Utica Comes Up Just Short Against Cortland in E8 Play

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UTICA, NY – The Utica College football rallied from a 17-point third quarter deficit to tie the game at 38-38 with 2:02 left in the contest, but visiting SUNY Cortland answered with a 7-play 65 yard game-winning drive to earn a 45-38 victory in Empire 8 Conference action at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium on Saturday.

Cortland's Nick Anderson caught a 3-yard TD pass from Brett Segala with 1:02 left in the fourth quarter, and the Red Dragons stopped the Pioneers on their final possession, to earn the seven point victory on Utica's homecoming. Cortland improved to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the Empire 8, while Utica's record fell to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play.

Utica freshman quarterback Logan Wilcox (Utica, NY/Proctor) had a career-day as he set a new school-record with 461 passing yards. The Pioneers' 688 yards of total offense is also a new school-record.  Malcolm Stowe (Coram, NY/Longwood) was a monster out of the backfield for the Pioneers as he carried the ball 31 times for 211 yards (3rd all-time at Utica).

Utica's Josh Connor (Dix Hills, NY/Half Hollow Hills West) caught seven balls for 107 yards and two touchdowns, while Imani Vincent (Brooklyn, NY/Sheepshead Bay) caught two balls for 103 yards and two TDs. Stowe also caught nine balls out of the backfield for 76 yards and Nate Palmer (Verona, NY/Vernon Verona Sherrill) made four catches for 75 yards.

Dehstin Smart (Paterson, NJ/Hackensack) and Antonio Scala (Coram, NY/Longwood) led the way for the UC defense with nine tackles each.  Smart also broke up two passes and Scala recovered a fumble. Keanu Heedram (Rochester, NY/Rush-Henrietta) made eight stops and posted one sack.

The two evenly matched teams exchanged blows in the first half. Each team posted three touchdowns in the first 30 minutes and Cortland earned a 24-21 lead headed into the locker room at halftime courtesy of a 39 yard field goal from Nick Mongelli with six seconds left on the first half clock. Wilcox had three first half touchdown passes. He connected with Imani Vincent (Brooklyn, NY/Sheepshead Bay) on a 78 TD pass and also hooked up with Josh Connor (Dix Hills, NY/Half Hollow Hills West) for scores of 33 and 12 yards.

Cortland scored the first 14 points of the second half to take a commanding 38-21 lead with 3:48 to go in the third quarter.  The Pioneers responded immediately and Stowe capped a 7-play 45 yard drive with a three yard TD run to make the score 38-28 at the end of the third quarter.

UC made the score 38-35 after a 25 yard TD pass from Wilcox to Vincent with 5:47 to go in regulation.  The Pioneer defense then forced and recovered a fumble on the Red Dragons ensuing possession to set up the game tying field goal from the foot of sophomore kicker Maki Medici (Watervliet, NY/Shaker) (19 yards). Anthony Beaubrun (West Hempstead, NY/West Hempstead) forced the fumble and it was recovered by freshman Andrew Genier (Whitehall, NY/Whitehall).

With just 2:02 left on the clock, Cortland QB Brett Segala engineered a 7-play 65 yard drive capped by a 3-yard TD pass to Nick Anderson to seal the victory for the visitors. Anderson finished the day with eight catches for 171 yards and two TDs.

Segala was 19-for-36 for 438 yards and four TDs on the day.  Cortland's Jake Smith caught eight balls for 157 yards and one TD, while Alex Wasserman made two grabs for 96 yards and one score.

Max Jean made 11 stops and broke up two passes for the Cortland defense. Brandon Lewis made six tackles, broke up two passes and also intercepted one.

UC caps a four game homestand on Saturday when the Pioneers host St. John Fisher College (0-3) for the second annual New York State Tool Believe Bowl at 2 p.m.

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