Stevens Point 7
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Centre 45, at Hanover 31
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Berry 31, at Maryville (Tenn.) 10
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at Bethel 42, Simpson 10
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Wheaton (Ill.) 38, at Monmouth 0
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St. John's 14, at UW-Stout 7
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at UW-La Crosse 21, Concordia-Moorhead 14
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at St. Thomas 69, Trinity International 3
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at UW-Whitewater 42, Dubuque 7
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Mount Union 66, at Rose-Hulman 14
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Hardin-Simmons 64, at Sul Ross State 0
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